Q. Could you please send me information concerning (Esther’s) 12 months of beautification? What is the significance?
A. There’s no Biblical information about the 12 months of beautification beyond what is given in Esther 2:12-14. Many assume it was just an indication of the extremes to which Persian officials went to make certain that a girl was her absolutely most attractive self before spending her one night with the King.
But according to some, the initial six month treatment with oil of myrrh was meant to purify her. They say that oil of myrrh was commonly used for antiseptic and anti-fungal purposes and as a deodorant. Therefore the first six months of her preparation were for cleansing, healing and purification. Once they were certain she was free of disease they spent the next 6 months maximizing her beauty. So the idea being conveyed in Esther is that purification precedes beautification.
Those who interpret the passage this way claim it’s explaining that the key to attractiveness begins on the inside, that just applying the externals like make up and clothing only creates a facade that could be hiding internal deficiencies.
Peter confirmed this in his advice to wives saying that real beauty doesn’t come from outward adornment but internally from a gentle and quiet spirit. (1 Peter 3:3-4)