Why would a woman not want to display her beauty? Why would she want to wear clothing that hides her skin, her form or even her face and hair? As part of a broader series on women’s dress and beauty I wanted to tackle these questions here in a separate post.
These are 6 reasons women typically hide their beauty:
Reason #1 – Some women believe God only wants their beauty displayed to their husbands privately
Many devout religious women, both Christian and non-Christian (such as the Muslim and Amish Christian women above), hide their beauty for religious reasons. They truly believe that God wants them to hide their beauty, and he only wants them to display it privately for their husbands.
Reason #2 – Some women believe they will lead men to sinful thoughts if they display their beauty
The same devout religious women who hide their beauty only for their husbands in private, often hide their beauty for a second reason. They believe if they display their beauty they may cause other men to have sexual thoughts towards them and thus fall into sin.
Reason #3 – Some women don’t want to be sexual objects for men’s viewing pleasure
Here we come to the first non-religious reason why some women hide their beauty. They hide it because they don’t want to be “objectified by men”. They don’t want men receiving pleasure from seeing their beauty.
Reason #4 – Some women don’t believe they are beautiful
Some women simply do not believe they are beautiful. They look around at other women they do not feel that they measure up, so they give up and hide their beauty.
Reason #5 – Some women are just plain lazy
Some women have no religious, political, or emotional reason for hiding their beauty. They are just simply lazy and do not want to take the time to properly display their beauty.
Reason #6 – Some women are forbidden by their culture or their husbands from displaying their beauty
Some women would love to display their beauty in public, but either their husband or their culture forbid them from doing so.
A plea to Christian women who hide their beauty on religious grounds
First and foremost, if you are not a Christian, I invite you to accept Jesus Christ as your savior, because he and his Word will change your life and outlook forever if you let him.
There is a simple undeniable truth in God’s creation – man was built for function, woman was built for beauty. A woman’s beauty is symbolic of the beauty of Christ’s Church.
God did not make you the beautiful creature that you are, only for you to hide your beauty. He meant for your beauty to be displayed to the world. As believers we may believe in different standards of how and where we display that beauty, but we should be able to agree that God meant a woman’s beauty to be on display for all to see.
God gave you the unique form you have, your beautiful hair, face, eyes, lips, breasts, hips and legs as works of art. He did not intend for you to wear clothing that is so baggy or bulky that someone could not discern your form as a woman.
Yes God call’s women to modesty (I Timothy 2:9), but modesty means “appropriateness”. It means you should wear clothing that is appropriate to the occasion that you are in. You certainly should not wear shorts and tang top to worship in Church. But this same clothing would appropriate for a summer picnic with friends or playing volleyball at the beach.
God does not want women dressing like prostitutes, but there is nothing wrong with a woman wearing a sexier form fitting dress for a night on the town with her husband.
Nothing in the Bible says anything about you dressing to not lead other men into lust (sexual covetousness) – check it out for yourself, this is never a motivator for a Christian woman dresses. You dress for God, and for your husband. Please read my post on What does the Bible say about Lust to learn what it actually says, verses what many churches teach on this subject.
Please see my post – 7 Principles for how a Christian woman should dress For Biblical guidelines to follow on how to dress as a Christian woman.
A plea to women who don’t want to be objects for men’s viewing pleasure
If you are this type of woman, I am most likely talking to a feminist. You don’t like how society sees women as sexual objects for men’s pleasure. Your dress style is a protest against the culture. If you are not a Christian, I invite you to call on Christ today to save you and let him change your life. If you are a Christian then I invite you to reexamine your world view in light of God’s Word. The Bible is clear that God made woman for man, and for many reasons. One of those reasons is for him to experience her beauty.
In the same way that God experiences pleasure from the beauty of his church, men are meant to experience pleasure from the beauty of women around them. God meant for women to want to be beautiful, and he wired men to appreciate that beauty.
Your war against God’s creation, and his design, will never make you happy. Only when you surrender to God’s will and his design, will you finally find peace.
A plea to women who don’t think they are beautiful
Perhaps you are a woman that never had a father to tell you that you were beautiful. Maybe you did have a dad, but he always made you feel bad about yourself. Maybe you have an idea based on what you see on TV or in the stores that you don’t measure up to what is considered “beautiful” in our culture.
If you did not have a father that made you feel beautiful, I am very sorry about that. But the good news is, you have a heavenly father who does believe you are beautiful. He created you, he thinks you are wonderful. He wants you to accentuate your beauty in the best way that you can.
