If you recall last week’s blog, we spoke about how a woman looks and feels different during the fertile time of her cycle. She is more interested in sex and also more attractive to the opposite sex during this time. A woman at the peak of her fertility may be more tempted than usual to abuse her beauty. Abuse her beauty? Yeah, it’s a thing – and we’ve all done it.
It happens anytime a woman uses her physical or emotional beauty to satisfy her desire of being wanted or to get a man to do something for her. In short, abusing beauty is done when we seek a man’s attention for selfish reasons. This abuse of God’s gift to women would be considered the “use” of another person, which JPII speaks about in his famous Love and Responsibility.
Why are women more likely to abuse their beauty during fertility? Easy, it’s like we’ve been given the super soldier serum (any Captain America fans here?) and our powers of seduction are increased by 1000 percent. Not to say that women walk around like scantily clad vixens when they are fertile, but this metaphor does speak to a woman’s heightened awareness of the power of her beauty during the fertile time. As one TIME article stated, “When women have the greatest chance of getting pregnant, they are unconsciously making judgments and perceptions that maximize that possibility”. So ladies, recognize your power! And once you’ve realized your power, learn how to keep it in check.
What are some ways we misuse our beauty?
1.) Wearing outfits that we know will get us noticed by the men we pass by in public.
2.) Flirting with a man with no intention of pursuing a relationship with him (i.e., flirting to get a free ride, free drink, help at work or assistance with a personal project etc.).
3.) Fishing for compliments when we are feeling down about ourselves.
4.) Trying to elicit a sexual response from men already in relationships.
5.) Intentionally arousing our partners to the point where it becomes hard for them to maintain their chastity.
Because feminine beauty is so captivating to men, we are most certainly capable of doing everything listed above. Just as Eve was able to entice Adam to eat the apple, each of us is able to lead the men in our lives towards the various apples our society offers them. At the end of the day, we are all responsible for our own sins. But as brothers and sisters in Christ, we should help each other grow in holiness and not be stumbling blocks to someone else’s holiness.
So then what are the ways we can use our beauty appropriately?
1.) Evaluate the intentions behind our clothing choices. Are they pure or am I choosing outfits with the intention of making heads turn?
2.) Recognize when we are friends with and/or dating a man because we like the way that he worships us. Once we recognize this, we have to reorient our intentions.
3.) Treat and view our male friends as brothers in Christ and not as potential boyfriends.
4.) Maintain clear and open communication with your significant other and always ask whether or not your behavior is acting as a stumbling block toward your shared chastity.
5.) Never compete for the attention of another woman’s spouse/boyfriend. Always strive to uplift and strengthen the relationships of those around you.
These points are most definitely within reach of every woman reading this blog. While some of these points may be hard to accomplish, they are possible with the help of God’s grace and an intentional life of prayer and fasting.
You can even work your struggles with beauty into your fast. Do you tend to wear shorter dresses when you need a pick me up in the form of a male compliment? Wear looser pants or a longer skirt that day. Do you like to get hot and heavy with your boyfriend, when you’ve had a hard day at work? Suggest that you go to Mass instead or make it a movie night with a group of friends. Authentically living out our beauty is liberating and the surest way to heaven. So I ask all of you reading this today evaluate your own life and find out how you can take better care of the gift of beauty that God has given to you.
St. Rose of Lima, patron saint of vanity, pray for us!
If you’d like to learn more about authentic beauty, sign up for the Sisterhoods free 13 week course on fertility charting and Catholic sexual morality here!