- I like pretty dresses, especially gowns. If I could wear a gown every day, I'd be happy.
- I don't get abstract art, including haute couture fashion.
- I am Roman Catholic.
This morning, I went to mass. I don't often go during the week, but this was a funeral for a family member. Even though I'd never set foot in that church before today, I knew what to expect, what do do, how to show reverence, and how to go about giving a reading. After 12 years of Catholic school, I've been to a lot of church. That being said, I don't go as much as I should, and I don't live as well as a Catholic should. I may not be the best, most pious Catholic, but my faith and my church is very important to me. I've made the sacraments of baptism, reconciliation, eucharist, confirmation, and marriage within the church. I will have a Catholic funeral someday as well. Like I said, not the best Catholic in the world, but definitely Catholic.
And I am offended by several of the looks at the Met Gala last night.
My religion is not a fashion statement. Rosary beads are not jewelry or accessories. Halos are not the same as tiaras and crowns. The Blessed Virgin is not a costume. The Pope is not something to be sexualized. