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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148 thoughts on “The Dress

  1. ❤ ❤ ❤ "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. ❤ What a beautiful God we serve! Blessings! 🙂
    Your Sister in Christ,
    Annalee

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  2. Pingback: The Dress | kathleenbduncan

  3. 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.

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  4. 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.

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  5. Pingback: Excerpt: “Party On” by beautybeyondbones.com – iamakingsonson

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