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?”
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.”
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!