I’m watching Glee and a commercial for Maybelline Dream Liquid Mousse comes on the TV.
Like most makeup commercials, the woman has flawless skin, model-like cheekbones, plump lips, striking eyes, and silky, voluminous hair. The voice-over tells us that we can look just like her if we use this product.
The foundation is for “poreless perfection.” I stop what I’m doing and look up at the TV. Really? This makeup will make me look like I don’t have any pores on my face?
I go to the website, and, sure enough, Maybelline tells me:
- smooth, 100% poreless finish with natural luminosity
- Air-brushed natural perfection
- Blends effortlessly for a flawless, air-brushed finish
The “100% poreless” concerns me a little. Can my science-major girls back me up on this one? Why do we have pores on our face? I assume it’s not because the Creator of the Universe said, “Hey, I know what I can do to annoy the heck out of teenage girls everywhere – I’ll give them tiny dots on their face that occasionally erupt into volcanic cysts.” I think that maybe it had something more to do with, “In my perfect wisdom, I know that the skin of the human body requires these structures to function.”
And, hey – Isn’t “air-brushed natural perfection” an oxymoron? Whose skin is “naturally” perfect? In photography, doesn’t “air-brushing” mean that we alter the natural photo?
Now, I will be the first to admit that I hate leaving the house without wearing eyeliner and mascara, because, as much as I know that God doesn’t make mistakes, sometimes I think that I would have liked for Him to make me with large, expressive eyes. And, in the interest of full disclosure, I own several Maybelline products – but I will not be purchasing Dream Liquid Mousse.
This got me thinking about cosmetics in general. Something about making it look like I don’t have any pores is weird and disturbing to me. Everybody has pores. I understand the desire to look like somebody else, but nobody has poreless skin! Talk about unattainable standards of beauty. Why are we trying to erase – literally – what God has created?
Am I being hypocritical? I mean, I shave my legs. Probably less frequently than 95% of American women, because I’m generally too lazy to go through the effort, but on occasion, I’ve been known to break out the Venus razor and shave my legs to silky smoothness. No woman is born without hair on her legs, so am I trying to erase what God has made for me here? I guess that I think that shaving my legs is somewhat more justifiable and natural because I like it- I love crawling into my flannel sheets with smooth legs! I don’t know what I would like about poreless skin, except that I might look like a magazine cover instead of a living, breathing, (sometimes sweating) human being. And I don’t think I would like that much at all, to be honest.
Maybe she’s born with it? Nobody is born without pores! Maybe it’s Maybelline – obviously it’s Maybelline, because it sure isn’t natural!
What we aren’t born with: perfect, flawless, luminous, poreless skin (even babies get little pimples!)
What we are born with: the love of an all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-loving, compassionate God, who knows us and our thoughts (including our desires to have perfect-looking skin!), and who looks at the beauty of our hearts, not our cheekbones.
“For you created my inmost being,
you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
Your eyes saw my unformed body.”
I don’t think it’s time (yet) for a ceremonial makeup burning, with Maybelline’s Dream Liquid Mousse on the top of the bonfire. Just be aware of what we are being promised when we see commercials like this – and to what standards we’re holding ourselves!
By Jessica Rice