The Dress

Aah, the Oscars.

Being an actor, I love “Awards Season.” It’s my Super Bowl. (Although, to be clear: I do love me some football too 🙂 )

But I definitely make an evening of it. This year I’ll be watching at a friend’s party, but no matter where I am, I always watch with a tall glass of wine, and equally tall expectations for everything elegant.

However, there is one thing about the Oscars that just…urks me.

“Who are you wearing?”

 

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Now, don’t get me wrong: I absolutely love the fashion. In fact, getting dressed up is one of my all time favorite things to do. Which, tbh I can’t believe I’m saying that, given the loooong history of self worth issues lingering from my anorexia. An issue that, for years, manifested itself in never buying myself any new clothes.

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But I digress.

I love the fashion. I love the beautiful gowns and handsome tuxes. How you dress is a fun and creative way to express yourself and your individuality. And on a more personal level, I’ve recently come to appreciate how getting dressed up is also an expression and celebration of beauty.

But…

It is not the be-all-end-all.

 

Watching the red carpet, it’s frankly nauseating how — actress after actress — the lead off question is always, “Who are you wearing?” Nevermind the movie you’re starring in, or how you feel about being nominated…who are you wearing?

It bluntly demonstrates that you are your label.

And you know what, maybe I’m reading too much into it. I mean, it’s practically a commercial – a contractual obligation: the designer gives the actress a free dress in exchange for some lip service on the red carpet. I get that.

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But, what really is that communicating?

This isn’t some feminist rant. I’m not about to take to the streets and start burning bras. DOWN WITH THE ACADEMY! X-All-The-Y

No.

I just want to offer an alternative way of thinking, so that every time we hear that question, we can be reminded of this:

Yes, the dress is beautiful. Elegant. Extravagant. Worthy of a Disney princess. And yes, the dress makes the actress look amazing.

But it’s not the dress that’s making the woman look beautiful. It is the woman in the dress.

We give so much attention and importance to the dress, but the truth is, it’s the woman wearing it that’s newsworthy. She is what gives the dress any value.

It has taken me years to realize and appreciate this. And quite honestly, I’m still on the journey to truly grasping and accepting that truth.

A truth that took me down to the pit of ED hell and back in order to learn.

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My worth doesn’t come from “who I’m wearing.” It doesn’t come from a thigh gap, or a number on the scale. It doesn’t come from perfect grades, or the perfect degree, or the perfect boyfriend/car/job/house/vacation/handbag/friend group/Instagram following/[insert your “thing” here].

It comes from He who lives in my heart.

It comes from being made and being loved by God.

It comes from being bought at a price that I cannot and will not ever be able to repay.

It is so much more than a dress.

So much more than “who I’m wearing.”

So tonight, when I’m at the party and that question gets asked over and over on the TV, I’m going to slyly smile to myself and think, “I’m wearing Jesus.”

 

***Addendum***

I’d like to applaud ABC for the steps they made this year to focus more on the woman as a person, rather than “who she’s wearing.” I wrote this piece before watching, and I was going off of the norm in previous years. So kudos to progress!

 

 

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

148 thoughts on “The Dress

  1. Ahh, what an awesome post. We wear the gowns and make them beautiful, the gowns don’t wear us, that would be just silly. 😉

    Also call me gauche or whatever, but some of those gowns are just not appealing, no matter how gorgeous the model is. It’s not her fault, she’s wearing a name brand that has worth and value to somebody, but it’s bit weird that the brand name has become more important than making someone look good.

    I like dress up too, I think it is a fabulous way to have some fun and feel good about yourself. Just don’t ask me who I’m wearing, that’s tacky.

    1. Thank you so much for this great perspective. You’re definitely onto something there. And I agree! It’s been a lot of fun to “learn to love” dressing up again. I used to love beautiful clothes before my anorexia, but the disease really made me stop trying. But now, with my recovery, I’m learning to celebrate my healthy body again:) thanks for your encouragement friend! hugs and love to you xox

  2. Beauty has never been about the external. I admire you for being beautiful inside…I will read all you post because I only knew about your site now….Thank you for liking my post. It’s been a real ordeal for my entire family and sharing it with other people to glorify God makes me feel wonderful inside!

  3. Great post 🙂 You are right, the dress the woman is wearing should be treated as window dressing (in other words secondary) to who is wearing it. The questions should also be treated just as importantly as you said with “how does it feel to be nominated” and “what is your film about” etc. Speaking of which, do you ever long to be on the Red Carpet not due to fashion or anything, but just to see yourself nominated for an award? 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    1. Thank you so much John! You have such great wisdom and insight. I love reading your words:) funny you should ask that-because a film I was in this summer is premiering at a film festival this coming weekend, so I’ll have to do the red carpet thing. But yes, I actually won a (regional) Emmy award as a child for a television pilot I was the lead in. It was definitely a surreal experience. Something I will never forget. I couldn’t reach the microphone as an 8year old little girl so the MC had to hold me up so I could say my thank you’s. It was kinda funny. But anywho – wow! Trip down memory lane there haha but thanks, as always for your friendship and support, John! Hugs!

