Beauty: An Inside Job

The centuries old saying “beauty is only skin deep” is merely a simple way to say that external attractiveness has no relation to goodness or essential quality.

That “goodness” and “quality” stuff… It’s important.

My mother wasn’t there to walk me through very important steps towards becoming a young woman. I taught myself how to braid and curl my hair. I taught myself how to ruin a pair of eyebrows so that they’ll never grow back (even 20 years later). I experimented with makeup without my mother and without YouTube tutorials. I started my period without my mother. I was humiliated by a boy in 7th grade because I didn’t wear a bra… because I didn’t know I needed to.

The other day, my eleven, going-on-sixteen, year old daughter hopped into my car with about 6 coats of mascara on. She wore her bright and bubbly smile and batted those sparkling green eyes at me without a care in the world. Upon meeting her, conversation or not, you’d never believe she’s only a fifth-grader. And just last year, in the fourth grade, she tried with every ounce of her soul to wear mascara to school, but just like her sister who is four years older, she was told she had to wait until fifth grade to wear “a light coat of mascara and lip gloss, but nothing else. Less is more.”

I think that’s what “good moms” do, right?

A hundred scenarios flashed through my brain, but before I could process a single one, the words “those look like hooker eyelashes” rolled off of my tongue and right into the ear of my child. And in a valiant attempt to somehow undo what I had just done, I said, “Well, maybe more like clown makeup.”

0 for 2, Mom… you’re about to strike out.

An embarrassed little girl looked straight ahead and muttered “Thanks, Mom.” 

Dang it.

Back to the hundred scenarios rumbling around my in my brain… I’ve got to say something! This is my chance to explain what I meant to say. This is what being a mom is all about!

“I said that wrong. There is a reason young ladies, and older women for that matter, don’t need to wear that much mascara. Less is more. Although you would never know it from the constant rush of contouring and eyebrow videos shoved in your face every day, makeup should look natural… and if young ladies are going to wear it, it should definitely be minimal because your face is the first thing people see when they look at you. Let them see YOU.”


Moms, take pride in your job to inform, teach, and enlighten these girls before we send them out into the world. Be thankful you were trusted to guide them! Don’t let this opportunity pass you by! Yes, they can and will learn the hard way, but so much can be said with so little… less is more. We, as parents, have to teach them that their beauty does not come from the clothes they wear or how perfect their hair looks. It doesn’t come from caked on makeup either. Beauty comes from within – it’s a heart thing, an inside job. If they know their value at home first, they won’t be looking to fill their cups outside of your walls. Tell them they’re beautiful… but not only when they walk out the door after two full hours of hair/makeup… tell them when they are fresh-faced, rockin’ a messy bun. Better yet, show them. Be the example you want for your daughters!

They are watching, even though they’d never admit it.