Thursday, February 24, 2005

Does it matter how I look?

Let me start by saying that I hardly ever watch Oprah. I know, I know you're thinking "yeah, right - all she does is watch Oprah and eat bonbons." But, seriously, I really don't care for her so I don't watch much at all. However, I did turn her on the other day when she was doing a show with Trinny and Susanna from "What not to wear" because I think they're hysterical and I'm always trying to figure out how to look 10 (or 40) lbs lighter without actual exercise or a diet. So they're being very critical of all these poorly dressed women and giving them makeovers and I'm wishing they'd redo me because my worn out maternity pants (the baby's 8 months old now), husband's t-shirt and nursing bra that doesn't fit are looking pretty shabby. But then I excuse myself by ranting to anyone who'll listen (mostly just the baby - Levi was busy playing blocks) that it's incredibly shallow to be putting that much time, effort and money into looks. And besides, who is going to see me anyway - I wasn't going anywhere. That's when I had my lightbulb moment. My kids and MY HUSBAND see me looking like this. Aren't they worth getting dressed for? Doesn't my husband deserve to come home to a clean, good smelling wife. In other words, I shouldn't expect a homecoming kiss if I haven't brushed my teeth:)
And what about the other people who do see me - at the grocery store or in Walmart? Those places are my mission field (the only one I have time for!). If they see another frazzled, disheveled mom who clearly isn't fixing herself up for anyone, then how are they supposed to suspect that I adore my husband and my kids (almost all the time -haha)? That I think being a mom is a worthy "career" and calling. How are they going to see the joy I've found in Christ if I look like barely bothered to switch out of my jammies?
Now I know there are a lot of opinions out there about what Christian women should wear. Dresses only, headcoverings, modesty, dressy or casual at church...We have a lot to consider on all those topics. But my main thought today is that we should try to look appealing. Not sexually, not in a way that draws attention. But nice. In a way that makes other people glad to see us coming. I don't mean that we should focus on outward adornment, but I think as we represent Christ to the world we should comb our hair and put on a smile. I know that no one will reject Christianity because I didn't do my nails. But I do want to be a good ambassador. So does anyone else have any thoughts on this? How important is how we look?

10 comments:

centuri0n said...

as the husband of a Christian wife, I say "amen and preach it," but not too loudly because if my wife heard me say that she'd never speak to me again.

However, the flip side is that those of us who are Christian husbands don't care how you (wives) look and smell as long as we know you are happy. I would rather my wife stop shaving her legs if it meant she was happier with being married to me.

Shannon said...

What a kindhearted response! I bet your wife would love to read that part:) I think part of the problem is that wives who "let themselves go" aren't happy. Or at least not as happy as they want to be. Bear with me while I try to get this thought together. I think women generally want to be attractive, especially to their husbands. And of course we are happy with our children and husbands and lives. But we don't take the time to take care of ourselves for whatever reason (I think in my case their's a little martyrdom thing going on here) and so we feel bad about how we look and that detracts from our happiness. I hope that made some sense.

seeker of truth said...

Just found your blog and LIKE the way you think and write...your light bulb moment and you didn't ignore it!!

Jenna said...

The only thing that I have to add is that taking care in how one looks doesn't have to mean spending a good deal of money, or becoming preoccupied. :o ) For some reason, I always see things swing from one extreme to the other, which ever direction is their choice. lol Seems goofy, a bit. Ah, but I'm rambling....

Shannon said...

Feel free to ramble any time:) I agree, I think women tend to go to extremes with it. Obviously we shouldn't be spending more than we can afford or obsessing about how we look. But we shouldn't just throw up our hands and dismiss it either.

Not Crunchy said...

This is a tough question - I thought about it a lot today. With all the media attention on makeovers these days its hard to not get sucked into feeling like you have to look a certain way. I had a similar "lightbulb" moment about my appearance to my husband because I hardly ever wear makeup and sometimes feel bad about it. But the things people wear are so "out there" (low rise jeans with skin tight mid-riff shirt - yikes!) that you would probably have to have some pretty low standards to do disservice to your mission. The good folks at Wal-Mart are probably just looking at your cute kids anyway. :-)

Shannon said...

GRIN! I think so:) You brought up another problem for me in trying to dress nicely, though. There aren't many nice clothes out there. I don't follow a "dresses only" rule or anything ( although I know some people do feel strongly about that), but I do try to dress w' some modesty. Nothing too short or tight or low-cut. And that knocks out about 90% of what you find in the mall. And what's not too skimpy is generally "professional" type clothing, only not for my profession. I can't see chasing a toddler in a business suit:) But I am working on it.

Not Crunchy said...

I know what you mean about not being able to find anything in the mall. A trip to the mall specifically to find clothes can put me in a real funk - not only is there absolutely nothing there that I want to wear, but the prices are outrageous too. It's Kohl's for me!

Shelly said...

I'm there with you on Kohls!

Kristen said...

Right on, NC. Kohl's rocks...especially their clearance sales. Almost 100% of my clothing comes from the clearance racks of Target, Old Navy, Kohl's, or Wal-Mart. But I digress... :)

I love makeover shows. When we had TV, I could have ripped the knob off on TLC and been happy as a clam. I saw the WNTW book in a store once, though, and didn't really like what they recommended in many cases. It wasn't just "what to wear to look better," it was "HOW TO LOOK SEXY!" The world says that's good, but it's not in keeping with any relevant definition of modesty. (Not that they were trying to, but you know.) I draw the line at cleavage! I mean, please!