Avon Beautiful's Blog

June 24, 2013

The Ugliness of Perceived Perfection

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Beauty queens in Chinese New Year parade in Sydney. (Flckr)

At the Miss U.S.A. competition beautiful women from the United States of America compete to attain the title of Miss U.S.A., later qualifying them to run for Miss Universe. It’s admirable to watch these very polished, pretty, and talented women perform at their best in this pageant. Let’s face it, not everybody can be as poised under pressure. And with that statement. it really bothered me when a young woman from Utah was asked a question, which she did not answer well, so many newscasters and talk show host were noticeably vicious in commenting about her intelligence.

Granted, you should know current events and be well-versed in the topics of the day when you compete in such pageants, but sometimes you just make a blunder. It became evident that the young lady couldn’t speak about the given issue and became nervous trying think of something to say. It happens. The young ladies in these pageants are not perfect, even if we perceive that they look perfect. The reason for my concern stems from how unforgiving and callous our society has become. We were so willing to hang a young woman out to dry because she couldn’t answer a question well? Hmmmh, maybe we should check our compassion level because on this news-non-event many a commentator’s level was on “E.”

I noticed the same trend in other areas. I had a friend that so many of my male friends and family members found drop-dead gorgeous. Sounds great right? On the other side of  that equation was the shade I witnessed her receiving from women who didn’t even know her and decided not to like her. She is a very nice person, easy to talk to and her beauty made her a mark for hate. But what kind of ridiculous insecurity is that? The same kind of insecurity that got pleasure in seeing Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson being labeled “fat” and being constantly berated by news outlets, tabloids and entertainment shows during their pregnancies. Are you kidding me? How shameful!

We have to do better. When someone is slandered we should not be so quick to pick up a stone. I remember a story about a woman found guilty of adultery facing a group of pious men getting ready to stone her for her impropriety. However there was One who stood there with wisdom and knowledge that far exceeded the pious men and they asked Him if they should stone her since what the woman did was clearly wrong according to the law.  They asked seeking an occasion to accuse Him because of their own insecurities; however, the Wise Man—who was Jesus,—said this:

“…He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”~ John 8:7-11

Yes, it’s true Miss Utah messed up on her answer, yes it’s true that Kim Kardashian and Jessica Simpson put on weight during their pregnancies (by the way that’s what women do during pregnancy), but why such a rush to judgment? They never claimed to be perfect. Perhaps if you are the kind of person  that rushes to cast a stone at people, then the perceived perfection is on your end.

October 31, 2012

Age Appropriate

Do children understand age-appropriate dress?

I know it’s all the rage. I know it’s “cute” and  it’s “cool,” but riddle me this…is it right? “What?” you ask.  Letting children dress upwards of their age. Not to be a fuddy-duddy, but just because everybody is doing it, does not make it a good enough reason for your child, godchild, neice or little cousin to do it.

I was walking in the shoe department at Burlington and I tell you it almost broke my heart to see a pair of heels for a child that couldn’t be more than four years old. They just learned to walk and be balanced and now we are expecting them to manage a heel. I can hardly manage a heel and I’m in my forties. Their bones are still forming and shaping and we allow them to wear a heel because they want to, or it’s “cute” or because Suri Cruise’s parent’s don’t know how to say “no” to their child.

Stop the madness! (Picture from style.chariweb.com)

I blame the consumer for this continuing trend because the supply is only there because there is a demand. The fact that this is the second time I saw this trend in a Burlington Coat Factory and there have been a good amount of months in between the first time I saw the trend to my recent visit —this tells me that the demand has not weaned.

Okay, maybe you agree with me on the baby heels, but this might go down a little harder. Why are little girls walking around in costume jewelry that looks like they should be going to a night at the Met. Forever 21 is one of the stores that teens and preteens get their trough of spectacular bling. The store is called Forever 21, but you will note that ages 12, 13, 14, and 15 through 45 are in this store.

