I haven’t brushed my hair with an actual brush in over 8 months. The reason? I was strongly influenced by a group of girls I worked with this past summer and it changed me…not for the better.
I was a TC (Travis Crew…aka work crew) for T Bar M Camps this past summer. I lived with 8 other girls, all of which were very girly. Before camp, I spent little to no time in front of the mirror; actually, I only spent the few minutes it took to brush my teeth. Well, at camp, I was with a group of girls I didn’t know, but I had to be with for the next 4 weeks, and I wanted to fit in. So, when they would spend 20-30 minutes every morning fretting over their appearance, it rubbed off on me. I slowly began spending more time in the mirror, just slightly though. I mainly spent a few extra minutes making sure my hair was brushed and looked all right. Well, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I started struggling with my self-image as a result of this. I don’t wear make-up; I didn’t all through high school, and still do not to this day. However, during this month, seeing 8 girls apply make-up every morning, and wanting to fit in, I caught myself wishing I had make-up that I could wear as well. I hadn’t worn make-up in 4 years, and suddenly, after a few days, I wanted to? Not cool. Not me.
I had a reality check with myself after I left camp. I didn’t like that I was so ready and willing to change who I was, who God had shown me I was in Psalm 139. I was home for a week, and then headed to Deer Creek for the rest of the summer. I would not let the mindset of “you must wear make-up and do your hair everyday in order to be beautiful” be truth for me. So, I literally threw away my brush. (I didn’t have any make-up to throw away, or else that would have gone too.) It’s that simple. I threw away the brush.
It had become a stumbling block for me. I cut it out of my life; I made sure it wouldn’t trick me into false truths this world throws at you. So, while working at a camp, both on work crew and as a counselor, I didn’t brush my hair, or even look in a mirror. I decided that I wouldn’t even look in a mirror, now that’s probably a jaw dropper for most females on this planet. “What, you didn’t look in a mirror…At all? Are you insane?” Maybe. But then again, maybe not.
For a month and a half at camp, I didn’t brush my hair or look in the mirror to put my hair into a ponytail. It was awesome! I found out so many things through this experience. I’ll only list 3 though. (1) My identity is not found in my outward appearance. Proverbs 31:30 became real for me. (2) When I was spending time in front of the mirror, I found what I considered to be “flaws” with myself. When I stopped peering into a mirror, God started saying things like, “You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you.” (SOS 4:7) (oh, and this too.) (3) I understood that I had no desire to be noticed for my outward appearance. If someone notices me because they think I am pretty, or have nice hair styles, or dress well, and that’s what they’re immediately attracted to, well, sorry but that’s not what matters. I want to be known for who I am, my personality, my values, my beliefs and standards. Not what I look like.
So, for the past 8 months I haven’t brushed my hair. I haven’t worn make-up. And I haven’t fretted over what I’m going to wear the next day. God has become the one I seek approval from, not the world. I might not always look “good” by the worlds standards but I know that my Father looks on me with adorning eyes, and frankly, He’s the only one I’m ever going to try and impress. Everyone else will just have to be content with me the way I am. My no make-up on, shirt and shorts, non-brushed hair, self.