Christian Teen Fashion Intro: My personal transition
Modest is hottest, some Christians say…while others are quick to defend their yoga pants as only evil in the eye of the beholder. Can we wear whatever we want as Christian girls and young women? Should we? Does any of this really matter?
I want to address some of these questions, hopefully in a fresh way, in this series on Christian Fashion–starting with my own journey.
I had gone to visit some friends in Texas circa 2005 when one of them, Chris Petr, punched me hard in the conscience. (Ouch, that hurts!)
I can’t remember exactly how he put it, but he told me that if I had seen how a certain person was dressed, I would have crucified their fashion choices.
For a moment, I was smugly stoked that he considered me the fashion goddess that I clearly was, but as a Christian, that term—“crucified” really stuck with me. In a very uncomfortable way.
Shouldn’t I only glory in that term when I think of the grace it affords me?!
I made a conscious decision that day to be less concerned with clothing and more concerned with the people wearing it and the Jesus who died for all of us.
Flash forward ten years and I had come fuller than full circle. (That’s impossible, you say!)
I had just finished speaking at a women’s conference and was sitting with some friends, waiting for the evening’s “girl time”, to begin. It was all pajamas and snacks and a surprise special feature.
The featured woman took the stage and began pulling out outfits, breaking down the latest trends and colors. Girls who had just a few minutes earlier been focused on eternity where now fully enthralled in the pursuit of vain self-beautification (at least this was my view at the time). I remember being unreasonably irritated (or was it righteous disdain ;)?
At that point, I honestly wished I had been wearing a burlap sack—if only to be a silent rebuke to those who I thought were too into clothes. I turned to a friend, shaking my head. What are we doing? Jesus is coming soon, I said! She shook her head in agreement, but that moment was not the right one to start an uprising. And I have a different perspective even today…because being too in love with or too in hate with fashion probably nets the same result, which is distraction from the message of Jesus.
Being too caught up in clothes and accessories and lobbying against clothes and accessories BOTH take valuable time and brain-space that are probably better suited to getting to know Jesus and teaching his love.
I’m still trying to find the middle ground. I love colors and textures and NEW, but I oscillate between wanting to shop, and being annoyed at myself for caring so much. You’ve probably been there.
Where are you at in your understanding of what Christian Fashion means? How do you deal with the OBSESSION with clothes and fashion that seem to plague our young women? How do you personally fight the beast of trying to live “in style”?
I’d love for you to contribute your ideas to the discussion in the comments below. You can also email me at Amie@greaterthanrubies.org.
Thanks so much and I’ll see you next time when I address the myth of modesty!