How does apparel show respect?
These kids who wear jeans to church aren’t respectful!
Where did this tradition of dressing up begin? In the past, only the rich could afford fine clothes, so what does that say of our traditionalist elders?
Well, they’re showing disrespect by not wearing a suit!
But who are we disrespecting? Surely not the church building. The building doesn’t care. Certainly not God, who tells us to come as we are with all our filthy rags and faults.
Last year, I was shamed and scolded for not dressing ‘nice’ for Mothers Day. This was by my own family, of course. In fact, it was expressed that I was a ‘disappointment’ for my choice of clothing on that auspicious day. Was it because ‘everyone else’ was dressed up and I was not conforming? Was I disrespecting my mother by my apparel? I wasn’t wearing rags. I wore jeans and a t-shirt.
Rewinding to the morning of that day, I was in the bathroom staring at my reflexion in the mirror. I had been crying. It wasn’t a good morning. It was an ugly morning. No matter how I applied my makeup, or how I wrestled with my stubborn hair, or what outfit I tried on, I kept feeling overwhelming thoughts of ugliness. Now, I’ve had people tell me all my life how beautiful and pretty I was. My hair alone seems to be an envy. But, God, I was an ugly child. I had too much hair, a pointed nose, acne like some pitted monster from Mars, I was tall and gangly and shapeless, and I was clumsy to boot. I hate pictures of my younger self. I never looked on the outside how I felt on the inside. And all to soon, I began to feel on the inside the way I looked on the outside. I felt ugly.
I’ve grown up since then, become a woman. I’ve been hit on and honked at and complimented generously. But, damn. I still have ugly days. On those days, I wear clothing for comfort because I can’t make the pretty work.
Mothers Day 2014 was an ugly day. And it hurt to have my family openly shaming me for a holiday which was initiated just too generate more revenue. I was dressed modest. My pants weren’t hanging down my butt. My boobs weren’t hanging out. I was still being modest.
So how was that being disrespectful?
Do you people realize how painful your words can be?