When this series first started, I think I expected far more women to share stories of intense struggles with disordered eating and exercise. After all, that is my story, that was my struggle, and I think anytime I’d hear women discussing food in an unhealthy manner, I’d automatically assume they shared the same battle with which I once lived. I know that’s not reasonable or logical, but it’s how I saw things.

For me, one of the most beautiful things to come of this series are the diverse paths and stories of how each woman came to value her natural self. No two are the same, some are similar, but not the same. (If you have missed any of the series, I hope you’ll take the time to read more of them, HERE.)

Today, I am honored to bring you the words of my best friend, Ellen. This woman is incredible. She’s genuine, intelligent and humble. Her story is a bit different from others you’ll find in the series. Ellen hasn’t struggled with body image or exercise in the way many of my guests have but still offers an important perspective.

Ellen

I’ve never been in the habit of wearing a lot of makeup. In high school, I wore some daily, until one day I realized my friend never wore makeup, and no one ever asked her if she was tired. We’ve all had those days: you decide to skip the fancy eye black, and everyone assumes you haven’t slept all week. It’s a blow to self-confidence.

I learned to believe my natural face wasn’t beautiful in its natural state. Knowing my Heavenly Father made me a masterpiece in His eyes, I set out to change my opinion of myself. I stopped wearing makeup, and soon people stopped asking if I was tired. My natural face became the face people were accustomed to seeing, and it really didn’t take long to adjust to my naked face in the mirror. Plus, I gained about 20 extra minutes in the morning! I still enjoy occasionally painting my face, and I often admire people who can apply the products more skillfully, artfully than me. But, my choice to not wear makeup on a daily basis helped me to adjust my perspective to see real beauty in myself and in other people.

The Definition of Beauty

Beauty is not defined by a made-up face. Beauty is being a person loved and created by God. Makeup can be a great hobby. It can transform a face in surprising ways – especially on those days when you really haven’t slept all week. It can make you feel confident and extra beautiful, highlighting your favorite features and disguising others. However, after washing off the makeup, I pray you look in the mirror and see a face of real beauty. Beautiful, because you are you, you were created to be you, and there is only one you. And, you are beautiful.

– Ellen


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