Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Nazarene Pastor and Glamorous Gowns

I made the acquaintance of a very nice, very pretty young Nazarene pastor last night who happens to work at a Body Shop in Boston, where I went to return my terrible lip gloss and exchange it for a little bottle of vanilla perfume.*

She said that it is not uncommon for women in her denomination to shun make-up because God made us beautiful on the inside. But, she added, "I reserve the right to be girlie."

Wasn't that a lovely moment of true ecumenical understanding? I certainly thought so.

On the way home on the train, I looked through the latest edition of The Improper Bostonian and had to shake my head sadly. The society pages were full of women in beautiful evening gowns and updo's, who had not a stitch of make-up on! Right there on the subway, PeaceBang keened and wailed and gnashed her teeth (quietly), wondering why any woman would go out and buy a gorgeous dress, get her hair done, and then show up at an important social event with dark circles under her eyes, bloodless lips, sallow skin or serious blotchiness?? Ladies, don't let this be you this holiday season. If an event is important enough to warrant a gown or very dressed up suit, make sure your face lives up to the outfit. Even out the skin, add some blush, put a neutral shimmer all over the eyelid and apply mascara, use some lipstick or gloss, and be prepared for those camera flashes!

Barbara Brown Taylor tells a story in her latest book about feeling awkward and terrible in a glamorous blue dress one New Year's Eve. She was apparently incredibly self-conscious because she thought the guests could barely recognize her without her collar, and she left the party early. I don't think the problem was with what other people thought. I think BBT couldn't recognize herself without that collar. And that's a serious problem.

My clergy sisters and brothers, that clerical collar identifies you, it doesn't define you, and it shouldn't own your soul to the extent that you can't have fun in party duds. Don't be afraid to shine at holiday social events. But as I said, go easy on the spiked eggnog.

*Not my favorite, but hey, it's cheap and small enough to fit in my bag and some boys apparently like it.

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Blogger suz said...

I just ran across your blog via someone on the RevGalPalBlog ring.

Thank you for adressing this important topic! I am a recent seminary grad and finishing up the ordination process. One of my current jobs is selling clothing at Ann Taylor. Yes, yes, yes, clergy women need to and deserve to look their best.

Keep writing!

3:29 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

Thanks, Suz! Welcome to PeaceBang!

10:59 PM  
Blogger Teri said...

For small packaging, not horribly offensive-smelling, and attractive to some boys (and girls), I recommend the Victoria's Secret Dream Angel perfume in Heavenly. it's not too.much, nor is it too.sweet. It's just nice (in appropriately small doses!).

5:12 PM  

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