Growing up, there were two times a year where I knew I was guaranteed to get a new pretty dress, like it or not (usually not): Easter and Christmas Eve. Those were our most sacred holidays for our Christian faith, and dressing up meant we were showing that we honored these holy days. It was NOT a competition, it was out of respect to our maker and our congregation. It’s what my family and many others did. It was our group norm.
Back then, we also wore nice clothes to fly in an airplane. Leisure travel via air was a really big deal. We spent a lot of money to fly across the county and my mom thought that we should look as though we cared about it and the professionals who were in charge of our travel. No, we didn’t get new clothes, but we didn’t show up in rags either.
Fast forward to today and it’s not uncommon to see people wearing pajamas in Target, barely anything in Walmart, sweat pants on the airplane and spandex at the grocery store.
Look, I understand we’re all busy and comfort is essential but I will flat out tell you, I don’t want to see the shape of your ass as you’re bending over the granola bars, and even if I was overtaken with the flu, you’re not going to find me staring at soup in my kitty cat thermal pajama bottoms.
People often say to me, “You always look nice,” meaning they don’t catch me running around like a homeless person. You know why? Because I respect myself and other people enough to want to put a good face forward. It’s also why I show up on time, call if I’m running late, and send thank you notes. I also don’t condemn my friends who are workout clothes aficionados by lambasting their wardrobe choices on Facebook. If they want to flaunt their glutes, that’s between them and their lycra but I’m going to avert my eyes. To each their own.
Now I hear about the #forgetthefrock campaign where they are encouraging you to skip the Easter clothes and buy an expensive tshirt from a charity that will ultimately benefit the charity’s mission. I’ll admit I’m a little taken aback. Okay, a lot. I mean really. Have you even seen what people wear to church these days? I’m not sure this is not a big sacrifice for many of the people who rally behind it.
However, if we stop the conversation right there, with the concept, I wouldn’t be so upset. There’s a group of folks who think it’s ridiculous for those of us who show their respect for our faith by wearing something nice. They have a right to their opinion, as do we. The #ForgettheFrock campaign certainly distracts from the meaning of the holiest holiday in Christianity, but it’s America and we have the freedoms to believe and support and to say what we want. Sadly though, #ForgetTheFrock has taken fire on social media and people are just getting ugly about it – on both sides.
Here’s where I fall. Basically the supporters of #ForgetTheFrock would consider me to be “ridiculous” because I bought my daughter a new dress for Easter Sunday.
For the record, my daughter’s dress was about $14 from TJ Maxx and she’s worn it a couple of times already so technically it’s not even an “Easter FROCK,” but I don’t suppose that matters when casting stones. My husband and I wore clothes we already had. Yet to the judgmental supporters of #ForgetTheFrock, we are guilty of selfishly wasting money, deliberately ignoring the plight of global poverty in the process. They’re incredibly more altruistic than myself on Easter because they bought an overpriced t-shirt [likely made in an undeveloped country with inhumane working conditions] and trumpeted online about their supreme benevolent nature. Oh, and lest not forget that I’m an “exclusionary conservative masquerading as Christian” and that my tradition of “dressing up for Easter is simply to impress others here on Earth.”
Wow. Did they also forgo the Easter basket and send a meal of rice to Uganda? Are they planning to wear a t-shirt in their wedding? I suspect the cost of that wedding dress they didn’t buy could feed a village or two for quite a while.
Holy 1st Amendment, you Internet trolls! Say what you want, spend your money how you want, I don’t feel bad. We donated $7 at church to benefit their outreach programs which is ironically a Sunday-low for us but still probably more than the campaign shirts contribute, and I’ve still spent less than the $27 t-shirt. We donate regularly to a wide variety of non-profits of our choice and never once have we felt compelled to advertise it, or be so prideful of it that we’ll hashtag the heck out of it on social media to guilt others into doing the same. Well, okay, we did do the Ice Bucket challenge, (you have me there), but mocking people’s character for not dumping water on their heads? Nope.
But that’s just us. And we’re not alone. There’s also a groundswell of opposition to the campaign:
I think it’s sad that this campaign has taken such a nasty turn and I’m even more saddened that I’m now glad Easter is over so maybe it will fade from the headlines. The back and forth between the sides just builds on all the animosity that Americans are already cannonballing at each other during this contentious campaign season. Unfortunately, social media breeds insecurities and affords people such bravery that they feel completely comfortable to condemn others in ways they’d never have the courage to say face-to-face. Shaming people for what they wear or don’t wear on Easter is reaching a new low for the American people, and I think we can — should — be more thoughtful about our acceptance of our melting pot of beliefs, ideas and values. Let’s choose our words, and our clothes, wisely, people. Please.
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