I’m sure that Forever 21 knows the ages of the people who come in and buy their jewelry.  It’s their business to know that sort of thing, but it is not their business to tell teens and pre-teens that the jewelry they are buying is not age appropriate. You might be able to gather that from the name of the store. After all, everyone knows that 21 is that age kids want to get to because they are legal for pretty much everything and yet they are still not old. Heck, some adults would go back and stay at 21 if they could. Not me . . .been there, done that and have plenty of pictures, so I don’t need the tee-shirt.

I’m not saying that it’s wrong for them to shop there, but I’m saying that some of the pieces are just too grown, and who are they modeling themselves to look like anyway? Behind every trend there is usually a celebrity or video girl who little girls are trying to emulate. How do I know? I was a teen and the Bible tells me “there is nothing new under the sun.” I wore Madonna’s virgin bracelets, a key earring to be like Janet Jackson,  had my hair styled in a bob to look like Whitney Houston in the video “How will I know.” These were my top three influences and if you think your child hasn’t admired Rihanna, Beyonce or even Miey Cyrus or Taylor Swift you are probably wrong.

Sasha and Malia have a great example of dress in First Lady Michelle Obama.

The first daughters, Sasha and Malia are pictured with their parents. Both are lovely and very age appropriate…like mother like daughters. (Picture from the Boston Globe)

As a woman, be a good example. for the girls in your life. Give them an example of style and class at an early age. Show them how to dress appropriately for their age and express to them that there are times that they can graduate to receiving cetain privileges. Heels may be 16 or maybe 17, depending on their maturity. Then, when they are able to wear the heel, let them know what type of heel they can wear. A low heel should come first. Then explain the different types of heels. Certain heels are classy, some are funky, and some look like the person wearing it  just got off from the evening shift working the corner. Let them know that they don’t want to look like that.

People do treat you according how you are dressed, and no you may not feel that it is right, but it’s reality. Why should you want to dress like something you are not anyway? If you walk like a duck, expect  to be treated like one. And no, I don’t believe that people have the right to touch you or yell rude and nasty language at you because of your clothes, but the fact is if you don’t dress that way you don’t have to worry about it.

I still remember wearing a very revealing blouse (as I usually did before Jesus became my Savior) and I was quite annoyed as one of my coworkers talked directly to my breast. Yes, that was a jerky thing to do and I addressed him about it, but in retrospect, I realize that the girls shouldn’t have been out there. People have freedom to look, even though men disrespect themselves  as a gentleman when gawking. I mentioned that I stopped wearing blouses like that when I got saved. That was not a decision anybody told me to make, it was the conviction of the Holy Spirit who guided me to see that it wasn’t how I wanted to represent myself or the Lord. He even showed me how it looked when I had to serve someone who came up to me with everything out there. As much as I didn’t want to look, I couldn’t help looking because it was in my face.

Clothes come with attitudes. You walk a little different in certain shoes or when your bust is exposed. You feel a little sexier when your jeans are tighter. But my question is what is a  teen/pre-teen doing feeling sexy anyway? It’s not their time for all of that.  They should feel cute or pretty, but sexy is not for kids.

Again, women—be their example. Let them desire to emulate you. Let their friends say “Your mother/aunt/ cousin/godmother sure does dress well.” They’ll see a respect that can’t be gained with “cheap” and “half-naked.” Besides those things are a dime a dozen these days. Style and grace, however, will always turn heads. Add humility and the beauty that only God can give and you are untouchable at any age.

July 9, 2012

Will you stand in the ugly usher dress?

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Sunday fashion ranges from the modest to the ostentatious. Somewhere in between is where most people probably fall. Nonetheless, there is a segment of Sunday fashion that is not meant to draw attention, but to serve as an uniform for a particular role within the Body of Christ. Choirs have their robes, nurses have their lab coats, and ushers have their usher dresses.

Usher-wear ranges, but there is a good segment of ushers who are suited up in very plain white cotton dresses that are typically to or over the knee. Again, the dresses are not the most fashionable, but it is meant to allow the congregation to identify the doorkeepers in the house of God. Ushers literally open the doors for those entering in the church, they give out fans, and guide the offering lines. In some churches the ushers take up the collection, tidy up the sanctuary, and they are always there to serve the congregation’s needs.

