The Sad Story of a Wanna-be Fashion Icon
I worship fashion.
I worship Chanel. More pointedly, I worship Carl Lagerfeld, the strange little man that he is.
I worship colored satin, beads, sequins, and fringe. I covet Valentino dresses, and by association, I covet Alec Wek’s shining ebony skin and her long… impossibly long… legs.
I love clothes. I love Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Delia’s, Deseret Industries, the Salvation Army, Nordstrom, and hot jeans. I really love clothes. They don’t have to be expensive, but it’s OK if they are. I will pay a lot for a little cotton, a little sparkle, and a good drape.
When I was in junior high, I worshiped labels: guess, Outback Red, Forenza, Limited, and other crap like that. I couldn’t help it. My dad works in retail and we got a huge discount at the department stores, so the only clothes my family of 9 could actually afford were the nice department store brands.
I have judged people by their clothes. WAIT!!! Let me explain! It’s probably not what you think! I didn’t think less of anyone for wearing what I considered un-stylish, neither did I think more of someone for wearing something I liked. Rather, it’s been a life long guessing game. “Why those shoes? Did they make a conscious decision to pay money for those particular pants? Why did they choose the cut of that shirt?” I would put together a story.
Clothes tell a story. Sometimes it’s a good story; sometimes it’s a sad story. People choose their clothes to say something about themselves. To the vast majority of people, they WANT their clothes to say something about themselves, even if it’s “I don’t want my clothes to say much about me.”
There are problems with worshiping fashion:
1. It’s pretty much totally unimportant in the grand scheme of things…especially in things eternal (although I will point out that clothing has a VERY important role in temple worship.)
2. What I consider beautiful is not always what I consider modest.
3. A lot of clothes look best on small (thin) people…this creates a whole lot of problems that we needn’t go into right now…OK we will a little, false sense of reality, distorted sense of beauty, eating disorders, disappointment, etc…
4. Then there’s Isaiah 3: 16-26 Here are some of my favorite excerpts:
“Moreover the Lord saith, Because they daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with stretched forth necks and wanton eyes, walking and mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet;…” (doesn’t this sound EXACTLY like the catwalk?)
“And it shall come to pass, that instead of a sweet smell there shall be stink; and instead of a girdle a rent; and instead of well set hair baldness; and instead of a stomacher a girding of sackcloth; and a burning instead of beauty.”
I really do love the last half of that chapter. It puts me in my place every time. It’s like when you have a tooth ache and you can’t stop touching it with your tongue… I know it’s my weakness so I like to read it again and again.
I have to work hard to not spend money on clothes. I know that it’s not important. I get queasy when I think that the only reason the Mia Maids think I’m cool is because I wear nice clothes. I have a testimony, too. And I worked hard to make sure the Activity Day girls knew that. It’s OK to dress nice, and stylish, and modest, but it’s not OK to be obsessed, unless it’s my job. So maybe I need a new career and then my obsession will be justified?