Are Catholics not allowed to wear makeup/thinking of leaving religion!

This just gets more and more depressing.
So now i’m not even allowed to wear makeup,use creams or dye hair?
These are Saints quotes below.But i’ve seen even some nuns wearing makeup.
To be Catholic i have to follow all these rigid rules.Ie:dont wear skirts above knee,dont wear makeup etc.If i don’t “comply” then i have to live in fear of losing my soul.
It is depressing,and a life of fear.
Even more,if you do these things,some even go so far as to flippantly call the woman “influenced by satan”.

Apparently,one Saint says your(referring to mothers) even bad if you leave a baby naked!

Pope Pius XIV also says that girls cant do sports or gymnastics etc,unless they are “fully & moedstly dressed”.
I guess ballets out now for Catholic women.

1.women naturally like playing with makeup.It is fun and femininty.
2.Its like they hold that us women must be responsible to send a mans soul to hell.Its like a fear/guilt trip.Thats a great burden on the shoulders of a woman.A man is not a child/helpless emotional cripple,so why is that these saints put so much emphasis on women for mens actions like as if men are babies/ and lack character or responsibility?
I think i’m at the point of just quitting the whole religion thing because this is making me fear and miserable.
I seriously feel like throwing up.

Suppose an artist paints in beautiful lines and colors the likeness of someone’s face and form. Then, once the portrait is completed, someone else comes along, picks it up and, thinking that he could do a better job, makes changes in the picture. Wouldn’t that be a serious wrong to the first artist, and a good reason for him to be indignant? And do you think it likely you could get away with acting the same way, with a rash and wicked presumption that offends God – the Artist who created you? The apostate angels taught us to paint the eyes with blackness drawn round them in a circle, and to stain the checks with a deceitful red, and to change the hair with false colors, and to mask all truth about the real appearance of face and head…. God says, “Let us make man in our image and likeness”; does anyone dare to alter and change what God has made? They are laying hands on God when they try to reform what He has formed. St. Cyprian of Carthage (200-258AD) on Cosmetics

“The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. . . If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.” Pope Pius XII

"There are mothers who have so little religion or, if you like, are so ignorant that if they want to show off their baby to some neighbouring mothers, they will show it to them naked. Others, when they are putting on diapers, will leave the babies, for a long period of time, uncovered before everyone. Now even if there is no one present at all, you should not do this. Should you not respect the presence of their Guardian Angels…? Saint Jean Marie Baptiste Vianney

For those women sin against God when they rub their skin with ointments, stain their cheeks with rouge, and make their eyes prominent with antimony. To them, I suppose, the artistic skill of God is displeasing!" Tertullian of Carthage

“We recall that a dress cannot be called decent which is cut deeper than two fingers breadth under the pit of the throat, which does not cover the arms at least to the elbows, and scarcely reaches a bit beyond the knee. Furthermore, dresses of transparent material are improper. Let parents keep their daughters away from public gymnastic games and contests; but, if their daughters are compelled to attend such exhibitions, let them see to it that they are fully and modestly dressed. Let them never permit their daughters to don immodest garb.” The Sacred Congregation of the Council (by the mandate of Pope Pius XI), January 12, 1930 A.D

“To dye oneself with paints in order to have a rosier or a paler complexion is a lying counterfeit.” Saint Augustine of Hippo

None of those things are teachings of the church. They are OPINIONS, which reflect the eras when they were either stated or written. The fact that a Saint said something does not make it dogma, nor is everything that a Saint has said binding on anyone.

Why are you looking for an excuse to leave the Church? Your question could easily lead someone to question your depth of faith, and it certainly shows a VAST ignorance about the teachings of the church.

I would seriously question why you are searching out things like this. If you really have such questions, you would be much better off taking them up with your Pastor.

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The words of Saints are not binding, those are their personal opinions. It does not mean in any way that you commit a sin by not following them.

