Friday, October 21, 2011

my confession: what not to wear

this blog serves several purposes for me.  perhaps more than anything, it is an outlet for expression for me; a chance to vent all my creative energy so i don't explode.  but it's not only that.  i also get to write down some of the funny family stuff that happens so that i don't forget.  it also affords me the opportunity to stay in touch with family and friends in a way that i couldn't otherwise do.  there are many other small things that this blog accomplishes for me, not the least of which is a healthy sense of guilt when i'm not writing enough.  but today i'm taking advantage of another advantage of having my own blog: confession. 

that's right, i get to use this digital platform to air my dirty laundry to the entire internets, or at least to the 15 people who check my blog from time to time. 

so here goes. 

(don't judge me).

while shannon is breastfeeding our little quinton, she likes to watch tv.  and she watches shows that i would never typically choose.  one of her favorites is the tlc show "what not to wear."  in case you haven't seen it (and you probably haven't), it takes a person who dresses in a frumpy way, and generally doesn't take care of their self, or present themselves in a way that shows they care, and works with them to show them a different way to dress and attend to their appearance.  by the end of the show, they have a bit of a new wardrobe, a new hairstyle, and, often, a new lease on life. 

it is a show about fashion, about makeup and hairstyles.  does it sound like a show i would want to watch?  nope. 

but this is my confession:  i'm hooked. 

i love stacy and clinton.  i love the transformations.  i love the way the outer change gives birth to inner change.  i am fascinated, intrigued, and hooked. 

that's my confession.  don't judge me.

do the clothes make the woman, or the man?  of course not.  but that's what i like about this show.  it isn't just about making fun of people or just trying to change their wardrobe.  instead, both stacy and clinton (the hosts) are constantly helping these people understand that they are beautiful the way they are, and that they need to understand that first and foremost.  when they begin to "get" that to some extent, then they can begin to project it with confidence and assurance in a way that exudes beauty. 

i'm fascinated by that process. 

it reminds me of my own faith.  how, when i am finally able to receive God's grace and love in an area in which i have been resisting it, i am transformed and (finally) able to share that love with others in graceful and compassionate ways. 

there is sometimes a tendency in me to imagine that it is selfish to think of myself, and that those who are really spiritual don't pay much attention to what they are wearing, as they are more interested in the state of the spirit.  but one of the things that i've learned in life, and that this simple show reaffirms, is that the self is really integrated and whole.  you can't break it into different parts.  how i dress is actually a part of who i am and how i view myself and what i am saying to you about my value as a human being.  it's not about glamour and fashion and trying to hide behind clothes and paint.  it's not about being fake.  it's not about outdoing others.  it's about expressing yourself, and being comfortable in your own skin, regardless of what others have told you, or what you think others are thinking about you.  it's, quite honestly, about learning to accept love and loving yourself, so that you are able to love others as well. 

but also, it's just fun to watch.

there, thanks for listening.  i feel better now.


Anonymous said...

Outside beauty is the same as the clothes you where...the only thing that counts is what is inside your heart...yes clothes can make a person feel confident, georgeous, and rich but the beauty is when the inside suit rules a person would look good even in a paper sack:)

greg. said...

i agree, except that sometimes the clothes can be a reflection of an utter denial of the beauty on the inside, as in, "i hate myself and so why should i care what i look like." i thought the show would be about "fixing" the outside without paying any attention to the inside, but i am truly impressed how often clinton and stacy are telling the guests how beautiful they are as people, and how they ought to recognize that and celebrate that. the outside and the inside are NOT unrelated, as much as we might try to adhere to a gnostic dualism of body/spirit. it just isn't true. how we treat and portray our bodies is part and parcel of how we understand ourselves as human beings, beloved of God, and called to love one another. it all goes together, in my opinion.

Emoly said...

I find it interesting that this preceded the Pearl Jam post (referring of course to the grunge look of the 90's). I also find it interesting as I sit here, before we leave for youth group with no make-up on. I'm trying to prove to the girls that they are beautiful and that they don't need makeup to hide their true beauty.

Do I want to go put makeup on? Not really. I would if I had to, but I don't have to. Who's going to judge me at youth group?

Interesting, isn't it? It's not because I don't think I'm not beautiful. It's because I do and I don't know, the whole thing starts to go in circles...