Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Pursuit of Beauty

 "Outward beauty is the most important thing to women." - Chris Rock

 I watched an interview on TV recently featuring Chris Rock who has made a new documentary called "Good Hair". The movie has me intrigued me partly because of the fact it exposes the Hindu ritual in India of shaving your head to sacrifice to the temples and that hair is actually now being made into weaves, and because I felt it would be a good society study, which I absolutely love. So as I was watching this interview and he was talking about the great lengths women go to for their hair, it really got me thinking.

 As he said that outward beauty is the most important thing to women, the truth of the matter was clear. My mom pointed out that this is not just a current day issue or a modern one, but since the beginning of the world, women have craved beauty. It's part of our nature as women to desire to be beautiful and desirable.

 Think about the ancient Egyptians. All the makeup they wore around their eyes remind me a lot of the emo look today. But it was the style then, and the sign of beauty was painted eyelids and straight hair. Or think of Persia, where Esther lived and all the beauty treatments that she went through before being made queen. An entire year was spent on making the women beautiful and desirable to the king. Or think or England in the 1700s and corsets! They put their bodies as serious risk and were horribly uncomfortable all for the sake of beauty.

 Yet it all fades.

 Everyone someday grows old and no matter how hard we try we can not always be stunning on the outside. You may be 80 and still look great for your age, but when you put a 20 year old model by you, it's easy to tell your beauty has faded. And most importantly, outward beauty doesn't go with us to the grave. When we die our beauty means nothing. If we spend our entire life investing in outward beauty, when we face God and that's all that we have, we are in grave trouble.

 Proverbs 31:30 says that "Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised". Now Abigail and I like fashion, we like dressing up, we like looking beautiful; but we love Christ. If we were to chose outward beauty or having the blood of Jesus cleanse and beautify our hearts, we would both chose the latter. Because when you look in light of eternity, outward beauty fades to nothing. We are not to gain the whole world but lose our soul, and that "whole world" includes our outward beauty.

 If beauty is what we chase after, it will never be enough. We will always want more and it wont satisfy. A model for Victoria Secret's that is a professing Christian said once that "everything about me is fake. My hair is fake my nails are fake, even my heart is fake." Now I'm not sure about you, but I don't want a fake heart. The search for outward beauty will only leave us with just that, a fake heart.

 Our blog is named Imperishable Beauty because Abigail and I as young woman are trying to strive for a beauty that wont fade or grow old with age and we want to see others striving for that as well. We want the beauty that comes from Christ, from Him transforming and redeeming our withered and broken soul and making them beautiful. We want to grow in character and good works and purity. And above all, we want Christ to be our source of beauty more then the clothes we wear and how we look.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Simply You!

Olivia and I are both greatly endeared and devoted to the concept of modesty—both inner and outward. As such, we have both realized that dressing fashionably doesn’t have to be a violation of that modesty. Wearing fun colors, mixing and matching, layering, using fun accents…all of these are things that can make us as girls & women feel alive, confident in our own unique personalities, and ready to show the world bits and pieces our essence in Christ.

Olivia and I love to see people finding their own personal styles and vibes, and to encourage that we’ve decided to start a fun fashion feature. Once a month, we’ll be posting pictures and fun fashion tips that will hopefully inspire you to uncover some of the great personality that God has given YOU and spread a little joy in that expression.

So, without further ado...

Autumn is well upon us now, and for me it brings a sense of both nostalgia and aspiration. Who says we can't have the new without the old and faithful mixed in?

What happens when you take something traditional like plaid, and mix it with a graphic tee? Well, this is one thing I absolutely LOVE to do! Taking ordinary pieces and putting them together to make something extraordinary is probably my single biggest thrill when it comes to style.

One thing I've taught myself to see is that colors aren't always what they seem on first appearance. If you immediately think two colors are going to clash, take a minute to look again. You might find something unique and fun!

In this cozy fall ensemble, a simple purple scarf with a little bit of creativity can evolve into a fun and unique outfit. Try mixing a few layered necklaces or a brightly colored headband with this look to make it a little more interesting!

This month's question...

Do you think seasonal colors should be strictly adhered to?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Musings on Pride and Prejudice

Most people look at Pride and Prejudice and simply see a sweet love story. In truth, that’s how I saw it from just the perspective of the movie. Yet, upon reading the book I have found that it goes far deeper then that.

Pride and Prejudice is simply a story of well... pride and prejudice. (Wow... I know... I was able to figure that out. Three cheers for Olivia!) It shows the folly of making hasty judgments, that people are not always as they seem, and that there is almost always more then what meets the eye. The lesson to be gleaned from reading the book is that being humbled can be just what we need and to carefully guard the premises on which opinions are made.

Personally, I found the book to be in one word: refreshing. Something about that time so long ago when things were so different… where women were generally treated with respect, where there was public dancing that was the cool kind, where people drove carriages and would walk to places, and when you would go to visit people for extended periods of time and it was nothing but normal. It was a time when things were simpler and people weren’t always hurrying from one activity to the next mindlessly, but they enjoined each other’s company and staid busy in the most peaceful sort of way. To step back into that time through the eyes of Jane Austen was delightful.

Another difference in the time that I did not notice until the end of the book was that the physical expression of romantic love was never expressed by so much more then the looks in their eyes. No mention of so much as characters holding hands was so much as hinted at and in a world where even the “Christian” romance talks about the physical side, it was missing here. Love was shown through words and actions and at times the expressions on your face. The endearing happiness and success of a marriage did not depend on the fact if they were a good kisser, and in an over sexualized world, it’s again in a word, refreshing.

In our culture no one so much as bats an eye when hearing of a couple living together before marriage. It happens so often that even Christians simply go “it’s sad” then move on. Yet, in the culture of England in the 1700s, the idea that a couple had run away together and were not to be married was a sure way of bringing shame and ruin unto entire families. It was talked about with the highest feelings of disgrace and disapproval and even pity. It struck me as an bold difference and as a single of how far our world has come from the days where immorality were disgraceful and purity a crown.

I love how the books talks about how the love between Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy, especially on Elizabeth’s side, was not one of love at first sight but as Jane Austen would put it, the affections were based off of gratitude and esteem. There was a sense of admiration, especially to Mr. Darcy’s feelings for Elizabeth that was not lust but instead the highest esteem for her as a person, particularly her sharp mind and playful spirit.

I do believe that the reason why so many have fallen in love with Jane Austen’s most famous novel is for two major reasons: one, it portrays a beautiful love story. And two, it takes us back into a time that is so different from ours that we are curious and entranced by it. The beautiful writing style of Jane Austen, her vibrant characters, intricate plot, and talent for storytelling has won hearts, including mine.