"Appearance is important to old women; not because we suppose it will impress other people, but (for) ourselves."
from Somewhere Towards the End by Diana Athill
Plastic surgery, laser resurfacing, permanent makeup, Wonder Bras...are they ok? They're all about the packaging, not about what's contained inside, right? The lofty moral ground here is to denounce anything of such a superficial nature. But this is one issue where I'm in the freedom of choice camp and I don't think there's any place in the heart of God's people to criticize, judge or gossip about these choices.
Have you ever listened to people bash these "enhancement"choices in a group setting? It's pretty popular to jump on the moral bandwagon (unless perhaps you're living in Los Angeles or New York City) and make harsh judgments. I've watched faces change as people feel pressured to express the same opinion but may have already undergone one or more of these options.They're too ashamed to openly admit it because they fear the label of "shallow"or "artificial".
Sitting at lunch with some friends recently I looked around the table at faces of women whose birthdays are all within a decade of one another and it struck me that a total stranger would never guess this. Some women unquestionably "age" better than others. This is in varying part due to genetics, sun damage and attention to skin care.
Some women are truly not concerned with looking younger or even with looking stylish. They're happy and warm and engaging and don't seem to notice that there is any disparity in women's appearance. Others who are possibly not considered as attractive do care but don't know what to do to make a change.
On the flip side are well-groomed, stylish women who may or may not go beyond good skin products and makeup to attain this result. Some are so preoccupied with their appearance that they forget to be warm, engaging and happy. They barely notice that others are even present.
Those remaining are women who are both; they actively try to be as physically attractive as possible but are also happy. With outward beauty, as with all other personal aspirations in life, there should be joy and satisfaction along the way. When women (or men) desire to be their most attractive but never reach a point of self-appreciation and acceptance they rob themselves of so much peace. It's hard mental work to be so self-focused and yet dissatisfied.
Is it wrong to invest a little time and money in our appearance? My philosophy is that we represent a beautiful God and He created us to be attracted to beauty. He also made us visual people, so there's nothing inherently wrong with this kind of effort. That said; I also believe that more attention should be focused on the beauty of others instead of ourselves and that our truest beauty is reflected from God's light inside us.
This is a controversial subject. I'd love to know what you think is a sign of "too much" or if there should be any limits to our quest for physical beauty.