Wednesday, April 8, 2015

I'm No Angel

Today my Instagram feed was filled with images of women in their underwear.

Not my usual smiling babies and scripture with curly typeset and lovely background images; I was taken aback. With a few clicks, I discovered that Lane Bryant has launched a new counter-campaign to promote their Cacique line of undergarments. Which I wear. Daily. I have for years upon years because they are THE best bras I've ever worn. Truth. 'I'm No Angel' is a play on Victoria's Secret Angels line. One ad touts a feisty, plus sized model lifting up her shirt to show her bra and panties and proclaiming, 'This is the new sexy! I woke up like this!'

I follow Lane Bryant because I wear their clothes faithfully. I've been a plus sized girl pretty much since the day I was born. Give or take a few of my high school years. (The fad diets worked back then.) It is difficult to find plus sized clothing that is of good quality, stylish, and affordable. LB is, and will continue to be, my wardrobe staple.

The marketing angle has an applaudable secondary focus, which is to promote positive self body image in women. As any plus size girl can tell you, we live in a body-worshiping, air brushed, warped reality of a world. Actually, any girl, plus sized or not, can probably tell you that. If you think of five women that you know, I guarantee each of them can tell you multiple things they think are 'wrong' with their bodies. I'm willing to wager that one of those five has had some form of eating disorder at some point in her life.

The I'm No Angel campaign uses other slogans such as, 'How boring would it be if we were all the same?' and 'Beauty Is Beyond Size.' I couldn't agree more with both of those statements. God created us differently and we should absolutely celebrate that. And then, there is that whole issue of inner beauty. Do you have that? Because that is far more important than anything that is on the outside.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. ~Psalm 139:14

There's just one problem, though.

Even in their sincere efforts to help women to feel better about their not-so-perfect bodies (and to sell underwear), they are still making one huge mistake. The focus here is still on the hypersexualization of the female body. Lane Bryant is still flaunting busty pictures of scantily clad ladies. So, what I take from this, is that in order to be sexy - in other words, viewed as attractive by a man - I need to walk around with my midriff and my boobs hanging halfway out? Is this really what we want to see our daughters doing?

Yes, I get that they are advertising lingerie and therefore would need to use photographs OF the lingerie. I have nothing against pretty, feminine undergarments. Lingerie has its place. But its place is just not on a giant billboard in the middle of New York City. Nor is it in daytime commercials on my tv, nor in catalogues sent to my home that my seven-year-old son might lay his sweet little eyes upon.

Wrapped packages create far greater anticipation. Haven't we always known that? Why is it that that we keep uncovering more and more? The whole thing is backwards. If you've got it, flaunt it? No! Don't share your body with just anybody. Save it for the one that matters. Think about it. You know I'm right.

Modest really is the hottest. Now, don't go burka on me here. But please, just keep the girls covered and your booty contained. Your body is a gift. Don't unwrap it until the right time.

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? 20For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.   ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20