Fashion Reverences the Body – The Culture Project International

Over the past several decades, fashion has mistakenly become an oversexualized way for the culture to objectify the body. Since the creation of the bikini swimsuit in 1946, clothing designers have cultivated this culture of fashion for women that have defined femininity as something to be worn. Much of today’s trends are sought to expose the body in a way that is sensual and revealing. What the fashion designers have forgotten is that our bodies speak a powerful language. Oftentimes, our bodies reflect our interior lives and the disposition of self. Because of this the clothing and the fashion trends that we wear should reverence our bodies.

Following fashion trends and shopping for new clothes was something that I always dreaded. My mom would take my sister and me shopping to buy new clothes every year before the school year started, however, I never really felt comfortable in the clothes that my mom picked out for me. They were restrictive and honestly made me look like a 30-year-old woman. Since then, I had this image imprinted in my head that to a woman or feminine meant that I had to dress like my mom. This didn’t exactly make me excited to grow up.

The new clothes that my mom picked out for me would end up hanging in my closet for the next year with the tags still on them because I was much more comfortable wearing other clothes that made me feel comfortable in my skin. That typically looked like sweatpants or jeans and a t-shirt. At first, these were the clothing items that were the most comfortable and easy to wear, but after listening to other classmates ask me things like “do you always wear t-shirts?” or “Why aren’t you girlier?”, they became a coping mechanism to hide my body because I was embarrassed by it. I felt like an imposter of my being and trapped in my own body because I believed the lie that told me clothing defined my identity and femininity.

I was a junior in college when I finally decided that I didn’t care what the fashion industry had to say about my fashion choices anymore. I had been waiting for so long for someone to redeem the lies and tell me that I was a woman enough or trendy, oftentimes this even looked like we were waiting around for men to notice and affirm me. When that didn’t happen I used social media and Youtube videos to escape or to find solutions to my ‘femininity crisis.’ However, every time I was left unsatisfied, and my expectations were never fulfilled. Therefore, I began equipping myself with the truth that my body is made good, that I was specifically willed into existence by God and He specifically chose me in all of my weaknesses and gifts for this specific moment in time.

As women, we get the great gift to reveal the creativity of God in making our bodies through the expression of our fashion choices. Instead of falling prey to the toxic fashion culture, I wanted to gain control over it because clothing is something that we have to face every day. We have the authority over the clothing that we choose to wear because the clothes are meant to serve a purpose for us, not the other way around. Femininity isn’t defined by the clothing that we wear, in reality, it is something that elevates and reveals the divine design of the woman’s body.

We get to clothe ourselves in dignity. Fashion can be a great tool for us to embrace modesty and our feminine genius. We don’t necessarily have to avoid the trends of today’s culture to be feminine because we can use them to our advantage to live our style modestly.

A purposeful wardrobe is a modest wardrobe that doesn’t hide the body nor reveal it. It is important to remember that our bodies are sacred gifts that are meant to be reverenced, but not exposed to objectification. Clothing ourselves with dignity doesn’t have to be a daunting task, it simply just takes time and intentionality.

For me, this looks like creating a wardrobe that is filled with pieces that bring me joy. Now, when I go shopping I only buy items that will live the pieces that I already have at home. I love to choose pieces that are unique and unrepeatable as a reminder of God’s creative making of me.

At the core, I’m still a tomboy, yet elevated now. The staple pieces in my closet that clothe me with dignity and confidence are blazers and sneakers. Both of these items make me feel comfortable in my skin and are tools to help live my t-shirt and jeans look.

Styling your wardrobe can be as simple as finding a few clothing items that you love and feel the most confident in. These are the pieces that you should wear the most often, especially to important events so that you can have the freedom to be yourself and not worry about what you look like.

Because our bodies speak a language, the clothing items that we choose to wear that are modest and purposeful help us to speak truthfully of our dignity and self-respect. Our bodies and our sense of style help us to stand a little taller and walk with greater confidence knowing that we are not anyone else but ourselves.

Fashion Reverences the Body2022-03-23The Culture Project International