When I left fundamentalism, I eventually threw out most of the modesty rules along with a lot of other stuff. While I was right in throwing off legalistic expectations, as is often the case I went way too far in the opposite direction. I ditched my super long skirts and shapeless tops for short shorts and low cut tops. I also started wearing other things I had always wanted to wear such as gothic styled things and lots of skull themed items. A lot of this had to do with the fact that I wanted to present myself as tough, as someone who didn’t want anyone coming too close and as someone who could defend herself. A few people had spoken to me about my choices but I wrote them off as too conservative in the matter of clothing choices or as people who didn’t have a clue, none of which was probably true.
In the last few weeks, I have finally realized that how I present myself is important, and that it is tied to how I view myself. In my self-hatred, I wanted others to hate me too. I wanted others to think that I was weird and that I wasn’t a person they wanted to be friends with. Having friends scared me because, although I was no longer lonely, I had to work at a relationship and that was scary to me. It was easier to try and turn people off and then complain and call them judgmental. Somehow though a few special people have gotten through my barriers and stayed beside me even when I was difficult.
I’m not giving up my fashion style, I’m just channeling it in different, more modest directions. The word “modest” has bad connotations for me as someone who grew up fundamentalist, but maybe it’s time I redeem the word by not drawing attention to myself that I don’t need. I’ve decided to tone down some things while still having my own style. I still wear purple lipstick and black eyeliner, I still wear black platform shoes sometimes. I have my nose pierced and have three tattoos. I’m still wanting to get an industrial bar in my left ear, and I like my super short haircut. But I’m deciding to do all that without the skull shirts, the leather spiked collars, the skull jewelry, and the black lipstick.
I don’t really want a clean cut church lady look as that isn’t me, but I do want to try to represent my God by showing off who I am in a respectful and acceptable manner. I want to be as non-offensive as possible while still being approachable to all kinds of people. I want to reflect who God created me to be, and I want people to see a reflection of him. I still haven’t figured out fully who I am, so it’s better to try to let people see who God is, although I am very imperfect at that. I said I was going to quit wearing my church t-shirt because I got mad at someone who was frustrating me last week while wearing a church t-shirt. Obviously I’m not the best example of a Christian but I am growing, and I have four little people watching that growth. I interact with others on a daily basis and I want to make sure that I am presenting myself appropriately.