  4. Dear Beauty,
    I like your posts. They have such a personal feeling about them and I suspect that’s because what you write comes from your heart. To give you a sense of my generation I was really saddened when I heard Karen Carpenter suffered from ED and eventually died. She had such beautiful voice. I will always miss her singing.
    I am glad you found Jesus and recovered from your ED before it took your life. From your pictures you appear to be a very pretty woman. Keep up the good work on yourself both inside and out.
    Best regards,
    Russ P.
    Keyboardstrokesblog

    1. Hi Russ! Aw thank you so much. That really means a lot:) you’re right- it’s so sad to think about Miss Carpenter. I think we so often forget that anorexia is, in fact, a deadly disease. In fact, it is the mental illness with the highest casualty rate. One in ten women die from it. It’s no joke. Not a “superficial” “phase” but something to be taken seriously. Thank you for your wonderful support and encouragement. It means the world. Have a wonderful night xoxo

  5. I think you can relate this concept to weddings too. Far too much value and hype is placed on the dress, like it’s the main event. It’s not! I’m glad I felt beautiful in my wedding dress, but it wasn’t the end-all and it sure wasn’t one for the red carpet. I wore a pretty white dress and got married to Ben before God. I didn’t not wear a pretty white dress to have magnificent photos with a million compliments on how it looked on me. That just wasn’t the point at all. 🙂 Enjoyable post, here!

    1. Hi Sierra! SO TRUE! oh my gosh you’re right. The dress. The table settings. The flowers. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a special, once in a lifetime day, but what you said really hit the nail on the head: you were marrying your husband before God. That’s the point. What a refreshing perspective. Thanks for sharing that. Hugs and love to you! Xox

  6. I love watching what the women are wearing; I have a dress and jewelry fettish. When I was younger, I tried to imitate my favorite actresses, but as I’ve gotten older and wiser, I know that beauty goes beyond appearance. I love dressing up–it makes me feel beautiful, and I do feel beautiful inside when I know I’m rocking an outfit!

    1. Thank you so much! I totally agree! There is a certain confident you get when you’re in a killer outfit! But you’re right, beauty does for sure go beyond appearance. Thanks for stopping by and for this reflection! Hugs and love to you xox

  7. As a writer your phenomenal. You write so on point about topical issues that matter and somehow you managed to have my eyes noticing every little detail I love your writing which is if I may say so absolutely amazing. Now in the past you said you’re an actor, however being a person from the outside world I don’t watch many movies that have worldly concepts to them. If I may be so bold as to ask you what kind of movies do you star in? Where could i get a movie or two with you in it? Thank you for your kindness an endless amount of patience with in regards to my comments but it sometimes can be rather lengthy. However, I would say that if my comments are rather lengthy on your blog post you then should consider that a compliment because it means you have my ears nm listening to the words that you speak in your blogs.

    1. thanks so much! that really means a lot. lots of indie stuff. Can’t really go into too much detail without disclosing myself:) but thanks for the encouragement. have a great night!

      1. Oh it’s a cat and mouse game. I understand that, I can accept that and respect your decision not to disclose any information but do know this, your blog/website is a wonderful idea, I also have grown quite fond of your blog. In fact I don’t even care what your name is just know that you’re my favorite bloggers and the reason is simple because with every blog you seem to have a way to bring in Jesus always into the picture and that alone makes me incredibly happy to see that and read that. Keep it up you’re a champ.

    1. Thank you so much! You’re so right — we all have that inside. And so true that it can help bring out the shine in others. thanks for stopping by! hope you have a great night!

  8. Wonderfully written. You expressed yourself eloquently. Thank you for bringing attention to something that probably flies under the critical-awareness radar of most of us much of the time!

  9. Hey 🙂
    Thanks for such a lovely post. Do you take features on your blog? I would love to write something for you, you have such a lovely blog and you’re doing amazing work here and I’m so inspired 🙂

    1. Aw thank you so much Alheri! That really means a lot. At this time I’m not taking features but if that changes you’ll be the first to know ☺️☺️ thanks for your kind words! Hugs!

  10. Thank you for sharing your words. As the mother of daughters, I love hearing these messages of truth and encouragement that stand in opposition of what the world says to them.. I’ll be sharing this with my teenager tomorrow. “I’m wearing Jesus” … Love.

    1. Thank you so much! Oh gosh! 😬 I think it’s at the bottom next to the reblog button! Anywho-no worries! ☺️☺️☺️ thanks for reading! Hugs and love to you xox

    1. Thanks Daisy! Yes, I’m going to need to remember this on that day too! (That is, whenever I find Mr. Right!) 😂 thanks for taking the time to read! Hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs my friend xox

    1. Hi Mar! Oh thanks 🙂 what a thought provoking question! Thanks for the follow and for taking the time to read:) hope you’re having a wonderful day so far! Hugs and love to you Xoxox

  11. I very much appreciate the balance of enjoying the fashion along with locating the true source of beauty. With 5 daughters and 4, soon to be 5, granddaughters this is a message that can’t be stressed enough. Thanks for that

    1. Thanks Lance! Oh wow! it sounds like you’ve got some precious little ones in your life:)!lucky you! And yes, this definitely is something extend to our children and grandchildren. Perhaps they need to hear it the most, given today’s cultural climate. Enjoy your grandparenting duty, Lance. How truly special:) hugs and love to you xox

  12. A terrific post! It is a brave thing you are doing, revealing your private journey. There is such a focus on the external in our culture. Young girls especially need better role models. Blessings, A. <3

    1. Thank you A! That really means a lot. You’re right- it’s sad how exterior-focused our society is today. We’ve got our work cut out for us for sure. Thanks for stopping by and for your encouraging words! Hugs and love to you xox

  13. It’s poignant and hard-hitting. I am with you when I say that I am against labels and anything as derogatory as a piece of clothing out to decide your individuality. I have often looked and laughed at the snide “Who wore it better” comments and follow ups. Does it really matter? It’s the Oscars and shouldn’t it be about celebrating riveting performances and the accolades that follow. I rather witness the blood and sweat gone into the making of an amazing movie, applaud the off beat efforts of the cast and crew. Nevertheless it’s the Oscars and just another glorious night with stalwarts at the helm of affairs.

    1. Thanks so much! you’re right…the focus should be on the artistry and craft that go into making these masterpieces. Lots of wisdom here. thanks for your perspective! glad you stopped by! hugs and love to you xox

  14. Good for you!!!! I agree, your beauty is in who and what you are in God, our Heavenly Father, not what you wear, and you sound like a very “beautiful” person. God be with you!!!

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 you’re so right – it is from the Father that we get our beauty and worth. thanks for stopping by and for your kind words of encouragement! hugs !

  15. The flip side of it is that there are often commercial arrangements in place and the actress needs you to find out who she is wearing. The whole thing is very commercial.

    So, it is good to get back to God and away from all of the money making malarkey. I’m wearing God, too!

    1. Money making malarkey:) I like that ☺️hehe thanks for this perspective, Harry! You’re so right- there’s A LOT going on behind the scenes that we just have no idea about. Hugs xx

  16. That last line was my thought exactly: Who are you wearing? I’m wearing Jesus. Let Him be our “label” if we choose to brandish one and let us have the opportunity to ask others the same question, in hopes of bringing those to Jesus, so many more can wear His “label”. Thanks for sharing friend. It’s not about the dress. It’s about the soul in the dress.

  17. I’m going to remind myself all day today that I’m wearing Jesus! Love this! So even though today is a sweatpants, tshirt type of day, I’m wearing Jesus! Thanks for the great post and perspective.

  18. So accurate! I’ve always been heavily tuned into fashion trends but I have to try to look at it more like an art, and not necessarily the influencer of my identity (I hope I expressed that right lol)…ANYHOO! Great post!! #ImWearingJesus

  19. My “Label” is Jesus! 🙂 Love that you referred to Romans 13:14 “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” That is what should define our sense of “BEAUTY.”
    By the way… never knew there’s such a thing as a “thigh gap!” LOL! Never had a gap, so didn’t even know about it!

    1. Yay! Aw thank you so much for Jess encouraging words. It really means a lot. And yes! Jesus is the source of our Beauty! what a wonderful reflection. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love to you xox

  20. I am falling in love with your little blogs. Love the stylistic writing and the fact you love God is a bonus. Slowly working my way through all your stories. They are to be treasured as are you for living and fighting through your battles. Xx

  21. A few years ago, I went in to see my therapist in full dress with big floppy hat. She suggested I dress up every day. i took her advice to heart. Unfortunately, my pocketbook suffered for it, for while I had lots of wonderful clothes (I worked at Chico’s for 4 years), I ‘needed’ to complete the look with hats, shoes, bags, costume jewelry,…the whole nine yards. I ad’dress’ (pun intended) this issue in my blog Turning 60 in the post titled “My Addictions.” The direct link is http://turning60.me/2015/03/03/my-addictions/ .

