As I looked through my Whatsapp status, I realized something quite disturbing to me, almost every lady, I follow, was heavily made up, most of the times. My distaste for makeup grew more and more, as someone who appreciates natural beauty or what I thought to be beautiful. By the way, this is not a jab at those who love to use makeup, just bear with me, I am heading somewhere with this. So I asked myself, what does it mean to be beautiful? Who defines beauty?
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In the Bible, the word beautiful appears 53 times, and a total of 15 times, when used to describe certain ladies. Its Hebrew word is—Yapheh To'ar which means beautiful in shape, countenance, features, and appearance. It is used like this—beautiful to behold, beautiful countenance, beautiful of form and appearance. In the dictionary, the word beautiful is described as having an attractive quality that gives pleasure to those who experience it or think about it; possessing qualities that give great pleasure or satisfaction to see, hear, think about; delighting the senses or mind; pleasing the senses or mind; A person or thing that is beautiful has perfection of form, color, or noble and spiritual qualities.
In my search and various conversations with women I have learned that makeup is used for several reasons; to enhance beauty, to conceal certain blemishes that make ones natural appearance less than perfect, to give them a feeling of looking good, a thing of self-satisfaction. But in all of these, I understand women, tend to use makeup because it gives them a sense of beauty or confidence.
Makeup has always been in existence, even as far back as ancient times in Egypt, Greek, China, and in the Bible. “Then Jehu went to Jezreel. When Jezebel heard about it, she put on eye makeup, arranged her hair, and looked out of a window.”(2 Kings 9:30) It is something that has always been in existence and would always be. So what then is wrong with makeup, that makes me feel this way? You might ask.
I always had a certain sense of appreciation for natural beauty, which is said to be beauty without external/additional enhancements. It just seems to be something certain ladies were born with. But I was wrong; I got to realize God created mankind in his own image—“in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:27) This means there is a natural beauty that was given to everyone the moment we were created.
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There is a natural beauty we all possess that is inward and not outward. Outward beauty would always fade away—“Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Though outward beauty is good, the inward beauty is better, eternal and would never fade away. There would always be someone more beautiful that you are, (Remember the fairytale story of snow white and how the witch wanted to kill her because she found out there was one, more beautiful than she was, after being the most beautiful for years). So why focus on your outward beauty? Whenever you want to appear before a crowd, what matters more is what you have on the inside.
We should ask ourselves—how is my mood today? Am I thankful today, or am I full of complaints? How would I approach the people that I meet today? What can I add to them, which will leave them better off than when they first met me?
But the Lord said to Samuel— “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)
People would always look on the outward appearance but what attracts the right people; the spiritually discerned, is the inward beauty. “The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.  The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,  for who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:14-16)
If you want to attract the right people, you have to work and focus on your natural inward beauty, that which is eternal and not your external beauty which is fading away. There is a certain power that lies in the beauty of a woman. It is undeniable and has been proven in history, how far men can go for a beautiful woman.
“As he was about to enter Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “I know what a beautiful woman you are.  When the Egyptians see you, they will say, 'This is his wife.' Then they will kill me but will let you live. (Genesis 12:11-12)
“Wives, in the same way, submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives,  when they see the purity and reverence of your lives.  Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)
So I finally concluded, that beauty is indeed in the eyes of the beholder because the beholder is a person who sees or observes someone or something. To say one is beautiful or understand what beauty means has to be defined by the one who sees and observes to call something/someone beautiful, only the beholder has such a power. Whatever one chooses to do with such power lies entirely in their hands.
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About The Author: Oghene-ovie Onoriode Agboge is a civil engineering graduate from Central University in Ghana, currently undergoing an Msc in energy studies at the University of Ibadan.
He is a man seeking to understand the world through the word of God. Despite many perceptions, beliefs, traditions and religions, he believes there is balance between all of these, that can only be seen through the eyes of the Creator.
He is not a writer, he is just a man lead by curiosity into the mysteries and happenings of this world, and would like to share his thoughts from time to time.