ann@feminineproject.com

Reclaiming “Self Expression” in the Way We Dress

Written by Ann Burns

January 30, 2023

When the Villains are Beautiful

This February, The Feminine Project is warding off winter gloom by leaning into the warmth of our God-given femininity.  We are hosting a Fabulously Feminine challenge! 

What are the rules?

  1. Every Wednesday and Friday you must ditch the sweats, leggings, and any sloppy attire! Elevate your outfit by opting for skirts, slacks, blouses, etc.
  2. Absolutely no foul language or gossiping throughout the month of February!
  3. Find creative ways to bring beauty into your home every week. Try setting the table, bringing in flower arrangements, or even redoing or decluttering a room.
  4. Adopt the 8AM-8PM phone rules. Before or after hours, your phone use is strictly forbidden. No scrolling, no window-shopping, no texting, NO phone!
  5. Nourish the relationships in your life — bake bread for your family and share with a neighbor, learn about your husband’s (or boyfriend’s) love language, write a letter to a friend.

 

Wait… Ditch the Comfies?! 

 I realize that rule number 1 might give some people a reason to pause. I get it.  When the mornings are so cold that the mere thought of pressing your big toe to the floor is enough to make you hit snooze curl back into bed, giving up some of the tried and true comfort favorites might seem like an outrageous concept.  

No hoodies?! No leggings?! What kind of monstrosity is this?! 

I know! I know! 

 However, what we often take for granted is the fact that the way we dress — the way we carry ourselves — not only has a serious impact on our mental and emotional health, but effects those around us as well.  

We communicate in various ways.  Just think — when we speak, we utilize facial expressions, consider tonality, and so forth— all of these tools are a gift given to us by God to communicate, foster relationships, and give glory to God.  We speak with our entire bodies — and even through the items that adorn our bodies.  

Without having to utter a word, we speak volumes about who we are and our values through the pieces of clothing we choose to wear. 

 Have you ever encountered a priest in a cassock at an airport?  Without having to say one thing, the priest is able to give glory to God, showcase the goodness of his vocation, and the dignity of his personhood simply through his attire.  It’s a beautiful thing to witness. 

And it happens through clothing. 

Clothing is a powerful tool.  We can dress in a way that reveals our dignity and showcases that we are made in the image of God, or we can dress in a way that reduces us to parts.   

Ironically, while so much of society encourages us to dress to express ourselves, we’ve forgotten that true self-expression is revealing Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. 

Because when we become more ourselves, we become more of who it is we are created to be: saints. Real self-expression communicates Christ.  So, when we remove Christ from the picture, we are left with nothing to say.  We’re crippled by our own brokenness.

“It might be said that society speaks through the clothing it wears. Through its clothing it reveals its secret aspirations and uses it, at least in part, to build or destroy its future.”— Pope Pius XII

If we truly want to express ourselves in the way that we dress, then we must first turn to God and ask who He says that we are.  

 Daughters, Sisters, Mothers. 

In turning our eyes back to God, we can find an antidote to our woundedness.  We can find peace in our littleness because Christ comes to us in our littleness.  The fashions of the world so often mimic the shattered wounds of sin. So instead, let us choose pieces that reverence our body and reveal our dignity. 

When we choose to dress in a way that honors our femininity, we, like a priest at the airport, reveal our vocation because we choose to dress in a way that honors our maternal calling. In that, we can find healing, dignity, reminders of our own worthiness, and we can reveal the goodness and dignity of the human person to those around us. 

It is for this reason, we are taking two days a week to be intentional in our clothing choices. 

Because what we wear matters. 

Are you ready to join?!

If you want to get the FULL experience, be sure to be a member of our Community. ✨

? Each week you will receive a packet containing a video, spiritual guide, and a practical guide.In addition to that, you will be invited to TWO zoom calls to meet and connect with the other women in the challenge. And lastly, you will be added to our private FB February group so you can share photos, ideas, and how everything is going! ???



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