(Photo credit: www.jupiterimages.com--cropped by me)
For the past month or so, I have enoyed watching episodes of TLC's TV show "What Not To Wear" when I'm wiped out in the evenings or I want something to focus on while I fold laundry. I tried Say Yes to the Dress, and it only depressed me. (Thousands of dollars for one dress to make the bride feel like the star of the show? What happened to representing the Church and setting the focus on Christ?)
I'm analytical. I can't help it. So I keep wondering what it is that brings me back to What Not To Wear. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this reality show, it runs in the vein of "Extreme Makeover, Home Edition," but for individuals instead of houses.
Each episode features someone who has been nominated by her friends and family because they feel like she needs help learning how to dress (and they're right). Stacey London and Clinton Kelly offer her $5,000 towards a shopping spree in New York if she will agree to toss whatever clothes they dislike out of her current wardrobe and follow their shopping rules. The participant is sent home with her new clothes, and a new hairstyle and makeup. I haven't seen an episode yet in which she leaves unhappy, or her family is not ecstatic with the things she has learned about looking presentable.
Why do I feel like Clinton and Stacey are bettering these peoples' lives with what they teach even though I don't agree with a lot of the attitudes they promote? I don't think a slouchy dresser needs to “love herself,” or “show off her great body,” and I don't think the issue should resolve with a person making more “me-time” for herself because by golly, she's amazing, and she needs to accept that she just deserves it. That viewpoint only makes clothing a reinforcement of the pride we as followers of Christ are working so hard to beat out of our nature.
Skyrocketing self-esteem won't get us closer to God—but WNTW is getting something right. I hadn't been able to pinpoint it until suddenly today they said something that made it all click.
“You're dressing like you don't want to be here.”
That I understood. Dressing nicely and appropriately is not about showing people how much I love myself because I rock the world. It's about saying, “I love being here.”
I love my calling. I love the people I'm around. I love the home in which God has placed me as the wife, mother, and domestic artist. Sure, I can throw on a t-shirt and a stained skirt to sweep and wash dishes. I can even socialize with my neighbors with unbrushed hair and pajama pants sticking out from under my skirt. But it sends an “I don't care” message, and that's the last thing I want to say about the position I have been given.
This is the reason to pay attention to the clothes I put on. It's not about appreciating myself, it's about appreciating my situation—my work, my family, and my brothers and sisters in Christ.