On the Utterly Trivial

“I’m not sure if it was the fashion or because the four of us were together again, but for the first time in a very long while I felt like myself again.” -Carrie Bradshaw (sitting in the front row of the annual NYC Fashion week show with her three besties in Sex and the City)

It’s not often I get inspired to write after a random episode of Sex and the City. (Ally McBeal, definitely but that’s another story.) Anyway, yesterday I was steadily working down my list of “Top Ten Ways to Procrastinate,” and flipping through cable channels when I caught the last 45 minutes of the first Sex in the City movie. I had to watch because I am a sucker for Carrie Bradshaw. More to the point, I am a sucker for her fashion sense. I wouldn’t wear everything she does, well because I’m 6ft tall and not a pixie elf who’s escaped the Magic Kingdom.

I love fashion. Whenever I am back home in West Africa I spend entire afternoons at the market looking at rows and rows of gorgeous colorful textiles and imagining all the creative outfits to be designed. I keep up with the Nigerian fashion industry because there are so many amazing designers doing such creative things.

But as a person who takes her faith seriously I feel like I should be announcing that in a confessional booth and not on the World Wide Web.

“Forgive me Father for I have sinned. I adore fashion and I liken my body to a canvas I get to paint on every day.”

I know where the guilt comes from. It’s seeped in the very real truth that there are more important things to care about and put energy towards before a personal wardrobe. How can I write about loving fashion when Syria is in such dire straits, and our own country can’t even check it’s ridiculous gun laws. To be honest, I don’t know how I can. Maybe it’s because everywhere I turn someone is already writing about those issues and what needs to be said is seemingly being said on countless blogs and extended Facebook status updates and Twitter feeds that exceed the character limit. I had an article about Ramadan up my sleeve but the market is saturated and redundancy has a line around the block.

So today I am choosing to write about something as trivial and inconsequential as Carrie Bradshaw because somehow this fictional character is one more reminder to me to pay attention to the beauty around me whether it’s in the form of fashion aesthetics or friendship. I have countless people and articles reminding me about the horror in the world, the injustice and the very real call to action. And I am grateful for that and already deeply burdened by it.

But maybe I also believe that strength and courage to continually fight these necessary and seemingly unending battles is partially restored by mini breaks to inhale the mundane.

I do not pretend to have any deep soul-expanding reasons for why delighting in fashion somehow makes me feel like “horror” doesn’t have the last word afterall. But what I love the most about Carrie Bradshaw is how her sense of style suggests that she has any eye for beauty, a heart for creativity, and a spirit willing to take risks. Such characteristics are contagious, and in a world increasingly depleting in such I’m learning to receive it wherever I can get it.

Next week I’ll get back to more serious things. I promise I might.

Here are some of my favorites from what I call, “The Bradshaw Files….”

 

LOVE those socks!

 

  • http://culturerebel.com Connie Jakab

    I’m a sucker for fashion! LOVE the pink and white dress. I think liking pretty things is a part of who a woman is :)

  • http://www.logicandimagination.com Melody Hanson

    I love clothes! (At times in my life it’s been a minor addiction, but that’s my meta-narrative.) I love too, to look interesting. I feel that everything from head to toe says something interesting about me. I also believe our External Being is a big part of expressing our Internal Person. I don’t see anything bad about it. What you feel is False Guilt! Everything in moderation. Live within your means. Be generous and responsive to other’s needs, but within that, express yourself!!

  • Sarah K. Vanderveen

    Love it. I love fashion–the ability to design and appreciate beautiful, well-made things is a gift from God! And self-expression is fun. And don’t even get me started on gorgeous ethnic textiles!!

  • http://annieathome.com Annie

    I know this feeling too, that the brokenness is too much to hold, that I need something small and beautiful and simple to stay on course. I hear you.

  • Kara

    God is a God of beauty! Enjoying the beauty He’s created, and the creative beauty that His creations produce brings Him glory. I, for one, don’t enjoy fashion, but love to be immersed in many types of beauty. As long as we don’t turn beauty into an idol, but rather let it lead us to understanding anew how amazing God is, He is glorified! Thank you for your not so trivial post!


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