I wear make-up, my skirts are more often than not above the knee. Those things do not endanger my soul.

It sounds like you are scrupulous, you should go speak to your confessor/spiritual director for more personal advice.

None of the things you have said are sins,or teachings of the Church. The Church does not have a ‘dress code for the faithful’, beyond being modest. I think the concern that some of these Saints had was not that these things are sins in and of themselves (although it may have been viewed that way at the time), but that they could lead to greater sins.

For instance, wearing make-up COULD be a road leading to excess vanity; if you find yourself so obsessed with how you look that your prayer life or personal charity is being hindered, you have a problem on your hands. But, if you are putting on make-up because it looks nice and covers up your blemishes, then there is no problem with that, same as wearing nice well-fitted clothes.

Likewise, if you’re wearing a skirt that is still modest, but above the knee, that is fine too. However, if you’re wearing a short skirt in hopes of inciting lust in the hearts of men, then you are guilty of the same sin, because you are trying to give others impure thoughts, or encouraging them to look at you in an impure manner.

Finally, as the Old Medic said, not everything said by the Saints is dogmatic, most of it is probably good advice, but it is not binding on you as a Catholic; only the teachings of Sacred Scripture, the Tradition of the Church, and the Magisterium are binding on you as a Catholic, and none of those propose a dress code beyond modesty.

May Our Lord Jesus Christ and the whole Host of Heaven, especially the Blessed Virgin Mary, guide and keep you the rest of your days.

Why do you assume i’m looking for an excuse to leave the Church when you don’t even know me?
Making assumptions about people is neither fair nor factual.
My point was that if being Catholic means living this way,and its depressing me,what choice do i have but to leave?
Why did my question trigger such anger in you?

I’m very far from knowing all the things regarding the Church,however i do know that it says to read about and emulate the saints.That they are most Holy etc.
NOWHERE have i read the Church say that this should be read purely in a historical context and not applied today.
MANY PLACES have i read people use the quotes of saints to refer to how people should act and dress today.
If what you say really is true,that the fact that the Church doesn’t say this,upsets me greater then the quotes themselves because some peoples lives are being affected badly.
Also,some of those quotes are from Popes.I was told on another thread that a similar quote from Pope Benedict XV was infallible.

Why are you blaming me if someone questions their faith?That isnt fair.I’m not the leader of the faith.I don’t run whats on the internet either.Its not my place to control people either.
If your genuinly concerned then the right place/people would be to mention to the Catholic Fathers that there are things all over the internet that people are saying that the quotes the saints say are to be applied today in matters of dress etc.
If i have you,one Catholic,saying they are in cultural context,
but then i have many other Catholics saying those quotes are to be abided by today,
reall yhow do i know who to believe?
You mentioned speaking to priest about this,howver there again how do i know who to trust.
I read yesterday a priests website where he referred to singer Chalotte Church as a " a lewd tramp" and “Her beauty falls away when foul words come out of her mouth and she dresses like a prostitute”.
I wont put the Fathers name because i don’t feel thats right thing to do,but if you need the website to verify then send a message.

If you have links from the Pope etc that strongly warn that they should be only read in a historical sense and related to the culture and ongoings at the time,and noone’s obligated to apply them today,then i’d appreciate it of you could link them.

You are correct. There are a lot if opinions out there. It is easy to become legalistic about many things.
My suggestion is that you leave for a while your study of the saints and focus on your relationship with our Lord and spend some time asking God how you are to live in this world & be not of it (& no I am not talking about how one dresses). Think about Him.
Prayer, reading of scripture, and listening …
Visit with your parish priest and discuss some of these things with him.
React less & respond more. Where are you with God in your life?
Pray that He will show you & help you to receive His love & love others.

Peace be with you :slight_smile:

I guess I’m more inclined to fear and gullibility then scrupulosity.The thing is that when priests/spiritual directors say this,them i feel FEAR that i’m obliged to agree,and if i don’t i’ll go to hell.

