a chip of the old block..?
Elise ( my 18 year old daughter), has written this piece which has just been published on Backbencher:
Does The Devil Wear Prada?FEBRUARY 8, 2013 0
Elise Woolnough explores Christianity’s fashion crossover.
In the age we live in, it is hard to come across an aspect of life that has not been commercialised and exploited to help drive our money-fueled society. New fashion trends are on a constant spinning cycle to keep our material world afloat: but at what point does this spiraling frenzy become too much?
When it becomes the norm to see a ‘period authentic’ plastic Jesus figurine with ‘five new sayings’ perched next to the latest Barbie in tiny glitter hot pants in Toys ‘R’ Us, is it not time to step back and evaluate the moral issues at hand? When does it become acceptable to have our nation’s religion plastered around the high street in the form of comical action figures and fashion accessories? Surely the answer is that it is simply not admissible to have the foundations of Christianity undermined by the latest fashion crazes. Crucifix broaches in Miss Selfridge? Rosaries in Topshop? Surely the devil at work.
With the help of websites such as Tumblr, an almost cultish trend has spread through teens like wild fire. The images tell the story. Skinny girls with colour-frazzled hair wear the image of the cross on their skimpy t-shirts, or piled-on jewellery encouraging a largely atheist following to adopt the look. Not only is it rife amongst teen websites; the style is also flying down the world’s catwalks where designers welcome religious symbolism into the fashion houses with open arms and not for spiritual fulfilment, but vanity.
The latest fad that has surfaced is the Jesus bracelet which consists of 12 panels carrying images of saints and religious figures. These have always been available for purchase at church repositories and worn to show devotion to the lord. Yet it would seem the ‘trend’ is catching on. When browsing the Topman jewellery section a few months ago, I came across a selection of these bracelets in every colour of the rainbow. Fancy that. The following months have seen a large population of my school who could hardly tell you what a church looks like proudly wearing this ’accessory’ because ‘it’s quirky, right?’. Surely a sense of hypocrisy is present when these sacred items become fashionable to those who choose to deny the lord.
Regular crosses are being heavily featured on garments in high street stores. Over the last few months, the concept has literally been turned on its head. It would seem we have welcomed in the inverted cross. Have we become a nation of devil worshipers? As this satanic trend worms its way into teen’s wardrobes they become less aware that we really are becoming slaves to fashion.
Ignorance has spread through the British public, leading to no real knowledge of Christianity. Instead, people are left displaying religious symbolism for the sake of materialism, not spirituality. A woman in a jewellery shop was overheard asking for a chain and cross. The jeweller proceeded to show the lady the crosses available and she continued on: ‘no, I want one with the little man on it.’ This just highlights the point of my argument. That ‘little man’, so happily thrown around, is becoming a novelty.
Perversely, it is acceptable for this religious jewellery to be sold commercially, yet when worn in actual faith it then becomes ‘politically incorrect’. It is widely accepted for a model to parade her bejewelled rosary, but a nurse in a hospital cannot wear a crucifix without being penalised and putting their job at risk. Somewhat unbalanced, don’t you think?
It would seem that the world has developed a commodity fetish: embedded in everyday life and destroying any possibility of restoring religion’s original basis. Will we be able to walk tall in the workplace – in our crucifixes – without being challenged? Will a new-found respect for Christianity emerge from our society’s choking materialism? Who can say for sure, but at present, it seems that the devil really does wear Prada.
Elise is currently studying Drama, Music and English at A2 Level: ready to undertake a degree in Acting. When not on the stage, she can be found watching Disney films, listening to old bands on vinyl and tweeting at @EliseInTheSky_.