I have a friend who is beautiful. She’s smart, funny, and has tons going for her. But she’s a little too into her appearance. When she spends the night, she takes, like, an hour in the bathroom to get ready. She wears a ton of make-up. And, any time she passes by a mirror, she has to look at herself and fix her hair.
How do I tell her that she’s being vain? That she cares way too much about her appearance? Should I even say anything?
Sincerely, A Fashion Worried Friend
Dear Fashion Worried Friend,
I think we’ve all had friends like that. Or maybe even a sister. They have so much going for them, we wonder why in the world they’re hiding behind a mask of makeup and curling irons. So what is a good meaning friend to do?
Set a good example
Before you talk to her, take a good look at yourself. How into your appearance are you? How much time do you spend getting ready in the morning? How much time do you spend talking about your clothes, or even other people’s clothes? If you want to see her change in a good way, start off by changing yourself in a good way.
Invite her over for a sleep over. Make some fun DIY face masks (you know, oatmeal, avocado, the whole bit). After you do your facials, put on p.j.s and don’t put on makeup. Rock a ponytail, have fun, and remind her that you don’t have to be a fashion diva to have fun and feel good about yourself. And an extra challenge? Try to get out and do something the next morning without putting on make-up or doing your hair. An idea for that is to go on a walk and end up at Starbucks.
Build her up
When you see her, compliment any less-is-more strides that she takes. Tell her how great she looks when she wears her hair naturally. At the end of the day when her lipstick has worn off or first thing in the morning before she goops up her eyes with eyeliner, tell her how great she looks.
Find the root
Chances are, all the attention to outward appearance has to do with an inner insecurity. Is there something else going on there? Maybe she’s feeling like she has to compete with her friends. Or maybe she’s trying to impress guys. Whatever the root cause, talk to her and figure it out. Then give her godly, Biblical love and Scriptures that have to do with finding your fullness and satisfaction in Christ.
If you want to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your friend or sister, make sure it isn’t just a rag session. Tell her all the wonderful qualities she has and that you don’t want to see those things diminished by having too much focus on her outer appearance. And make sure you have the right to speak into her life. If you aren’t really that close to her, a heart-to-heart will probably come off as condescending and critical.
Question: What are some things you’ve done to spend less time on your physical image? Is there any part of your fashion routine that you could cut out to let your natural beauty show? Any make-up you could stop wearing or hair styles you could change?
- Frugal Beauty: How to Look Good on a Budget (getrichslowly.org)