Image from Flickr
I sat at lunch with some colleagues this afternoon and listened as one woman described the brand new, almost $200 straightening iron she bought to share with her daughter. And went into detail about all the attachments that go with it - how it curls or straightens in an instant. This woman has beautifully fine, straight hair - and so does her pre-teen daughter. It made me think of my curly hair, and how often I straighten it - hardly ever. I then got thinking about how preoccupied I was about my hair as a pre-teen - not at all. The other women at the table began comparing notes on hair care regimens, and I just sat back and listened. When did our natural beauty - the beauty God gave us at our birth - become not good enough?
This is really troubling to me. I sit typing this out after recently having a shower with my natural shampoo and conditioner that leave no residues on my hair, and the air-dried state of my hair is frizzy curls that I think are so beautiful and soft. I can run my fingers through my hair at will - not afraid of making a mess, or having to wash my hands for the gunk which attempt to tame my locks. This is my hair without any intervention other than Divine.
What else is troubling to me is the legacy this unhealthy preoccupation leaves our daughters. I don't have any, but I know so many young women who are already worshiping the gods of L'Oreal and Pantene, trying to change what they've had since birth. People have made a business on the insecurities of women - it's nothing new, but wow is it ever getting old!
I want to challenge myself - and maybe others who read this - to take a different kind of critical approach to beauty. I'm not going to be critical of what I can improve. I'm going to be critical of any intervention that attempts to change what God gave me. As the saying goes: 'He doesn't make any mistakes.'