    1. Hi there Kitsy! Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely check out your post. You’re right, I can totally relate to going over board a little bit! It’s an easy trap to fall into! But there is something to celebrating your inner and outer beauty by taking care to dress up a little. Your therapist was definitely onto something! Thanks for reading! Hugs and love to you xoxoxox

  22. Perfection? What is that? It’s just a word. If something is perfect, there is no direction to go except downward. Loved the post. My son lives with cerebral palsy so the focus is on his abilities, not the disabilities. Rock on Beautybeyondbones. Excellent work you’re doing.

    1. Hi Dana. Wow Thank you for this beautiful reflection. You’re right- there’s no such thing as perspective. It’s a set up for disappointment and discouragement. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love to you xoxox

  23. I agree with your post. What we wear is basically what is reflection on how view our inner shelves. For example, when I wear clothes that are sharp, it’s indirectly saying this how I feel in the inside…sharp and reflective. But I do gotta say…I sometimes like it when they announce the clothes so I can keep list of who made the actress’ dress so I can find the designer’s exact outfit or at least find clothes that are similar. I want to find more clothes that I can express myself. Just sayin’ :/

    1. Hi Ezi! Thank you so much for this great reflection. You’re right! There’s nothing wrong with announcing the designer–it’s just when they make it seem like the most important aspect-when they lead off with the question before they even ask anything else. That’s all☺️ but you’re right-there’s nothing wrong with wanting to know where a beautiful outfit is from! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you! Xoxo

  24. The truth of your line, “I’m wearing Jesus” made me chuckle out loud. I needed a reminder today, that we are more than enough, because ‘he’ is more than enough if we are wearing him. God Bless.

  25. People always judge me for how I dress without even knowing the real me. Because ppl around me are a bit conservative. I’m a little conservative but whenever when I do something unexpectedly, something out of norm, then BAM all eyes were like judging me. It’s bugs me for a moment but then I realize being yourself is what more important.

    1. Hey Ruhil! Oh I’m sorry that you’re feeling judged for expressing your individuality. That’s a real bummer. I hope you don’t let it get to you:) you’re incredible and should be able to allowed to express that! But you’re so right- being able to be yourself is so so important! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love to you xox

  26. I wish I read this when I was in high school. It would have given me perspective on what beauty is all about. Even now, married with 6 kids, it is a good reminder of what beauty is all about. I remember hearing “When you get dressed, clothe yourself with Jesus” and your “I’m wearing Jesus” reminded me of that. Thank you for yet another powerful and inspirational post! Blessings!

  27. <3 <3 <3 "Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts." (Romans 13:13-14)

    Praise be to Jesus! The Oscars– and any show, really– can definitely bring on the things mentioned in Romans 13:13; but it is SO beautiful that you used it, and saw it, as something to glorify Christ in. We are made beautiful, perfect, spotless, when we put on Him! As so many others have said, what a BEAUTIFUL garment… it also reminds me of being a bride, and wearing a wedding dress of "fine linen, bright and clean," standing for "the righteous acts of God's holy people" (Revelations 19:7-9)– not to earn salvation, but flowing from it. <3 What a beautiful God we serve! Blessings! 🙂
    Your Sister in Christ,
    Annalee

      1. Somewhere along the line I started to trust more in my own abilities and forgot about God’s. All I can say is, “I can’t do this on my own.”

      2. Amen. Funny. I used to live in Maine, where there is a law prohibiting billboards. Ironic that I should move to New Hampshire to take charge of my life and it’s a billboard that gets me there. If you can’t see God at work in that…

  28. […] Yes, the dress is beautiful. Elegant. Extravagant. Worthy of a Disney princess. And yes, the dress makes the actress look amazing. But it’s not the dress that’s making the woman look beautiful. It is the woman in the dress….Read more: The Dress […]

  29. Your writing is beautiful! You encourage me to look beyond my own bones to the beauty found in the redemptive work of the cross, to realize that I more than my failures as a wife and mother, to accept the love and forgiveness bought by the blood of the Son of God who cares deeply for ME!

    Thank you.

    1. Wow thank you Kathleen for this beautiful reflection. So much wisdom in your words- YES He cares so so deeply for you and I. We’re His precious daughters! ☺️ thanks for stopping by and for the reblog! Hugs xoxoxox

  30. I mind the “Who are you wearing?” question, but not for the reason you do. As an editor, I cringe when it’s asked because the actor isn’t wearing anyone. The question should be “Who designed the dress you’re wearing?” or “Whose dress are you wearing?” A-list female actors are walking advertisements for the designers who loaned them the dresses. In fairness, the designers should be mentioned; otherwise, the actors would all be dressed off-the-rack gowns.

    1. Hey Parca! What great perspective. You’re right. It’s in essence a walking billboard for the designer. But I’ve never really thought about how absurd the wording is for that question! so true! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs xox

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