For eg:
When i read the below quote from a Pope,it puts fear and sadness into me.I read it to say that if any man said my clothing (any clothing) was causing him lust,that then i’d have to stop wearing it,its put on me to be responsible for both him and me and it causes me FEAR that i’ll lose my soul if i dont comply.

“The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts. . . If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up.” Pope Pius XII

Also,if the saints words really were just opinion and not binding,then why doesnt the Church make strong mention of this?
Instead the message i’m receiving is that the saints are to be emulated and people using their quotes to say how women must dress today etc.
People are using these quotes all over the place to say that women today are immodest,skirts above knees are immodest,that this culture is “of the devil” etc…
Why doesnt the Vatican warn agains’t people using the quotes this way,because it could affect people badly.
The Pope has the media at his disposal and he could warn about this.
Without this “official” statement,i’m still left with doubts and fears because on one hand i have some Catholics saying its ok-refering to dress/makeup-and then on the other hand i have other Catholics saying the “first lot” are operating from the devil or don’t have a properly formed conscience etc!

2030 It is in the Church, in communion with all the baptized, that the Christian fulfills his vocation. From the Church he receives the Word of God containing the teachings of "the law of Christ."72 From the Church he receives the grace of the sacraments that sustains him on the “way.” From the Church he learns the example of holiness and recognizes its model and source in the all-holy Virgin Mary; he discerns it in the authentic witness of those who live it; he discovers it in the spiritual tradition and long history of the saints who have gone before him and whom the liturgy celebrates in the rhythms of the sanctoral cycle.

2031 The moral life is spiritual worship. We "present (our) bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God,"73 within the Body of Christ that we form and in communion with the offering of his Eucharist. In the liturgy and the celebration of the sacraments, prayer and teaching are conjoined with the grace of Christ to enlighten and nourish Christian activity. As does the whole of the Christian life, the moral life finds its source and summit in the Eucharistic sacrifice.

These concernes of yours have appeared in several threads. I wonder what the real problem is here. Yes, some people have strong opinions about this and think that women should wear potato sacks (and of course, no makeup), but many here have given very good explanations of what the church actually teaches. Why is accepting that a problem? Why not accept the teaching of the church on this matter, rather than obsess what some saint said about clothes several centuries ago.

You mention in one of the above posts that you have issues with fear. Any way of discussing this with someone? Because it would be a crying shame if you left the church over such a banal thing as makeup. (I wear it most days and it has never even crossed my mind that it could be a sin until I came to CAF and read a lot of weird stuff. :eek: )

Um, be depressed and deal with it?

Virtue is hard. Sin is easy. But God must be given first place in our lives.

I often have lustful thoughts, and am often extremely lazy. Is that the Church’s problem for stating that these things are sinful? No. I just have to deal with it.

There is a prayer, the Salve Regina, which refers to this world as a “valley of tears”. Life is not meant to be easy. But what are the few decades of hardship we spend on this earth compared to the eternal bliss of heaven? Do you think that Christ was not depressed when he prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, or would you rather that he never gave his life on the cross?

I will not comment on the morality of make-up or certain clothes, because I don’t know enough about the topic.

Your post made me recall a song that was popular in my village years ago.
The singer was lamenting the strictness of the Catholic Church.
Everything I do the song went, is a sin.
I eat some food, I have committed a sin; I comb my hair, that too is a sin; the very clothes I wear is sinful….and so on and so forth.
The song ended with the singer saying she had had enough of Catholicism.
This song was just the typical misrepresentation of what the Church teaches.
The Church does not forbid the use of make up, etc. It is really up to us.
Some people, as they grow in the faith, may choose to do without certain things that the modern man/woman cannot do without, i.e. beauty products, to mention just one. That, however, is a choice. The Church does not ask it of us.
The change comes from within each of us. We each decide, for ourselves what is important to us in life and we act accordingly.
Hang in there music2, don’t give up now. :slight_smile:

This is a very good observation and something i wanted to mention as well. People grow in faith and holiness. Sometimes they reject things that are not necessary in order to grow closer to God. I agree that fashion and makeup are such things and that we can live without them. But this is their own journey and if they are called to it: excellent. We should all strive to be saints. But this does not mean that wearing fashionable clothes (and I’m not talking about clothes that are immodest) and wearing makeup constitutes a sin. Just like not wearing makeup doesn’t necessarily make women holy.

