Do Christians dress differently than the rest of us? Yes, because they're not letting all their shameful flesh hang out for other sinners to see.
That, at least, is what we're taking from the announcement of the first Christian Fashion Week, taking place this weekend in Tampa. It's "the world's first series of fashion shows and events around the idea of fashion with a Christian worldview, considering Christian values such as modesty, boldness, and true style."
Seriously, women -- boldly cover those lady lumps up, will ya? It's for Jesus.
The event plans to showcase fashion from designers of all types: clothing, swimwear, and of course, bridal. But they all have two things in common: Most of them are based in Florida, and all of them want to restore dignity to women by covering up their sinful naughty bits.
"We aim to ... increase awareness of a values-based fashion industry that has always taken a back seat to the world's more risqué sense of style," explains CFW's press release. "Christian Fashion Week is a mission to stand for dignity on behalf of communities, families, and fashion consumers."
The CFW website even has a section misleadingly titled "Getting Naked," which is about not getting naked. Specifically, it details the history of Christians trying to help models make their way to Heaven by keeping their clothes on. For example, Mayra Gomez, the Tampa-area founder of Model4Jesus, appeared on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency in 2008 to inspire its model contestants to refuse to get nude on the job.
That led to a campaign by CFW that aims to show models that they can have successful careers without baring it all for the cameras. It's called "You Don't Have To":
Yep, that's a topless model advertising an anti-nudity campaign. Go ahead and let that marinate for a minute.
Look, we're all about rejecting society's strict standards of beauty. And of course, no model should be forced to do anything she's not comfortable doing for a shoot. But Christian Fashion Week isn't doing anyone any favors. The idea that modesty equals dignity is antiquated and dangerous. It implies that bodies -- women's bodies, in particular -- are inherently shameful, that pride in one's own shape and size is somehow sinful, and reinforces the idea women who express themselves by showing a little extra skin are "undignified" -- which, let's face it, is just a Christian euphemism for "slutty." The overall message is one of judgment, and we're pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be down with that.
And again, we really can't emphasize this enough: The anti-nude modeling ad contains a nude model. That's some ballsy hypocrisy right there. Maybe that's what they mean by the Christian value of "boldness"?
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.
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