In my church, all the ushers are in uniform on Communion Sunday. We wear our uniforms for the Communion service and keep it on for the evening service as well. This past Communion Sunday, I had the opportunity to hang out with two of my favorite Christian teens, who happen to be on the usher board. I remember when they joined the usher board. They were about seven years old and so cute. The white dresses were a source of pride for them. They were finally big enough to serve the Lord as an usher. Fast forward about nine years and everything has grown and evolved, including their thoughts on the usher dress.

After church, their mother decided that we would go get ice cream by the mall. Sounds like a plan, right? It’s been a steamy July and ice cream sure would hit the spot. Now, I did mention that these are teen-agers, right? I did mention that the dresses are not the most fashionable, right? I did mention that the ice cream we were getting was by the mall, right? Do you see the dilemma? Yes they are “Christian,” but they are also teens-a key component in this tale of fashion meets fate.

My two young Christian friends are sisters and teen sister #1 is A-okay with being in her uniform. She’s a fashionista, but she seems to be handling the “ice cream by the mall in my usher dress” experience with a cool exterior. Teen sister #2 . . . not so much. That’s a bit of a different story. Her take on the experience is more like “OMG! People are going to see me.” Her mother, sister and I try to calm her down and play down the significance of being in the usher uniform.

“You just came from church!”

“Who care’s nobody’s looking at you.”

“Don’t be ashamed of being an usher.  Are you ashamed of God!”

As you may imagine, the last comment didn’t go over so well.

“I’m not ashamed of God, but I like to look good.

I don’t look good in this usher uniform. It’s ugly.”

I’m admittedly paraphrasing the conversation, but this is pretty much the gist. The funny thing about this whole experience is that God really does have unique, hand-crafted tests, just for us, at every level. For better or worse, He lets us know what is in us. When I tell you that this experience was hand-crafted, it couldn’t have fit my young embarrassed teen friend’s situation any tighter than Serena Williams infamous black catsuit at the U. S. Open.

During the course of our excursion, which first took us to the bookstore and then to the ice cream shop, these sisters saw four people they knew while wearing “the ugly usher dress.” One had a “Whatever!” attitude and the other was, dare I say, “freaking out.” It seemed like the more she freaked out, the more people she saw that she knew. She kept saying things like “Lord help me. . .” but I don’t know if she realized that He was. He was helping her to learn how to get over herself and stand as a representative for Him.

Every last one of us as Christians will have some kind of situation to experience to stamp out shame. We can’t be ashamed of who we are in Christ. We are Christians in church and because we don’t live in church, we are also Christians outside of the church. This young sister is a remarkably strong young person in Christ. God is using her now and be the Lord’s will, He will use her tremdously in the future, but God is such a marksman that He knows what areas need work.

It’s nice to get dressed up and represent the Lord, but every experience isn’t going to be a pretty experience. What if God wants us to roll up our sleeves and get dirty? Are we going to be worried about the way we look and who sees us? That’s a distraction and a hindrance to the work of Christ. So we all have to learn how to get over ourselves through our relationship with Christ. He will enable us to stand in that ugly usher dress (or insert your issue here) because bigger challenges are ahead.

March 23, 2012

‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor

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October Baby hits movie theaters on Friday, March 23rd, bringing up a topic that is rarely talked about — the survivors of abortions. It’s probably hard to picture that there could be survivors of abortion when the word baby is swapped for the less offensive word “fetus.” Nonetheless, thousands of babies survive attempted abortions. Unfortunately after surviving the abortion some babies are left to die, others are put up for adoption, while others survive the abortion procedure and are born at a later date (as was the case with real-life abortion survivor Carrie Fischer*). There is a consequence in many cases; some who survive are disfigured or suffer health concerns throughout their lives.

October Baby, which was directed by award winning duo, John and Andrew Erwin, and produced by Provident Films, the makers of Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, revolves around a young woman named Hannah, played by newcomer Rachel Hendrix. After collapsing, Hannah finds out a very difficult and life-changing truth; the results of many medical tests concluded that the reason for her collapse was because of her difficult birth—the result of a failed abortion attempt by her mother.

