Prepare a Face

It’s time for the clothes challenge part of The Summer of 7. For a while, I’ve known that I’d be completing this challenge during our beach vacation week when we rotate t-shirts and bathing suits.  Also, we do laundry constantly.  Therefore, I make no secret of the fact that I am cheating. I am also kind of getting my family on board for this one since it will minimize our packing.

Here’s my selections. I am not including swimsuits or underwear in the seven and I’m including an extra “outfit” to wear to bed because I’m doing this challenge for 8 days and felt entitled.

However, I will not be able to cheat once we get to the beach because these are all the clothes I’m taking.

I was kind of psyched about clothes week because I was excited for a chance to feel really smug and “all good.”

See, I already buy most of my clothes from Goodwill–when I actually shop, which I hate to do because I’m cripplingly indecisive. As a result, my closet is kind of paltry. A few months ago, a dear girlfriend came over, looked through my clothes, weeded out the ugly, and commanded me to get rid of any shirt I had nursed a child in. (Apparently this was proof of the shirt being stretched out, old, and representative of a weary state.) I told her that nary such a shirt existed in my closet. 🙂  She relented, took my most fashionable but dated items to a consignment shop, so that she and I could afford a road trip that we couldn’t otherwise.

Limiting an already limited wardrobe doesn’t feel like much of a challenge.


And then some dumb girl on the Summer of 7 Facebook Participants page suggested that we give up makeup.  Dumb girl, if you are reading this, I blame you for everything that follows. (I suppose you can take credit for spiritual epiphanies though.)

I’m not wearing make-up for a week. I’m not even taking it to the beach. I have none on my face right now and none is packed in the car that I will shortly get in and drive to the beach. This is going to be really hard for me.  Here are some random things that I am feeling that may or may not be true, but may indicate some of the reasons that I need to do this.

I think I look pretty with makeup.  I know that I am not pretty without makeup.

I feel confident and prepared with makeup.

My skin has always been an unfortunate combination of wrinkles and pimples.  I’ve had a wrinkly forehead since I was 12 and have had acne since the same time.  In the absence of natural beauty, I am a wizard with makeup. Problems on my face can be resolved with a dab of concealer and a bit of mascara.

I like the control and artistry of being able to take a mediocre looking girl and coming away with a reasonably decent looking woman.

I don’t wear a ton of makeup, but I ALWAYS wear it when I’m going out in public. Even at the beach when all the other fresh-faced gals opt for sun-kissed skin, I wear enough makeup to look fresh-faced.

When we lived in PNG, where makeup was a little less common, I achieved the moniker “the-teacher-who-wears-makeup.” And, I was proud of it. (A deal better than, Teacher-who-does-not-shave-her-legs, no?)

Without makeup, I feel old/ pubescent, weak, unprepared, and a little afraid.

Without makeup, I feel ugly, insecure, and withdrawn.

Without makeup, I worry people won’t like me. What if they think, “Why isn’t she trying to look better?!”

“What is wrong with her?”

Even though I know that God made my face, I like to prepare a face that is an improvement on what he did. You know, because I am so great at improving the work of God’s hands.

How can pride and insecurity be so tied up together? Is this my lesson for 7?

Last year at the beach, I wrote a post called “Dare to Eat a Peach” about insecurity and one of my favorite poems. Little did I know that this year, I’d be swearing off my long-cherished habit of “preparing a face to meet the faces that [I] meet.”

I want to be one of those people who is confident without her mask. I doubt that I’ll be swearing off make-up forever, but I’m hoping that this week I can meet that girl under the mask and convince her she’s not so bad.

Stay tuned.


15 thoughts on “Prepare a Face

  1. Unless I missed something, I’ll take credit for being that dumb girl. And yeah, totally get ALL of what you are saying and exactly WHY I introduced it for myself. It gets ugly up in here.
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  2. All you need to wear is your smile, and that is absolutely beautiful! Your sparkly brown eyes don’t need mascara to draw people to you, and your gorgeous hair takes all the focus off all the other hideous features. 🙂 lol. Love you, brave sister!!!!!

  3. Hmmmm…this is good stuff! God has been dealing with me on both pride and insecurity and I thought it must take some kind of crazy to struggle with both at the same time…but I’m encouraged that I am not the only crazy one =) But I have realized that it is not so crazy to have both at the same time because both are the result of a self-centered focus, not God-centered. Can’t wait to hear the results of this one!

  4. I think you’re beautiful with or without make-up inside and outside. I’m so proud to call you my friend. Have fun at the beach.

    1. Megan, you have never seen me without make-up, so don’t be so sure. It is pretty horrific; you might be like “Sheesh, girl! Put on some Mary Kay for the love!!” (;) Love you too despite my raging jealousy of your perfect complexion.)

  5. Thank you for this post and for your braveness. I feel the same way about my ‘naked’ face. I won’t even answer my door if I’m not ‘ready’ for the day (got my ‘face’ on). If I somehow get caught without my ‘mask’ on, I don’t even make eye contact. I truly dislike feeling this way; so limited and trapped in what some would call vanity. For me it’s simply a huge insecurity. I hate the amount of time I feel that I waste each and every day putting on my make-up (mask) and wish that I could break out of my routine. You have inspired me to try. It helps knowing that I’m not alone in feeling this way. Maybe, someday…?

    1. Well, three days in, it is going .. . okay. I just survived my first excursion out in public. Astonishingly, no one died. Nothing bad happened. No one noticed it. My children and husband still loved me. It convinces me of one thing for certain; I am much more self-obsessed that I realize.

  6. I have been driven as well to go with less make up and embrace the natural woman God has made me. I support you in your en devour. It sound like we have the same type of skin as well. I have also prayed for God to show me the true beauty of the people and things around me with and without makeup on. I have noticed that the less makeup and hair dye a woman has the more beautiful I find her. The same with men.

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