When Did Beauty Become A Sin?Published by Torrence Glenn on Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 5:18 pm.
Erica Campbell is pretty. There, I said it! In fact, she’s really pretty. Fine. Beautiful. FRIGGIN GORGEOUS even.
This isn’t new news. And apparently, despite being the “in the know” entertainment industry guy and gospel music head I’m paid to be I somehow missed the huge memo that went out where being pretty, in shape and fabulous was a sin. Where in this world (or out of it) have I been? Recently, Erica Campbell (of Mary Mary fame) released a new promotional image to support and announce the release date of her debut solo CD that drops on March 25, 2014. Once the photo hit, the internet went crazy and understandably so. Erica in all her rockin sockin ness (y’all know I love to make up a word) looked stunning in an admittedly simple white turtleneck dress and long straight hair. Her pose was elegant, strong and again simple. We’ve seen many a Mary Mary photo shoot and you and I know they’re not always simple as they as a group tend to enjoy pushing the boundaries of fashion and artistry so to me, this was a different approach altogether. Everyone it seemed, loved it.
But then, something shifted. All of a sudden the mother’s board of gospel social media got together and decided the image was too sexual, inappropriate and not befitting a gospel artist. Now I was raised Pentecostal and holiness to the bone and can admittedly say I can sometimes have a warped sense of what “modesty” is or should be. (When I was growing up women wouldn’t even wear pants to a picnic!) But I’ve got to say, I think this time you drowning saints got it all wrong. For years, many of us (and by us I mean Christians) have dumbed down our appearance in an effort to appear more “holy” or something like it and the effects rear their ugly heads at times like these. There’s nothing wrong with looking your best and putting your best appearance forward with taste. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m the first one to call you out for looking tacky, wrong or just plain disgusting but this ain’t that folks. I’d be more concerned if she tried to get into that dress with an extra 100 pounds of fat. (It happens A LOT.) I’d be more nervous if she stayed taking a close up of that mug of hers if she were harder to look at, but she’s not. (Just scroll through instagram to find that “confident one” with all the selfies who looks like who did it and why.) Folks, we’re fearfully and wonderfully made and when you see something wonderful and you know it’s wonderful don’t hate on it. I’ve seen worse infractions at local musicals and Sunday morning services from folks who know better. Let’s be really honest. The dress as it was was tight but not too tight. We all know with today’s fashion that it could have been tighter. It also could have been a lot shorter but she was covered literally from NECK to calf. What more do we want? Why must we cover up and diminish every little thing?
Honestly, most of the “holy fashions” many of us are rockin’ are more a matter of inability than taste. I’ve done my research, what many of us are ABLE to wear isn’t necessarily what we want to wear. Ha! But seriously, this idea that gospel artists need to be plain, boring, fat or downright ugly is getting really old, tired and lame. So yeah, for all you deep wonders quick to tell me that our bodies are temples? I know that. 1 Corinthians 6:19 is CLEAR. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” What’s also clear is God didn’t design our temples to be some duds either. How do I know that? Keep reading. Solomon’s temple in 1 Kings Chapter 6 and 2 Chronicles 3 sounds beautiful to me. All gold everything. Fine linens in beautiful colors. Shall I go on?
Seriously though, I just find it comical and at the same time a little curious to some of the stuff we focus on that in the grand scheme of things “ain’t hurting nobody.” And for those with the whole “inviting lust” argument you can keep that. If that’s your issue it’s yours and most things another person does won’t fix that. Trust me, if you got a foot fetish and pretty toes make you feel a way I promise you all the UGGly boots in the world won’t deliver you. Let pretty girls be pretty. Let’s focus on the serious matters at hand. We got sex tapes leaking, Pastors killing themselves at a record pace and churches are closing everyday for lack of membership and even the mega church down the block is struggling with actual church GROWTH. But you want to go in and lose it over a white dress on a pretty lady who can actually fit it. Goodbye. Do better.
P.S. And no this isn’t some open season moment for everybody to go buck-wild and put on a mini skirt and call it “kingdom.” Right is still right but c’mon!