Continue reading on Examiner.com ‘October Baby’ tells the unlikely story of being an abortion survivor – Baltimore evangelical | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/evangelical-in-baltimore/october-baby-tells-the-unlikely-story-of-being-an-abortion-survivor#ixzz1ptpJBVxg

March 12, 2012

Stepping into Your Calling

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Yesterday evening, I had the pleasure of seeing God bring a very young woman, in her twenties, into a calling that is even older than Methuselah. It’s not a light thing because her life will forever be changed. Nonetheless, realizing that your life  doesn’t belong to you is the first step in the road to  your callinImageg.

God tells us “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you;” however, if you know anything about being an adult in your twenties, thirties, forties, and so on…you also know that we have our own thoughts and plans for ourselves. We  also  do not take kindly to anyone changing them. See, but the rest of the scripture in Jeremiah 29:11 tells what the Lord says His thoughts are: “thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”  That doesn’t mean the road of life is going to be padded with rose petals and marshmallows (I like marshmallows a lot), but it does mean that God will be with us all the days of our lives, when we put our trust and faith in Him. We couldn’t be in better hands.

Not everybody will be called to be a minister or a pastor, but like John the Baptist, will we be able to decrease and direct the focus of our lives to the True Light, Jesus Christ? We were created for Him, By Him, and  for His purpose, so it’s just makes sense that He would know how to direct us best.

The road is narrow. Jesus tells us that. He also tells us there will be persecutions. Of course, because the servant is not greater than the Master. However, we have an expected end that is filled with joy, and the blessed assurance that we will be able to see our Lord and Savior and Loving Father face to face.

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January 23, 2012

Single—are your eyes and heart single?

“You are married to the Lord.” Most likely, every Christian single has heard that at one time or another, and it is true. Jesus is our husband, He died for His church, “the bride,” and it is an honor to be part of the church. It is also an honor to know that Christ prayed for me, specifically. He doesn’t just look at me as one of the many Christians—He loves me, specifically; He died for me, specifically; He was raised for me, specifically, and He calls me “His bride,” specifically.

That being true, many singles do have a desire to be married, have children, and have that one person on earth who they are one with in the eyes of the Lord. That’s real talk—not the so heavenly-minded conversation that you’re no earthly good jibber jabber that singles hear so often. Single Christians can acknowledge that they have desires; marriage is a holy desire that requires no shame. (Read the rest of this article on Examiner.com)

September 29, 2011

Examining the Sherwood Pictures film “Courageous”

Recently I had the opportunity to screen the new film Courageous. The film is from the creators of Fireproof, Flywheel, and Facing the Giants. This particular film is about fatherhood and where the ball has been dropped. Fatherhood in Jesus Christ is a beautiful thing, so check out my article on Examiner.com:   Examining the Sherwood Pictures film “Courageous”.

Ken Bevel plays Nathan Hayes in the movie Courageous. A Godly father, Nathan takes his responsibilities seriously when it comes to his daughter. This one may not make the cut guys.

September 26, 2011

God’s artistic side

I missed a sunset.  I don’t watch the sunset every night, but I was told a few days ago there was beautiful sunset which painted the skies with hues of pink. Mixed with the presence of the golden sun, I can only imagine what I missed. How beautiful it must have been—a vision of magnificent wonder.  I don’t take God’s artistic side lightly. After all, He is  the God of awesome wonders.

Every day He makes the sky a little different. In the beginning of fall the leaves are branded just a little more with shades of red and brown. And have you ever seen how God choreographs the fall of a leaf during it’s last hurrah? It’s almost like a dance the way it spins and twists and seemingly pirouettes on its stem before descending for its final bow.

You think that’s taking it too far. It’s not. The Word tells me “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made (John 1:3).” So that striking leaf dance was made by Him. All things that were made were made by Him.

In the winter, the fictional mother nature gets credited for the blanketing of snow that makes the world appear as an empty canvas, but once again it’s God whose signature adorns the one-of-a-kind work of art. The craftsmanship and detail  put  into a single tree branch weighted down by the  snow; the poetry of the drip-dropping of icicles appearing on telephone lines and rooftops…it’s all so mesmerizing.

