Remembering Queen Esther, Without the Makeup

In our last post (Why We Show Our Beautiful Face), we noted how beauty is a key factor that holds the self-confidence and persona of people together.

Beauty is how we view ourselves. It helps us navigate through the world and determines how we view others and how others view us.

While it is uncertain which is more important, the interplay between our beautiful selves and how others see us is part of a changing constellation of how we build or demolish our self-esteem.

But there is another part of the story of what make-up can, and cannot, produce. The problem is that cosmetics often only affects your external beauty. It makes you feel better and more in control, but it also should improve your inner beauty. The key is to make your beauty more than skin deep.

This is not a new concept. Consider the story of the biblical figure, Queen Esther, a heroine in Jewish history, who used her inner beauty, devoid of makeup, to convince King Ahasuerus (Xerxes I, 485—465 BCE) of Persia to save the Jews from a massacre.

In the story, Esther’s “true honor of the princess is within” (Psalms 45:15) meaning she had an inner beauty many others missed, but this quality attracted the attention of the King, whose favorite harem wife, Vashti, was a palace favorite since she would dance naked in front of dinner guests.

As told in an article by Sara Esther Crispe, “Esther was actually of a greenish complexion, but that she had a ’thread of grace’ that was upon her. We are taught that when the internal is elevated and beautiful, it will show through to the external, so that she can be seen as nothing other than beautiful.”

Esther’s inner charm and cunning saved her people, while Vashti succumbed to old age and was ultimately banished from the palace. Vashti’s makeup and firm body did not save her, and she lost out to a woman of inner beauty.

Almost 2,500 years later, cosmetics has become a $382 billion a year business worldwide. But what are women buying?

Products that make women look better on the outside, when true beauty is really found on the inside.

In my book, You Don’t Think I’m Beautiful, I met many women who looked very different face-to-face than their online photos.  One woman boasted to me that her online photo was enhanced with the help of a world renowned makeup artist and in person this was very evident.  I don’t know why she told me this since it was too evident, but she did, and it only exaggerated the gap between exterior and interior beauty.

I never saw her after that, but she bet that the impact of makeup and its temporary deception that fades from day to night and sun to shade did not compensate for that inner quality that always shines through.

Sadly, there are too many stories like that, but this is not a slam on cosmetics, only on their managed role in building a relationship and knowing that it has limitations that can easily be overcome by other more permanent, human qualities.

For more stories on the trials and tribulations of online dating, read the book, You Don’t Think I’m Beautiful, on Amazon.

 

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