Unbearable modesty: The Church is waging war on young women’s bodies
There are three things in life that some persons opt to dismiss from their conversations – money, politics and religion – and there is a reason for that. These topics are controversial and tend to brew a plethora of mixed emotions; with tensions rising and even wars being waged, according to history;these are the blisters on the soles of life. For this article, the latter is what will be discussed, in relation to young people.
Christianity has always controlled all aspects of our society. The law of the land is a culmination of natural law (religious and moral principles); our schools have devotions and our country has the most Churches per square mile in the world. Religion offers assistance and guidance from a higher power when we ourselves cannot manage the severity and complexities of life. It provides moral instructions, values that mold us into model citizens and suffocates us. Yes, suffocate us (or some of us at least).
Notably, Christianity has many breakaways or sects. There are Baptists, Seventh -Day Adventists, and Jehovah’s Witnesses (who never fail at surprising us at our doorsteps), Apostolic, Pentecostals, and so the web weaves. While we respect and tolerate each religious divide and denomination- the extreme ‘modesty’ requirements of some denominations cannot be so easily ignored. I should know, because I am a part of one such group – the Apostolic Church.
It should be noted that Apostolic and Pentecostal will be used interchangeably in this article due to the minor differences that exist between them. There are Radical and Liberal Apostolic and/or Pentecostals. As the culture shifts; ebbing and flowing with the tides of life, Apostolic have become drawn to this, resulting in different extremities or lack thereof.
Liberals will allow their members to be more expressive in their fashion, and attires in and outside of church, while the Radicals tend to over-emphasize modesty to the point where it becomes unbearable. Personally, modesty is essential to me: in dress, speech and deportment. However this is where I draw the line because being a radical apostolic, I am enduringa form of ‘neo-slavery’ system.
“ALL DAY, EVERYDAY SKIRTS!”
No pants, shorts, knickers or Capri’s- ALL DAY, EVERYDAY SKIRTS! To think that was oppressive, imagine blue and black jeans skirts (instant cringe!) I must say that there are jeans skirts (and skirts from other fabrics) that are undeniably adorable and will have you ‘slaying’. However, these tend to be shorter than what is required (above or on the knee) or a tad costly. Therefore, we bite our lips and draw for the gaudy jeans to go about our lives.
In addition, the web continues to weave, as sleeveless attire is strictly forbidden. I suppose the ocean will part at the site of a cold shoulder. And let us not get started on the no nail polish or manicures. If if you wanted talons or a cute and short mani with a splash of colour, don’t be bothered sis!
A woman’s hair is her crown, but admittedly not all our crowns are the same or desired length, curl, kink or coil, volume or manageability. Thankfully the diverse beauty industry is a hero, but do not even attempt to eat that forbidden apple! Braids, twists, lace wigs, any hair that did not grow from your scalp is prohibited. Honestly, I adore these Nubian strands from my temples but I am a fish out of water when it comes to grooming my mane.It is quite tiresome, but a couple of braids, Senegalese twists or even more demure as Afro-kinky being plaited, is strictly abominable. No jewelry, only rings for married couples and watches for the rest of us. Sums it up perfectly!
Rationally, the idea behind religion and these denominations is to save, heal and restore. Engendering spiritual intimacy is paramount and distinguishing yourself from the masses is crucial, because we must be set aside. Loving that!
But what about a little room for flexibility?
The convenience of skinny jeans would surprise our firm radicals because little do they know that jeans (pants/shorts) can be worn with anything. Scores of adolescents go through rigorous regimes, with many conforming and others rebelling. However, if you tell us no pants, back it up wid evidence nuh! Proper reasoning and using logic that will enlighten us as to the wrath we will unfold if we do a big chop, could perhaps change things for the better, and maybe then pastors and religious leaders will find more young people clinging to the cross. ‘Au Naturelle’ is my motto but I like a little makeup every now and then to pop, to flaunt my supple, melanin. If this is done in moderation, which it will; then why can we not get the go ahead?
We are Christians, yes but also teens and young adults, who live in an era of beauty revolution and iconic fashion. We like what we like, yet we cannot wear it or express the creativity or beauty through our clothing, hair and skin. We are not asking for permission to look like a canvas/colouring book, because as previously mentioned we cannot look like the masses and do what they do. But we are not to dress like Elizabethan era women in this hot 2019 summer either.
Hey Alexa, play “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun”