I’m sure some of you came here today for a lovely Veteran’s Day posting. Something deep. You will not be disappointed today. The format will be a bit different than usual because I was invited, as the only male in the group, to be involved in FACE ME DAY, a blog tour about inner beauty and makeup awareness. I am not making that up. But before we get on to the post, I do want to greet all of my fellow Veterans and say what an honor and joy it is to know so many of you. I am also proud to have served, and will quietly celebrate this day in my own way with my wife.
For those of you who didn’t buy the opening, it’s for real. There’s even an official logo:
How in the name of all that is this blog can I tie no makeup to Veteran’s Day? It’s a two-parter. First, the picture of me without makeup:
I am also required to post a scriptural quote: Psalm 139:14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
Next, I challenge you to post a picture of yourself without makeup on your Facebook page.
One final item for you: at the bottom of this post, there are a number of other bloggers writing on this same topic today. Many of these people are friends of mine who had to work very hard to post these pictures. The reason for that will be explained shortly. There will be, I promise, some great writing involved. So when you hit the bottom of my blather, hit the link and continue the tour.
The purpose of this event is to talk about the beauty we have within each of us. God made us in His image, and consequently there is beauty there that is far deeper than the skin. Some of my fellow authors declined to write for this event, because of issues dealing with their appearance. Not that they aren’t beautiful, but they don’t think that they are, and the careful construct of makeup is what makes them publicly presentable in their opinion. I frankly mourn that view, each and every one of them is beautiful beyond belief. I wish, within the bounds of propriety, I could hug each of them and tell them how much their inner beauty shines through when I look at them.
Let’s talk about me, always a fascinating topic, and my non-makeup mug. Before you all laugh, I do wear makeup when I’m doing television commercials and modeling. It’s a must to look good under the lights, and I don’t have any choice. It’s not so awful, but it’s not me. I sped out of a commercial shoot some years ago without getting all the makeup off – I was kind of orange. It got me some very strange looks at McDonald’s just outside of Des Moines. I also bleach my beard for the Santa season, and apply whitener for my visits. I sometimes darken that bleach job if I’m modeling as a biker character. So I’m not always makeup free. I hate the stuff: gives me zits.
I’ve even had plastic surgery: a mini face lift. That was a struggle to agree to the surgery, I’m pretty much opposed to altering your appearance surgically. I’d run out of options, however, in that my eyebrows and lids were so droopy as to be causing vision problems. you can see it’s back to some degree in this photo today. I’m cursed with the saggy face thing. But medical needs prevailed and I got the surgery.
The levity is now over. The next part will probably shock some of you, and others will nod knowingly.
Many of my brothers and sisters have come back from combat with terrible scars on the surface of their bodies, especially burns and blast damage. It is very difficult for most people to look them in they eye without recoiling. The unusual is always hard to deal with, especially if it looks painful. I am blessed in this regard: I see the beauty beneath the trauma. I don’t know why, but the scarring doesn’t bother me: I know how they got that way and recognize that it could have been me in an earlier age. I also, on many occasions, see the wounds beneath the blemish free skin of others. In no case are they any less beautiful than before they entered military service. But they are different inside and out, most of them self-conscious about how they look.
We are a culture based on thin, beautiful images in our media. Wounded Warriors, physically and mentally, are outside this norm we have embraced. Yet these people often have an inner grace that God values above all: they have risked all for their fellow soldier/sailor/airman, and they did it with faith in the outcome. But they are staying in the shadows lest they be judged. Today, when you see a wounded warrior, don’t just blithely thank them for their service. Stay and chat for a moment. Find out what their life is like and hear their story. Some will not want to share. Others will love the fact that you are looking beyond the puckered skin or deformed eye-socket. People. They’re just people like you. People blessed with an inner beauty from our Creator. Can you look closely enough to see the virile young man in an 80 year old body? The drop-dead gorgeous woman hidden within the 300 pound body that accompanied her PTSD? Each of them is beloved by God. Why aren’t we loving them as well?
Am I happy with my face without makeup? Yes. I honestly don’t look at it much beyond checking the beard for food particles and making sure the shave took all the bits away so that my noggin is smooth. Have I always been happy with my face? Pretty much. It’s a good face, it’s my face.
But I understand the makeup issues. I know why people use the stuff and try to change how the world sees them. I have a secret: I have a terrible body image. Really bad. You see, I have been told since I was a little boy that I was fat. I identify myself as fat, joke about it, and recognize the fact that I am truly fat these days. But I ran across some pictures the other day that were taken of me at a point in my life where I was being told, regularly, that I was a fat-body, a blob, a pig, unfit for the uniform, etc. You know what? I wasn’t. I was a handsome young man with a great smile, hair, and a muscular figure. But that’s not how I’ve seen myself for most of my life. I’m fat. How did I ever let Satan’s lies convince me that I was something that I wasn’t? But convinced I was.
When some of my friends declined to do the blog tour today, I understood. They feel as ugly as I feel fat, and I have felt fat for decades. I am becoming aware, slowly, that while I’m overweight I am not as repulsive as I’ve been told. When I analyze who I really am, that outer body is just where I live. It’s like an apartment that God gave me for a short time to put my stuff out of the weather. I don’t feel this the way some of my female friends no doubt do, nor do I do much beyond buying bigger clothes now and again. But I do get it: it hurts. It’s not part of the culture.
Well, I’m out of that closet now. I won’t be changing much about me in the near future: my love affair with donuts continues. But to my friends who look in the mirror today at their bare faces and recoil, remember that God has instilled in you a beauty far beyond what Max Factor could ever envision. You are his son or daughter. I’m going to work on that for myself from here on out. I’d like to thank Jaime Wright for coming up with this idea and getting me to really think about who I am: I am a son of the King.
Happy Veteran’s day to all of my fellow warriors out there. I salute you, and I know you’re beautiful. Especially my wife, a veteran who doesn’t need a single dab of makeup to make my heart beat funny. I love you, Kip.
Now, please hop over to: Laurie Tomlinson’s blog to continue the tour.
I’ve included a list of the other blogs that are participating so that you can hit all of them as you choose.
Nick Kording: http://nickkording.com/thoughts/
Lindsay Harrel: http://www.lindsayharrel.com
Joseph Courtemanche: http://www.commotioninthepews.com
Gabrielle Meyer: http://www.gabriellemeyer.com
Jaime Wright: http://coffeecupsandcamisoles.blogspot.com
Carrie Wisehart: http://www.carriewisehart.com
Emilie Anne Hendryx: http://eahendryx.blogspot.com
Andrea ‘Dia’ Nell: http://andrea-michelle-wood.blogspot.com/
Sarah Baker: http://godbooksandchocolate.blogspot.com/?m=1
Rachel Britz: http://www.rachelbritz.com
Cara Putman: http://www.caraputman.com
Stacy Monson: http://www.Landof10000words.wordpress.com
Katherine Reay : http://www.katherinereay.com
Katie Ganshert: http://katieganshert.com/blog/