To my three daughters,
Here’s what I need you to do. I know, kids aren’t allowed to say bad words, but this is important. Repeat after me: bull. Good job, like Ferdinand—yes. Okay. Now shit. Now please smash them together. Yeah, bullshit. Good job!
That’s what you tell people, magazines, and the internet when they insist you could benefit from CC (color correcting) Cream. Because your skin doesn’t need correcting. Let’s change it to Carefully Crafted cream instead. You may wear Carefully Crafted cream shamelessly. Apply the other kind with more caution, even if it does work miracles.
Also, pores repulse people in 2016. Yes I know, that sounds silly to me too, because skin is biologically amazing and necessary. Pores help our insides get out, and the outside get in, they keep us alive.
What would happen if those little life-giving skin breathers stopped inhaling and exhaling? Death. What would happen if love stopped oozing out and back in? Death. That’s exactly what they want: the more dead we become, the less we question the importance of pores. We begin questioning our purpose and our worth instead.
But that’s confusing when they want us to shimmer and shine at the same time, isn’t it? Wait—you want us to shirk, correct, mattify, and cover up while sparkling?
Sweet girls, I see your sparkles, and they don’t come from the lip gloss. Your glitter shakes out of you like salt from a shaker, each fearless skip leaves a little behind. The big climbing tree on 11th & Saint Paul still wears your pixie dust from our walk last weekend.
I want you to know that you are loved even if your lips haven’t been stung by bees. I want you to know your un-stung, pain-free, un-touched lips are so pretty to me. Remember that you don’t have to hurt to be a pretty human.
It’s hard trying to stay true while loving ourselves and others, especially when wearing a brand of make-up that encourages duplicit behavior. Two faces could never love the people of this world as well as the one God carefully crafted. That’s the one I want to see.
It will take a few decades for you understand that one face is all you need, maybe even a lifetime, but Daddy and I will be cheering that one face along every step of the journey. Okay?
Don’t worry girls, they don’t really want you to leave your make-up on forever. They’ve created an entire industry to help remove all those colorful, stinging, shimmering layers. But they’d prefer you look like you’re always wearing make-up.
I think all the pores and humanity scares them. Your humanity doesn’t need to scare you, my Loves.
Hear that: You’re humanity doesn’t need to scare you.
Finally, gravity. The Sag. It’s going to happen. Hug. But here is what I know: God came as sacrificial, lowly servant, a pedicurist. God did not come to conquer, exalt, inflate, or lift. God comes to Love—to get looooow, deep into the cracks of humanity—God lets gravity help. Let your body listen to that.
As you deflate you become more like God.
How do I communicate just how pretty and perfect and bright you all are? Every day I get to look at my three girls, who will become women, and I hurt inside with all the Love. Big, benign love tumors invade my heart, redirecting blood supply, wreaking havoc on all the things I thought I knew about love.
Here’s what I can do: I can teach you to call bullshit!
I can teach you to talk about your pore-y fears and your imperfect eyebrows. We can call bullshit! together, because I’m still learning all of this. And after we talk about the fears, comparisons, and unfair expectations, we can pray about them. We can ask God to remind us about the day S/He breathed into clay and called it Good. We can ask for help remembering that you are Good, along with everyone else.
If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, you are all a blessing to behold.