Lock it like it's Hot - Ft. Erica
“If you’ve got it, flaunt it!”
“If you’ve got it, you better lock it up and hide it!”
I have been on the receiving end of both these lines and I can honestly say that I think both are completely wrong and miss the point.
When we talk about modesty, the hot topic today is yoga pants – are they appropriate or not? Modesty goes much deeper than this, though. Modesty is a mindset, a way of prayer and worship to Christ our King. Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit and we have this wonderful opportunity to dress up the temples He has given us! And just like different seasons of the Church call for different colors, different situations call for different dress.
"just like different seasons of the Church call for different colors, different situations call for different dress"
Let’s start with the gym. When going to the gym, ideally, the focus should be simple: working out. But for women, at least, it is much more. It is a social setting and a way to be noticed. It is a fashion show. “Who wore it better?” There are many factors that go into deciding how to dress for the gym. Buying clothes feeds into many of these aspects, and not just the trendy styles, but the functionality of it as well. For instance, I don’t like baggy sweat pants at the gym because when I warm-up on the treadmill, the bottoms drag and tear! That is why I personally like the use of yoga pants, they don’t catch and drag. Now, I do take into consideration the other people around me and my own comfort level. My daily attire at the gym works with trend, functionality, and my own personality. I wear yoga pants with a giant baggy t-shirt that falls to about mid-thigh and pair it with half-calf colorful socks (because it’s my way of remembering/showing others that life isn’t meant to be so serious! Have a little fun!).
I would never wear this same attire to Mass though. I dress my temple up completely differently when sitting in the real presence of Christ. Dress for the occasion. As my friend Eddy pointed out, “Liturgy literally means ‘work’…and thus ‘Divine Liturgy’ means ‘Holy Work’.” You have to dress the part of being in the presence of a King! In seventh grade, I was given the opportunity to sit with a Member of Parliament in England and there was a strict dress code. If you didn’t meet their expectations, you were turned away. Now, the priest doesn’t stand guard and turn people away at Mass (thank goodness), but if there’s a dress code for sitting with a simple Englishman, it stands to reason that there should be an even higher dress code for worshiping the King of Kings!
The clothes you wear to Mass should still have functionality, fashion, and personality. While picking out what to wear, keep in mind that you are not going to the gym, grocery store, or the park. You are going to a very holy place and must dress with reverence. As my Goddaughter says, “I dress like a princess because I am going to see my Father, the King.”
“I dress like a princess because I am going to see my Father, the King.”
Modesty should be something we consider at all moments of our lives. Going back to the two quotes at the top (‘flaunt it’ and ‘lock it’). I want to say we must meet in the middle somewhere. A woman in a beautiful dress that covers her body is stunning. A woman dressed in tight clothes showing off everything but her mother’s maiden name is “hot.” It's the same with men. A man at the gym with his tank top off and tucked into his back pocket is “hot” but a man dressed in a collared shirt with classy slacks is a force to be reckoned with! I don’t believe I should be ashamed of the body given to me; I don’t think any man or woman should. But loving and appreciating my body doesn’t mean I walk around naked. It means I get to dress it up in a way that shows God reverence and shows respect for my sisters and brothers in Christ, in any and all situations.
"But loving and appreciating my body...means I get to dress it up in a way that shows God reverence and shows respect for my sisters and brothers"
Erica grew up Catholic but it wasn’t until a powerful conversion in 2012 that she was brought into knowing and accepting God’s love. She is so incredibly vibrant and overflows with love and joy which she shares with anyone who is lucky enough to cross her path. Erica has an immeasurable joy in the Lord and completely pours herself into all of her relationships. She is currently finishing her Psychology degree at the University of Northern Colorado.