The spring brings revitalization and new life as buds appear and sprout into a splendid array of colors and clusters of tangible beauty. And alas, comes summer where the vitality of life is in full bloom, showing the strength and prime of life in a display of fullness in shades of lush green. What an awesome God! And there’s so much more…the rushing sounds of a waterfall, the quiet splatters of a running steam, the majestic sight of a snow thunderstorm, the horrifying beauty of a spinning tornado…the list could go on and on.

Now the zenith in God’s artistic capabilities came long ago when He conferred with the Godhead body to write a script where a fallen man was redeemed by One who came from heaven and descended to earth being fully man and fully God. The One was the Son of God and though the story is autobiographical it begins with the Genesis of time and ends with a book of Revelation.

The crescendo moment is often mistaken because the main character, Jesus, is beaten and crucified on a cross. They even shove a crown of thorns on His head mocking His eternal royalty. We see our hero, also known as the Lord and the Savior, in a moment that supposes a victory for darkness. However  God the Father, the Master Author duped the powers of darkness, flipping the script and  resurrecting His Son through the omnipotent power  of the Holy Spirit, consequently bringing eternal life to everyone that believes on Him.

What a story!  It’s the greatest story ever told and we are still telling it today. The script was written for me and now the Author and Finisher of my faith, gives me  the opportunity to tell the Good News of His work to whosoever will hear.

Like any great author, vivid pictures are drawn  through words and God artfully draws that vivid picture with His Word,  giving us a clear hope to anticipate the great ending scene and final hurrah. Cue the trumpet,  roll back the clouds,  enter Jesus, the Christ…and scene!

July 28, 2011

40!

Filed under: anti-aging,beauty,cosmetics,Jesus,Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 10:02 pm
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I see it coming, but I dont want to pay too much attention to it, and the hopes and the dreams and the societal demands that are supposed to be met at that point. And beauty….geesh! God knows the world makes it seem as if anything after your 20’s is downhill physically for a woman. Not knocking anyone else, but there will be no botox, lifting, or tucking things in. If it can’t happen with some kind of cream, or even better, naturally or supernaturally in Christ, it’s not going to happen!

If I didn’t have God to balance my thoughts, I’d probably have no hope. I’d probably think it was the end when the Lord has given me the ability to see it as a beginning. With every age there is something beautiful to explore. There is something learned that was not learned at any previous age. So here’s my prayer, if it’s the Lord’s will…keep on coming with the birthdays; keep on coming with the the wisdom; keep on coming with the new beginnings and keep on coming perfection!

July 6, 2011

Passion is Black and White!

Filed under: AVON,beauty,Clothes,Uncategorized — avonbeautiful @ 4:26 pm
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Our passion should stand out in black and white fashion!

Once upon a time I worked a job where a dress code was put in place. Now this dress code was nothing really drastic to me, but to those who wore jeans, they were not able to wear jeans anymore.  One lady who was a consummate complainer was extremely ticked off about the new rule. After all, she never had to be in a meeting, she just met with her immediate boss and he didn’t care how she dressed. She was completely behind the scenes. She had her reasons for being upset, so she thought. So complaining lady (We’ll call her Sue) decided she was going to launch her own personal protest and when others got wind, they decided to join her.

So now she’s got her crew who have vowed to be with her until the bitter end (I’m embellishing a little). Sue’s plan–she was going to wear black pants and a white shirt every single day. So days went by and Sue and her army of “can’t wear jeans” protesters wore their black and white and as the days went by more and more of the army started to fade. Blues and reds and purples started to creep in. Some even apologized for their backsliding into color. One lone soldier stood, for days, months, weeks, even years. Sue wore her black and white uniform everyday (except when she went on job interviews) until she left the job about two years later.

Let me tell you what I got out of this story. You may start out with many, but if you end up with only you…stand! From the outside, Sue’s position might have seemed like a pretty silly position on which to stand; however, she believed in what she was protesting, so she stuck with it.

This is a true story and as much as I hated to hear Sue complain, as a Christian, I loved her stand! People die for much less than Christ everyday and her stand let’s me know I must stand for Christ. Her passion was black and white and so our passion for Christ should be as well. Do you love Him or don’t you? Will you stand for Him or won’t you? He sets before us life or death (Deuteronomy 30:19)…choose black and white!

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