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Faith, wearing make-up, and those comfy pajamas

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Shutterstock - InesBazdar

Josephine McCaul - published on 01/28/24

How wearing make-up is not necessarily a bad thing for women of faith, but as for pajamas on the school run ...

As Catholics we’re reminded that we have been made in God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:26). In this sense we could say that we reflect God and therefore our job on earth is to reflect His nature and being. And, as God is perfect, we could ask whether in our reflection of Him, is there any room for make-up?

I’m personally a make-up lover. Nothing too over-the-top, but as a very pale person I wear enough to make me look less “fresh from the morgue” when I step outside. In fact I never leave the house without a slight boost to the face.

This reliance on make-up started at university. Having a naturally ghostly complexion meant lecturers would often ask if I were feeling unwell. While their concern was lovely, it was also a little demoralizing, considering I generally felt as fit as a fiddle.

Therefore, I took my face in hand and decided to bring a little color to my cheeks. Now a few decades later it’s something I have continued to do, and fully intend maintaining the ritual until I die — and even then, I’d appreciate it if the morticians would apply a little blush to the old cheeks.

Is it vanity?

I could ask if I’m being vain. However, I don’t think so. I feel I’m actually considering the people I’m going to meet in my day. I want to look my best, to show them that I’m making an effort in my appearance as I feel they’re worth it — just as we might wear our Sunday best to Mass. Also, I certainly don’t want them to worry about my health!

And this is something I take into consideration whenever I visit my elderly parents. I absolutely hate my mother worrying about me. She has eyes as sharp as an eagle and will notice any change in my appearance. I therefore ensure that whenever I visit, I’m looking as fresh as a daisy with skin that radiates thanks to a little bronzer and blusher, and lips that have a healthy rosy hue.

There’s also another bonus to wearing make-up. When I get ready in the morning I spend about five minutes applying the basics. In those precious minutes I can gather my thoughts for the day. As my skin feels a little more radiant, I generally feel upbeat about what lies ahead. For me this radiance is how I hope to reflect God in me.

Putting on lipstick in closeup

Getting out of those pajamas

This desire to make an effort is also reflected in my choice of clothing. I know it is controversial to dictate what anyone should wear, but seeing people in pajamas outside the house seems to be becoming the norm.

I won’t deny that there’s nothing nicer than pulling on some snuggly pajamas after a day’s work. Yet, I can’t help feel a little alarmed by the number of parents who arrive at the school gates in pajamas of some sort. Understandably people are quick to point out that it’s hard to get yourself ready, get the kids dressed and fed and out of the door to school on time. After having four kids, I can totally relate to this.

However, as my kids were growing up, even if things were complete pandemonium at home, there’s no way I could have contemplated wearing pajamas for the school drop-off. It was a question of respect for myself, and for those I might meet along the way — and if I had a flat tire, would I want to be out there in my PJs?

The importance of making an effort

And then I think of my mom who had nine children. I have vivid memories of her lugging us all up the hill to school in our perfectly pressed uniforms that she’d prepared the night before. As more babies came along we’d still have to be beautifully presented for school, as was my mother. She would never leave the house without a touch of lipstick.

I appreciate times have changed, but it is rather important to remember the example we want to give our own children: it’s important to make an effort in life, even if those pajamas are completely irresistible.

Of course, in the grand scheme of things, we are so much more than our outward appearance. However, by taking a few minutes in my day to get ready and feel a little more groomed, I feel I’m not only able to face whatever comes my way, I’m also hopefully reflecting a little joy and radiance to others.

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Catholic LifestyleEducationWomen
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