Makeup Makes you Prettier?

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Be ready for this week’s video! Every Monday by 6pm for the next 7 weeks.

I know what you’re thinking. Duh Nina, of course makeup makes you prettier. Please choose a more though provoking topic next time. But wait- random stranger or perhaps friend reading my blog post, there’s more. I’d like to argue that although makeup can superficially improve your outward appearance, true beauty comes from who you are. Ah, what a cliche message? But I swear it’s true, and if you were to really believe this truth, it may very well change how you choose to live your life.

I’ve been there. I’ve been completed obsessed with how I looked and to be honest, there are benefits. And, I mean, can you blame me? Look at our society, look at our culture. Women are praised for the appearance alone. There was a point in my life when I’d rather be called pretty than anything else. Songs, movie and media praise women for looking nice. In a world in which we make opinions about people within seconds of meeting them, how you choose to dress and groom yourself appears to be of utmost importance, but the bible has a different argument.

1 Timothy 2:9-10

“9 I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes,10 but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.”

 

I was sitting at a bakery reading the above passage, mid bite of delicious chocolate cake, when first a wave of anger hit me, then conviction. How often did I rely on my looks or clothing to represent myself rather than my deeds? How many times had I in heels and a full face of makeup treated other people with contempt? The world may praise my cute outfit combos but the bible was pretty clear about its standards for women of God. I was spending way too much time in my life investing in something that wasn’t even important. I’m reminded of the comic below:

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Yes, makeup can make you prettier but who you makes you beautiful. Who you transcends the wrinkles of age or the random parts of your face you happen to not like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I am Not a Slave to Social Media

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(I’d like to preface by saying that not all social media is bad and that I’m not against it in any shape or form. It can all just get extremely tiring.)

I found a journal from the beginning of my college years and was astonished to see that many of my concerns circled around social media. Worrying about why I was worried (I know, right?) about the number of likes I would get on pictures or statuses or whatever else I would post. I remember gently calming myself and telling undergraduate Nina that there was more to life the the number of likes on my page, or lack there of.

Now, as a graduate student I reflect on my life and my presence on social media and the first feeling that surfaces is utmost disgust.

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(Yes, my friend and I really did make a ranking of the tiers of friendship, so insightful, I know.)

I’m reminded of my tendencies to talk way too much in class discussions and how I would mentally remind myself not to volunteer my opinions for a particular question. I am overwhelmed with the presence of myself everywhere I look. Selfies on my instagram, pictures on my blog, snapchats and the list goes on. There will be no question years from now what Nina looked like. No mystery in my life. No private moments that just I experienced. So much so that just as I long to remain silent during certain lectures, I now need to see less of myself all over my social media.

I turn to scriptures are feel ashamed of my vanity, realizing how sparse my time really is.

Ecclesiastes 1:2

“Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “Vanity of vanities! All is vanity.”

Then I think about all of my fashion posts, which I do love and enjoy posting. But at some point I grow tired of assembling my tripod and fixing my makeup to pose for a couple of pictures for my blog. I think about how fake I am at times and how I attempt to lie through social media.

 

Exhibit A.

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What does it look like I was thinking before taking this picture?

I remember this picture distinctly because before taking it I felt so ugly. I felt unattractive so I took a picture as digital proof that I could be pretty. But somehow looking at this picture always does just the opposite. I look at this photo and I acknowledge a lie I tried to tell myself and my instagram followers, “I feel good and confident, let me add this filter right here that highlights my features just right”

I look at 1 Peter 3:3-4 and read, “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” I think of my extensive collection of Indian attire, my mother’s skill at wrapping a sari and arsenal of makeup products. But am beautiful inside? Am I gentle and quiet and really of significant worth before the Lord? 

Every minute, I age and there will be a time when my hair isn’t as dark black and my skin won’t be as firm and my legs as strong. But as I think on the fragility of my life and how easily it can be taken, I look to 2 Corinthians 4:16 which reads, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.”

Everyday I am decaying, growing weaker and smaller but my spirit grows stronger day by day.

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON! (Sari Sunday: November 15, 2015)

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This week’s Sari Sunday features the phenomenal Shannon Mathew. HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHANNON! I’ve known this beauty for her entire life and I’m so happy to feature her in this week’s Sari Sunday. Thank you to Susan Mathew for taking these pictures! I hope our poses aren’t too offensive….

Sari Sunday: November 8, 2015

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This week’s Sari Sunday is neither a Sari or something I wore on Sunday. Opps. Haha I wore this dress for a bridal shower yesterday and paired it with henna stickers on my hand. I got the stickers from a trip a few years ago to India. It started to come off but still looked pretty good all day. I love this dress! I wish I had more with a similar design. It was purchased at Marshalls.

Sari Sunday October 11, 2015

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Today I wore a simple yellow salwar. The pants just did not fit :X so I paired it with white salwar pants from a different salwar, I actually really liked how this salwar looked with white. I’m also wearing these shoes from Clarks. My feet are wide but they somehow fit into these boots. I did feel a little pain from wearing these. The struggle of having wide feet!  But these shoes are my mom’s so I won’t be wearing them that often. I recently decided to start wearing WIDE shoes instead of forcing myself to wear medium size shoes and feeling pain all day. I hope ya’ll are having a great Sunday! Below is a picture of me wearing this same salwar a different way.

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I am seriously tempted to cut my hair again! I’m not into my current hair length and short hair was nice. But I’m going to try to grow it out long again and then make the chop again. A little girl once told me I looked like the princess from Tangled, that was the best day of my life. LOL Just Joking, a little.

Unibrow on fleek

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Jasleen and I 🙂 

Growing up I hated my eyebrows. My eyebrows were always these massive caterpillars dominating my face and I remember begging my mom to get them threaded. She finally let me start getting them done when I turned 12 years old. This marked the “post eyebrow” phase of my life.

Now-a-days these eyebrows I once loathed are actually the latest fashion statement (once they are threaded) and people PAY for eyebrows like mine. I couldn’t believe it. My entire existence I never had the “thing” people wanted. Let’s face it, our media loves the skinny white blonde and there isn’t much representation of people who look like me.  With a minor change in culture my unibrow was suddenly on fleek. It reminded me of visiting India and see magazines with girls with my skin color and feeling shocked.

Unfortunately growing up I was really bad at getting my eyebrows done consistently. I would typically wait for my eyebrows to almost grow back completely to get them done again. The eyebrow ladies hated  me and I swear they avoided me like the plague.

Now I feel really weird whenever people compliment my eyebrows. I think back to high school when a friend told me she thought people with big eyebrows needed them threaded. (….aka me) I also think back to a comic I once saw. A little girl wanted her unibrow gone until you went into a museum and saw a Frida Kahlo painting (below) and realized that what her peers found ugly was beautiful in a different context.

kahlo-1Here’s the message I want to leave you with. Beauty is subjective and what is ugly today may be beautiful tomorrow. So can we try to look beyond our outward appearance?

Proverbs 31:30 “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.”