For most of the years before getting married, I struggled with feeling beautiful. I had come to a place of accepting that this body, this face, this skin tone was given to me by God and I accepted it, but when I looked in the mirror and compared myself with other women, I failed to see myself as beautiful. Then I met Damon.
Initially, when Damon would make suggestions of things to do with my hair or dress, I would become very offended, thinking that he was not satisfied with how I looked. Then one day, he sat me down and shared this with me: “Babe, I think you are thinking that when I make suggestions that I am somehow thinking YOU are not beautiful to me. You are so beautiful to me. You face, skin, body, spirit…all of you is beautiful. I am just giving you suggestions on things you can wear that I think will bring out your natural beauty more.”
As women we struggle with allowing our man to help us fix our appearance. Maybe we don’t feel like it, or we think he doesn’t know what he is talking about, but one day I had an epiphany! Why in the world would I want to NOT look attractive to the one I say that I love? If a man is a visual being, and he is drawn to a woman by what she looks like, why on earth would I want to look in such a way that is not attractive to him and then expect him to be completely happy? Is that even fair to him? In this world filled with women, and in a marriage where we have pledged to stay true forever, why would I not strive to make myself regularly pleasing to his eyes?? Why would I make his natural instinct to be drawn to beauty a burden, because the only place he can see the beauty he desires is on someone else that is NOT his wife??? He can’t come home and find it because I refuse to honor his desires. He goes out into the world and has to spend all day, fighting against his instinct to be drawn to beauty he desires. Then he comes home from work and his need for feasting his eyes on beauty he desires is never met. I had to think about that for a minute!
Anyway, eventually I started to listen to him and make adjustments to my wardrobe, make-up and hair based on those things that I felt he liked. I began to gauge what times did I seem the most irresistible to him and I took note of what I was wearing on those days or how I wore my hair on those days. After doing that little bit of “research,” I started to develop a “style” for myself that drew his attention more. This style involved a lot of simplicity. When I first met him, I wore bold clothes, jewelry and my hair was sometimes over the top. Damon would say, “Babe, you’re so small and petite, and you have these really feminine features. When you wear all that stuff, it hides you. I want to see more of YOU.” At first I thought he wanted me to be more conservative, and then he explained again, “Babe, I love how artsy you are, but simplify it a bit more. I don’t want you to be conservative. Your creative way is one of the things that drew me to you.”
Back to the drawing board. I went for simple with a little spice. I stopped wearing so much make up and whittled things down to a touch of foundation when my skin has blemishes, lip gloss and maybe a little neutral eye shadow. No eye liner or blush. I now wear my hair in the one style he loves (since I cut out my locs)-twists (because he says, he misses my locs and he feels this style is the closest thing to locs), and I usually wear one or 2 bold items, and everything else is simple. He loves this style and honestly, I do too! I feel so naturally beautiful. I feel more confident. I feel that I no longer am hiding behind make-up and bold clothes. He says, that I look like a wild and free natural beauty. My “chocolateness” stands out, my facial features are not “played down”, and by him speaking into my life he has driven me more to embracing me and not what society tells me I should look like. He is not changing me into something that I am not, but his love for my natural self has inspired me to love me more as well.
With developing a style that shows more of ME, my confidence has grown and with that even others have commented on how young I look. This battle of women resisting their mate’s views on their appearance is really not wise. We see ourselves from within, but our mates who love us, see us from the outside, and thus have a very different perspective on what really compliments us. I had to come to a place of trusting that he was not trying to hurt me or show dissatisfaction with how God created me. I had to realize that his expression of what he likes to see me wear and how to look is his way of saying, “I love you and I love to look at you and I want others to see the beauty that I see in you.” My love, my partner, my soul mate has brought me to a place of truly embracing what God has said about me all the time, that I am “Fearfully and wonderfully made…”