My name is Jaclyn Ramirez, and I am a licensed Esthetician, a full time student at the University of Houston studying Nutrition, and work part-time as a receptionist at a hair salon. One of my many passions happens to be allll things beauty! Anyone that knows me knows how extra I can be when in comes to this area! I’ve learned to embrace it, because this wasn’t always the case. I fell in love with makeup right out of high school after watching and learning from different YouTuber’s. I began to see makeup as art and wanted to express this art any chance I could. This led to me practicing on the side for friends and family. My journey of embracing and accepting my passion for beauty has been nothing less than challenging, but over the years my sweet Jesus has spoken so much identity and truth into this area I tried to hide for so long.
After finishing my Associates Degree in Business I decided to go to esthetician school. For those who don’t know, an esthetician is a skin care specialist (think facials, chemicals peels, and waxing)! During this period was when I asked God the question of “what’s my purpose here?” I knew once I was immersed in a spa and started taking clients I didn’t want to treat my sessions as just a treatment or become this skin guru who helped woman achieve their goals on the surface. There was a deeper purpose I was searching for, because these were actual women seeking some sort of solution for their physical appearance. This is an industry always in demand...because isn’t beauty always in demand? At least that’s how society makes us feel. "Hop on this diet, follow this beauty guru, get this injection, purchase this product, purchase this outfit," and so on... What’s the definition of beauty anyways? Why are we letting people define what it means to us? These were all the thoughts swarming through my mind. Obviously I’m not against women receiving treatments to enhance their appearance or resolve their skin issues. I stepped into this industry because I love giving and receiving those treatments too!
But I realized I had to have a heart check before committing to this, because anytime God gives you a passion and calls you to step into it, the enemy is right there behind Him finding any way to twist your calling, bring confusion and fear in the same area you once felt confident in. He may even bring up lies from the past that make you question if you’re really capable.
The classic lie he always threw at me was “you’re only accepted for your physical appearance. What makes you think your clients will like you for your personality or heart for Jesus?” After becoming licensed and praying about what my purpose was for this industry, Jesus told me my purpose was to call out the inner beauty in women and who it’s found in. I stepped into my first job with this mission to love women and speak identity and truth into them. I’ll never forget the first time a client cried after I prayed for her in my room. It was moments like that where I look back and remember the faithfulness of God to not only open doors for me to step into and be a light, but also guarding my heart and mind from false securities. I feared getting carried away in the industry and seeking all these treatments and products to make me feel beautiful and secure. I had free access to all these luxuries. Although I felt confident catering to women in my workplace due to my passion for the beauty industry, there was another area of my life where I was really struggling.
During my time as an esthetician student, getting licensed, and then starting my first job I was attending a church with my family. Now this is where my faith really began maturing because I was challenged to step out of my comfort zone countless times. There’s no words to explain how much this community has impacted my walk with Jesus and grown me spiritually and relationally in so many different areas, but I battled finding my place in the community for so long. I found that connecting with the girls was really difficult and I started comparing my friendships to other friendships. It seemed like every girl I met didn’t wear makeup, loved dressing simple, and didn’t care for the things I loved to do. They all connected so well with each other and I felt like the odd ball out. This was the perfect setup for the enemy to begin whispering in my ear that something was wrong with me, thus creating this internal battle. I began labeling myself after experiencing this lack of connection time and time again. I felt like people were looking at me as that girl who loved material things and was wearing makeup out of insecurity, which is the common assumption of women who wear “a lot” of makeup. I had these assumptions of what people were thinking and even though it was never spoken, I lived as if it were being spoken over me again and again. This led feelings of frustration, loneliness, and insecurity. I remember longing for a friendship where we shared the same passions because I desperately wanted to feel understood. There were so many times I felt embarrassed to dress up and wear a lot of makeup to any church event because I thought I would be judged or compared to. I remember trying to hide my love for makeup when someone would ask me a question about it or anything beauty related. I tried to hide it because I didn’t want to be labeled as that girl. I wanted people to see me just like everyone else.
As you can see, there was a lot of insecurity here and unhealthy tendencies. The Lord had to take me through this journey of embracing the way he created me and discovering how to unapologetically walk out in the things I love to do. I had to learn to accept the fact that I was different and there was absolutely nothing wrong with that. Praise God I like different things than the next girl…and vise versa! Seriously, how lame would it be if we all dressed the same, talked the same, worshipped the same, or even connected with each other in the same way?!
The beauty of the kingdom of God is the unique qualities each individual brings to the table, i.e., the beauty of simplicity, the beauty of being extra (had to), the beauty of business, the beauty of healthcare, the beauty of architecture, the beauty of advocacy, the beauty of nutrition, the beauty of teaching, etc. God can use whoever he desires no matter what they look like or what their preferences are.
I had to learn to welcome my differences into my spheres and not let those differences pull me away. As I began doing this, my relationships became more authentic and real. I began opening up to certain girls about my struggles. I can’t say it was a sudden change or that I don’t still struggle with the same lies from time to time, but now I know where to run when those thoughts come to mind. Now I know where my identity rests.
So, I encourage and challenge you all to embrace your individual beauty in whatever form that may appear. More importantly, be aware of the tendency we have to compare or lessen other people’s journey if it looks different than our own. We must learn to embrace each other’s differences by giving opportunities to express ourselves whether it be through fashion, creativity, or makeup. Our society desperately needs it!! Let’s diversify our friendships, communities, and workplace. By all means get that cosmetic treatment, thread your eyebrows, purchase that product, but if there’s anything that you take away from this, don’t let those things try to fill a void it wasn’t meant to fill. They only provide temporary satisfaction before you realize there’s this mountain of insecurity inside that you were never willing to face. This was my story for too long and I refuse to let it be yours.