I agree completely :slight_smile:

What the Church ACTUALLY teaches is summarised in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can read it online.

No need to hide Fr. Joe’s excellent article. He put it on the Internet to be read, so here it is:

My question for you: Did you understand Father’s complaint regarding her behavior? Did you look at the pictures? If that isn’t dressed like a prostitute, then I imagine you have a very different sort of prostitute in your town. :shrug: Given her utterances and behavior, I think “lewd tramp” is being generous.

Is this the sort of fashion style that you are trying to sneak past the saints? If it is, then I can see your difficulty. If it isn’t, then I have to agree that you may (perhaps subconsciously) be looking for a reason to leave the Church. Please reconsider. You leaving the Church isn’t going to change what God demands of you. On the other hand, if you stay and grow and learn with your fellow Catholics, you may find that some things which now appear contradictory are not contradictory at all. It isn’t easy, but keep trying.

I wouldn’t worry about a little makeup. In Matthew, we are told to anoint our heads and wash our faces even while fasting so as not to appear gloomy. That probably includes ditching the sackcloth for something fashionable, but inoffensive to modern norms. If you show up at Mass with half your butt hanging out, I’m going to roundly embarrass you and point at you with my old man cane. Okay, I don’t really have a cane, but use your imagination. You will be horrified. :frighten:


PS Welcome to CAF :slight_smile:

wow. I wish I hadn’t looked at that article! Poor girl.

To the op: I think it is important to pray about how we present ourselves. Our clothes should fit the activity. If your intention is to provoke attention and lust, then it’s wrong.
BUT, I doubt that’s your intention! I would consult an older Catholic woman you respect and ask her for advice. **

I do think that it takes a little more creativity to find pretty and fashionable clothes in this day and age that are modest. My dd (who is 16) really struggles with this. She loves fashion and doesn’t want to dress like a 40 year old.

She also likes to dye her hair. Right now, it’s auburn (her natural color), pink and blue. Some of our more conservative friends disapprove, but it is fine with me. She’s not looking for attention, but just having fun.

It might relieve some of your confusion if you adopt a dress code that you feel comfortable. Here’s my dress code–shoulders covered, hem of shorts reach below my fingertips, clothes loose and drapey, skirts at knee, neckline three fingers below collar bone.

As for swimming, sports, dance, the uniform should fit the activity, not go for sexy. What is appropriate for a performance is not appropriate in other circumstances.

My dd pushes some of my standards not because she wants to dress immodestly, but she wants to dress fashionably. That’s a natural desire of young women, of course.

Of course, men have a responsibility to guard their eyes and redirect their thoughts when they turn lustful. It’s not all up to women!

Above all , pray!!

There is nothing “official” because the Church gives us the teachings we need. We are to use our common sense and rationality. Some things differ from person to person. One woman may find that using make-up causes her excessive vanity and pride and to become overly obsessed with her appearance, therefore it is good for such a woman to not use make-up. Another woman may not have such issues, therefore is perfectly okay to wear make-up.

you quoted people preaching to their own people in their own time and place

please cite a current Catholic source that teaches make up, cosmetics, hygeine products and groom in general are sinful. You cannot because there is no such teaching.

Even if it were you would consider leaving the Church over the issue? Just the fact that you place this outside its order of importance is reason enough to stay here and learn about Jesus, the Church he founded, and why he wants you here.


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