I was sitting in a crowded restaurant with my family when she walked by in her full-length white satin dress delicately trimmed in lace and studded with tiny “jewels,” crinoline that swished as she moved across the room, a rhinestone tiara upon her head, and pearl studded slippers on her feet.  Golden ringlets framed her rosy cheeks and puckered lips glistened with a hint of gloss.  She knew she was beautiful and glanced around at the admiring smiles of onlookers as she walked through the crowd.  She was three-years-old.

I’m not sure when the dream of being beautiful enters a little girl’s mind, but I do know when the dream ends – when the preacher says, “may she rest in peace.” 

I remember as a little girl sneaking into my mother’s closet and slipping my child-size feet into her size seven high heels.  I’d also stand on my tiptoes on a chair, pull a hat off the top shelf, and plop it on my head like an oversized lampshade.  Her satin evening jacket with sleeves that hug eight inches below my finger tips gave a nice elegant touch to my outfit.  A lady going to a party would never be caught without “putting on her face,” so I crept into the bathroom, opened the forbidden drawer, and created a clownish work of art on the palette of my face.  Red rouge circles on my cheeks, heaps of blue eye shadow on my munchkin lids, and smeared orange lipstick far exceeding the proper border were finished off with a dusting of facial powder with an oversized brush.

From the time a little girl stretches on her tiptoes to get a peek in the mirror, she desires to be beautiful – perhaps like her mommy.  As the girl moves into the teen years, she experiments with makeup, delves into fashion, and attempts various hairstyles.  Then it’s on to makeover ideas in magazines and on talk shows.  If one idea doesn’t work – well there’s always next month.

I believe the dream to be beautiful is not cultural, but at the very core of womanhood.  John Eldredge, in his book Wild at Heart, describes three longings that lie at the heart of every man:  a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, an adventure to live.  He also ventures to say that women have three longings of the heart as well: to be fought for, to share in an adventure, and to have her beauty unveiled.  “Not to conjure,” Eldredge explains, “but to unveil.  Most women feel the pressure to be beautiful from very young, but that is not what I speak of.  There is also a deep desire to simply and truly be the beauty and be delighted in.  Most little girls will remember playing dress up, or wedding day, or ‘twirling skirts,’ those flowing dresses that were perfect for spinning around in.   She’ll put her pretty dress on, come into the living room and twirl.  What she longs for is to capture her daddy’s delight.” (John Eldredge, Wild at Heart (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2001) p16-17)

We should never be ashamed of our dream to be beautiful.  It is a travesty of the feminist movement that has tried to strip women of their femininity and make them more male.  It is as if those in the movement were saying that being a woman wasn’t good enough and tried to make us into men. So they tried to make women tough, independent and rugged individuals who didn’t need anyone or anything.  But those who were banking on the tenants of feminism were left spiritually and emotionally bankrupt.

A woman was and is one of God’s most magnificent creations.  As a matter of fact, she was His grand finale.  After He fashioned Eve, creation was complete and He took a rest!   God has placed in our hearts a love for beauty and a desire to be beautiful – as He defines it.