Last week, if you saw my Facebook page, I shared an article from TeenVogue, an interview with designer Christian Siriano. His words touched me deeply. Many of you, if you’re not “fashion-y” people, may not have stopped to read it, or if you did, might not have thought much about it. But, it spoke to me on several levels. I could spend weeks talking about all the points he brought up, but I won’t do that to you!
When I first began telling people that I was going back to school, their first look was usually one of admiration, but when they would ask what I was studying and I would respond that I was getting my certification as a fashion stylist responses were, well…mixed, at best. It’s not very “practical”, is it? What do you “do” with that?! It’s kind of a “fluff” profession…shallow…vain…no real redeeming value to it. (This especially among men and Christians and staunch feminists) People are generally polite, but lose interest quickly.
But, as I read Christian’s article he confirmed, really just gave further confirmation, to things I already knew were true. I love this quote from him from the article, “There is so much anger and hatred in the world at the moment, and our attention is demanded to fight it. What we wear can be armor, it can be therapeutic, it can be a source of joy, or an expression of strength. Fashion is not superficial; it is a dynamic tool to transform oneself,” Isn’t that fabulous?! I want to stand up and cheer! I want to applaud and shout and yell, “Yes! That’s it” because, it’s so true! When I feel like I look good, I feel equipped, empowered to take on the day. We can transform, in some small way, the way we feel, boost our mental outlook, our confidence, by the things we put on. Don’t believe me? Go up to someone in the grocery store or in Wal-mart and compliment them, male or female, doesn’t matter – tell them their hair looks nice, they have great skin, their dress is pretty – find some genuine thing to compliment them about and watch how it transforms their countenance. It’s something I actually make a point of doing on a regular basis – not in a fake or phony way, but I look for true, positive things about people and I make a point of telling them, and it’s amazing to watch how their faces will light up. Knowing we look good matters! It’s not all that matters, but it matters.
Sometimes because I am a Christian, other believers are the first to toss fashion/style/beauty aside – it’s shallow, vain, prideful, materialistic. It’s what’s inside that counts, they say. And, certainly, our greatest beauty should come from the inside. If our insides are ugly, no matter what we do to the outside, we’re still ugly. Yes, we can take anything to the level of being shallow, vain, prideful and materialistic. That can be true of any hobby or profession – athletes, lawyers, doctors, even teachers and preachers have all fallen into those traps. We all need to guard our hearts. But, I believe that believers, maybe more so than anyone, should be the greatest advocates of all for beauty – God created it and we are to be His representatives to the world. So, how could I as someone who claims to represent God himself, a child of the King of the universe, who dresses the fields in roses and daffodils and lilacs, put more thought and concern into which way the toilet paper is suppose to roll (can you believe people argue about this on Facebook?) than to what I put on my body when I go out in public?! Even if you are not a Christian, which is fine, we all have our own beliefs, you still represent something, or someone, every time you leave your home – your business, your brand, your family, your SELF. What are saying about that, about you? What do you want to say? People are hearing something, seeing something whether you want them to or not. What message do you want that to be?
This past Sunday my pastor spoke on Esther. He spoke about her reality. She was not a perfect woman. But, he also spoke about her beauty. God used her beauty to save an entire nation. Her beauty, her style, was her gift and that was ok. It was more than ok, it was good! It was very good! It was not something to be belittled, made light of or mocked. God gave her that beauty to be used for His glory! God loves beauty!
Eccl. 3:11 says that He has made everything beautiful in His time. You know God could have made all the earth black and white. He could have made just one kind of flower. We could all be one size, one shape, one eye color, one hair color. (How boring would that be?!) But, He didn’t. He filled the earth with color, shape, beauty and style! God loves beauty! He loves style! And, he wants us to love it, too. In fact, He wants us to focus our thoughts on it. “Finally … whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.” Phil. 4:8
Why do I want to go into fashion styling? Why do I love it so much? Why do I care about boots and purses and earrings and velvet and peplum tops? Because of these things – I love God, I love people, and I love beauty. I see people all around in need of joy, in need of confidence, in need of beauty in their lives…in need of seeing the beauty in themselves – the beauty that God has already given them. God has already made them beautiful, they just don’t see it yet. (Eccl.3:11) I’d like to be able to help them see that. Finding that perfect fit or that color that highlights their eyes, brings a smile not only to me and to that person, but I think it brings a smile to God’s heart as well, to see that beauty and joy in his children. No, it’s not rocket science, but, in this world so filled with ugliness and hate, it is a gift and privilege to spread some beauty in my little corner.
If you didn’t get the opportunity, read the whole article from designer Christian Siriano
Another great read about the importance of fashion is this special blog post for Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond written by my friend, Jodie Filogomo from Jtouchofstyle