Flaunting our Bodies Through Dress
Nthabiseng Maphisa examines the impact of the way we dress. As Christians our goal is always to allow Christ to shine through us – in the way we act, treat others and yes, in how we dress
I had the misfortune a while back of watching a local radio station’s awards’ show. I say misfortune because I was appalled by the dress of the female audience. As long as their “bits” were covered, it apparently was okay to show everything else.
I must admit: in my past life, I was the wearer of short shorts. They were ripped denim cut-outs and I adored them. My figure turned heads and I was proud that it could.
There is an unspoken power in dressing sexy. You receive attention, and attention is addictive. Your confidence becomes dependent on knowing that you can “stop traffic”.
In my hope of finding a spouse, I have learned that I must become more modest. Not because my body is some dangerous weapon to be locked away for eternity, but because dressing in that way prevents a man from seeing Christ within me.
But going from miniskirts to long dresses was a challenge and an assault on my fluffed-up ego. I began to worry that no one would find me attractive or that people would think I was old or insecure.
Modesty requires bucket-loads of humility and love of neighbour.
The temptation to walk into a shop and buy the most figure-hugging, cleavage-bearing dress is hard for me to fight. I know there’s nothing wrong with wearing clothes that are flattering but I seem to have missed the memo on the difference between flattering and cycle-shorts tight.
Jeans are the worst. In the past, I always went for the lowest of low-rise skinnies. This would be alright under normal circumstances had I not always decided to wear them with ‘90s style crop tops so that my fleshy midriff could be seen by the world.
Just sitting down in those jeans was a challenge. There’s an art to wearing tight, low-rise skinny jeans and yanking them up while getting your bottom to the seat.
Let’s Love Our Bodies in the Right Way
Why do women feel the need to bare all in order to feel confident? What do we do with our desire to be captivating?
Women are beautiful creatures, but how do we let that beauty be seen without compromising our faith in the process?
Our bodies have great power. They have nurtured pharaohs, kings, queens, dukes, duchesses, knights, civil rights activists, Olympic athletes, corporate CEOs and Hollywood actors. Most importantly, though: It was through the body of a woman that God chose to bring Jesus into the world. The way we dress should point towards that.
I have mentioned before how much I am looking forward to the conference led in September by Christopher West, a Catholic speaker on life, love and sexuality from the Theology of The Body Institute near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Through his knowledge of Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, I believe he can help women see and understand the beauty of their bodies.
Our bodies do not always receive the dignity that they deserve, through the mistakes of others or ourselves. The conference in September will help women understand that God’s grace can still work within them.
For more information on the conference visit www.tobsa.co.za or call 078 584-0886