Listening to: Pretty Lies [Veridia feat. Matty Mullins]
I don’t wear much makeup. The most you’ll get from me is the occasional lip color (red or plum) and eye-liner. The first time in my life I ever had a whole face of makeup done – foundation, concealer, smoky eye, blush…the entire enchilada, was for my college graduation photo; COLLEGE! I was 22 years old. My dad threw a mini fit when he saw the picture because he said it didn’t look like me. Pretty Lies is the name of the song I’m listening to now, but it is also what an acquaintance of mine said when reacting to my graduation photo:
“Amazing how makeup can make girls look like pretty lies for a couple of hours.“
On one end, I was getting glowing praises from my mom, aunts, other family members and friends about how pretty and glamorous I (finally) looked; my hairdresser told me that I should try to look like that everyday and another family friend has the picture FRAMED and placed on the table by her front door so people see it as they enter her house. Yet in the midst of that, there was my dad saying that he can’t recognize me and there was the acquaintance I mentioned earlier, in essence, referring to me as a ‘pretty lie’ and y’know what? I’m siding with them.
In the current reality (ugh) as much as I hate the fact, looks matter. Friends, opportunities, conversation, relationships, all seem to come easier if you “look good”. Those of us who don’t have classically beautiful/handsome faces are told we need to play up/fix up/dress up/primp what we can to present our “best selves”, and those who are already naturally gorgeous are encouraged to maximize this gorgeousness in every way possible, from clothes to special technique makeup…for this is the way to be seen as ~*~*~*WORTHY*~*~*~ of people’s time and attention.
Well, like Veridia, “I’m calling out these pretty, pretty lies…” This first line of the chorus of Veridia’s tune is precisely what I’m doing in this post. This isn’t an anti-beautification post; it’s an anti-pre-determine-a-person’s-value-based-on-their-appearance post. Veridia’s lead, Deena starts off singing about the physical appearance that’s considered ideal and striving to get there, asking, “How about now? Am I good enough?”Honestly, how many times do we ask this? Even if we’re not saying it that way or saying it out loud but…how many times do we:
- Wonder if someone else will show up in our outfit
- Worry if someone has seen us in the same outfit more than once
- Compare the quality of our outfit to what we think the quality of others’ outfits are
- Feel empowered that we’re not dressing to attract members of the opposite gender…and neutralize the power by dressing to impress members of the same gender.
All of these and more are “Am I good enough?” behaviors, if we’re being completely honest, because they are based solely on comparison with others and what others will think of us. Do you really want the masses around you to inadvertently control how you look and what you choose to wear every day??
Then Matty of Memphis May Fire comes in on the second verse, “Suit and tie; success and dollar signs…” He highlights another factor in the “How to be Worthy” scheme – achievement/wealth. In addition to looking the standard, you gotta be earning the standard. Those who cannot match the standard are seen as mediocre ranging downwards to altogether unworthy…
Come on. Who are we to grade people’s life value based on looks and status/wealth? Why do we do that? Why is it that even in this ‘age of enlightenment’~ where everything offends everyone and everyone needs to be PC and things like body positivity and inner beauty are A THING…we still , even if it’s just initially, run a mini analysis on people based on nothing more than appearance (and the status we think they have based off the analysis of the appearance that we just ran)?
A person who earns more money does not have a higher valued life. A person who doesn’t wear makeup should not be considered less presentable to the public. A person should not have to fret if the jacket they’re about to put on does not look as new anymore…AND! Those of us who have accepted Christ, DEFINITELY shouldn’t operate by these. We shouldn’t believe these lies. Our worth is determined by Him, and He already set that worth as pretty high. We have no authority to re-value ourselves or others to something less.
SO, you wanna wear makeup and put together wonderful ensembles? Not a problem. Even I, with my non stylish and fashion-lazy self, have rare bursts of creativity where I manage to put together something that my very mother approves of. But when you do, do it because you want to look that way and not because you, subconsciously or otherwise, feel you have to adhere to an unwritten societal dress code. Don’t hold others to the unwritten dress code either.
*Sigh* whatever though…lol. Life goes on and people are still going to operate by the unwritten dress code…even in Christianity, people still buy into the pretty lies. The great thing is, I don’t have to.
TL;DR – QUIT ASSIGNING WORTH TO PEOPLE AND DECIDING HOW YOU TREAT THEM BASED ON APPEARANCE AND STATUS! You think we’d know better by now. Don’t feel stressed about how you look BECAUSE of how you think others think you should look. Pretty Lies by Veridia and Matty Mullins is musically and message-wise a power tune; check it out. Psalm 139:14, “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made…”