Are some women more beautiful than others? Yes. To say otherwise, would be a blatant falsehood. But that does not mean that each woman cannot be beautiful in her own way.
I wrote an entire post on this subject of finding your beauty in – What if I don’t have an hour glass figure?
A plea to lazy women
So you simply don’t care how you look? Maybe you are married, maybe you are not. Even if you are not married, God calls you to do your best at whatever you do:
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord”
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
I Corinthians 10:31(NIV)
So whether you are married or single, God expects your best in all areas of your life. You need to make yourself as beautiful as you can, in honor of God. When you are married, then you have even more reason to keep yourself beautiful in honor and respect of your husband.
A plea to husbands who force their wives to hide their beauty
Husbands – God has given you a beautiful work of art in your wife. He did not intend for you take the gift he gave you and hide it away from the world. God made your wife to want to be beautiful, and for her to want to display her beauty to the world. God wants you to honor your wife by letting her display her beauty in tasteful ways that do not bring shame to him or you. Please see my post Does God want a wife’s beauty hidden from world? for more on this subject from a husband’s point of view.
5 thoughts on “6 Reasons a woman may not want to display her beauty”
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Is there a biblical text that supports your idea that women should be beautiful for men other than their own husbands?
As an aside, I think too many male workers enjoy their office “eye candy” (young women secretaries) for society to ever return to young women being stay-at-home mothers. The ideal would be all members of the family -husbands, wives and even children – operating a family businesses, rather than the atomized system we have now.
The culture has some bearing on what is exposed, where and when. In a culture in which women (and men, but they are not under discussion) go bare above the waist, it is not obscene, lewd or immoral for them, or for others who are sojourning among them. “White” women may need to wear more clothing to protect their skin from sunburn, while brown women can go bare. This is a matter of health, not morality.
In one country, the Christian missionaries had their female converts to put on shirts. The women’s husbands came in a fury, as in their culture women who covered their upper bodies were the prostitutes.
In a Polynesian society women went bare above the hips but were strictly covered from the waist or hips to the knee. Exposure of a woman’s thighs was absolutely taboo.
Looking at the Bible, only the external genitals are forbidden to be exposed. Genesis 3:7, 9:21-23. Even there it is inferred, not directly commanded.
Elsewhere, as in Exodus 32:25, total nakedness, as Aaron caused the people to strip, with dancing before an idol, was condemned.
Slaves in many societies went completely naked in balmy weather, saving their clothing, which took much labor to make, for protection from inclement weather. The free laboring class wore loincloths and aprons when the climate did not call for more covering. People of greater means tended to wear decorations and jewelry rather than more clothing.
Religion tended to adapt to the clothing needs of their adherents. In regions where cold, rainy winters and steamy hot summers were the rule, it became immoral for people to go unclothed. If clothing was unnecessary for most if the time, clothing became a mark of one’s ecosocial class, not morality. Priests and noblemen wore decorative ruffs, gauntlets, epaulets, waistbelts of many colors and with gold and silver decorations, but only a breechcloth or apron (men) and an apron or nothing (women). Children went completely naked until puberty or marriage. Noble children might wear decorative collars, wrist and waist bands.
Clothing, therefore, is almost entirely based on need, not morality. Morality follows need.
Men everywhere wear something to protect their projecting penises from abrasion and thorns, so it early became a matter of morality. Women, having no projecting genitals, need no covering for protection but as the men wear a genital cover, the women are influenced to mimic them.
“You need to make yourself as beautiful as you can, in honor of God. ”
How am I going to be honoring God in wanting to be beautiful? I do not think it’s wrong for a woman to want to be beautiful for everyone to see, but that should not be a rule for women. Even because the beauty of body and clothing is a social construction.
It is one thing for a woman to trust in her beauty as her ticket to life or feel like she is better than everyone else because she is beautiful. And women should certainly not turn worship services in beauty contests. But it is one thing to say that and another to say a woman should make no attempt to be beautiful. Of the two sexes – God made the woman to beautiful, to want to feel beautiful and to care for her appearance so much more so than the man. Because her beauty represents the beauty of God’s people. And God desires the beauty of his people:
You honor God, we all honor God by doing what he designed us to do. He designed men and women to present different pictures individually and then also collectively in marriage. Men are to picture God’s strength, his aggression, his competitiveness, his leadership, his provision, his protection. Women are to picture what the people of God are to be to him – beautiful and submissive.
So as a woman you honor God by making yourself as beautiful as possible. When you say God does not care about how you keep your appearance – you throw away one of the reasons he made you. To picture the beauty of his people.