Thursday, September 8, 2011

One Dress Protest

I just wanted to share with you something that I find rather inspiring. Kristy Powell's blog, One Dress Protest. I have a friend who is doing this for a year: one dress, one year. She's taking herself out of the fashion world and spending a year not thinking about clothes. I always come up with a reason I couldn't do it, things like "oh, I'm trying to find a job right now, so I have to present myself a certain way" or things like that. Really, I think part of it ultimately is that I do consider my wardrobe as something creative. Granted, I end up wearing t-shirts and jeans more than anything, but I enjoy style.

Something else I read yesterday, that got me thinking about was Dr. Beck's blog post about a theology of clothing. It got me thinking, how often am I preoccupied with appearances? Personal anecdote, I was at a rural event this past weekend and I absolutely did comment to Austin afterward that I noticed everybody's attire. I thought everyone looked terrible. I didn't think I meant it as more than an observation, but what else was implied in what I said? What did I really think about the people there, the fact that almost every person there was wearing something cut-off --either sleeves or pants-- or too tight. I feel bad about that. Because you know what else I could have commented on? Every one of those people came out for a good clean time with community. They had a deep love and respect and understanding of their heritage of bluegrass music --music I absolutely love. Really? What I felt I had to comment on after the event was their clothing? I'm feeling rather convicted about this as I continue to write.

What would it mean to be a creative person who didn't appear creative? Didn't have the artist image? What if my creativity spoke for itself rather than giving the image of "I'm a creative person, I wear vintage/hipster/artsy/you-name-it style". Whew, that's a lot to think about. Because I want people to think I'm artsy, a little hipster. And my wardrobe can do that without having to ever personally interact with another person. You know what might be worse? I want people to know I'm an artsy, slightly hipster Christian. See Christians are cool, the church is so diverse, Jesus is for everyone. That should take more than clothing choices to show someone. Wow, doing that through clothing is safe and distant! How much more authentic if that were through pure action and relationship? What would it mean for my actions, my relationships, and my social involvement to be the only proclamation of "This is who I am, world!".

When I started this post, I really didn't think clothes mattered much to me. It's so subtle though, because every single day I chose how to present myself to the world. There's no way that deep down I don't care about what perceptions people make of me when they see me without ever interacting with me.

So, tying this all into Engaging Creativity. I feel that it is pretty obvious that creativity is not about forming an outward identity. That honestly would be too easy. This is not going to be about doing a lot of things on the surface to encourage my current understanding of creativity.

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