Wednesday, April 28, 2010

in and out: a review

i was over at segullah this weekend, posting about the inner vessel and the outer vessel and consumerism and wearing sweatpants to target and, well, as you can probably tell it was all a bit of a jumble, but feel free to have a read.

and despite the fact that i wasn't quite sure what i was trying to get around to, not to mention how i was going to get around to it, i was so inspired by the (cyber)conversation that resulted from that post.

ultimately, i think my point was (is) this. it's OK to want to look nice and to spend time and even money on your appearance, especially if it makes you feel better and act better. but there has to be a balance in all things, and if we are focusing on our outer selves so much that our inner selves are neglected, then the (metaphoric) scales are not tipping in the right direction.

as one commenter said, "i suppose it would be helpful to... ask ourselves something like, 'is my confidence based on knowing i’m a daughter of God, or because i look really awesome in these great jeans?' i love my well fitted jeans, but if that’s where my confidence lies, there’s a problem."

i also loved this idea that maybe instead of judging people based on what we perceive as a sloppy or unkempt appearance, we should pay more attention to what that appearance is telling us about the needs of one of our sisters: "our environment, our own personal physical environment, does effect how we feel and communicates something about what is going on inside. even when you run to target in sweats to get a baby’s Rx you’re communicating that through your harried look, sweatpants, and screaming baby in tow. if we recognized the hidden messages people send out in these ways we would be better able to reach out and serve them."

but really, it was the message that we shouldn't be judging each other at all that came out to me most strongly. i don't want to be dismissed as shallow or irresponsible or haughty because i feel better with an expensive haircut and a cute outfit. so how can i possibly feel OK about dismissing someone as lazy or insecure or indifferent because she prefers a ponytail and sweats?

or, as this commenter said, "i have a lot of sympathy for women who’d rather not be caught wearing sweat pants to target, but no admiration for women who criticize other women for doing so."

amen.

because ultimately the story told in our eyes and on our faces, and the reflection of our heavenly father and savior's love in our countenances is the best accessory we can have.

what are your thoughts on the topic?

3 comments:

Evan and Holly said...

One thing that I have to say though, I ran over to a neighbors to borrow something early one morning. I had no bra on. Because I live in Utah and there are like 10 families that live in our complex that I go to church with, I just so happened to run into 2 husbands of good friends in the complex. I will never go anywhere without a bra again; however, running to Target in sweats....no biggie. I don't know anyone there. Funny how that works.

angellacowan said...

I'm definitely a believer of doing our best to look as good on the outside, as we feel on the inside. I'll be the first to admit, I have those days that can only be cured by buying that really great pair of shoes or shirt.
As for judging, I think it's wrong to do it, in any aspect of our lives. Am I guilty of it? Absolutely, but that doesn't mean I can't improve, right? I was once told by someone who enjoyed dressing in clothes that could have clearly been purchased off of a handcart (sorry, there goes the judging again) that I was too much of this world because I tried to look good. I felt horrible about myself for a while, thinking I was in the wrong for trying to look presentable. But then I came to the conclusion that there was nothing evil about putting an effort into our external appearance.
It's all about balance, and what makes us feel good. It doesn't matter if we wear a floor-length dress with a bib collar or that cute dress from Shabby Apple, it's all about the attitude we have while wearing it.

Susan said...

we should just all wear snuggies.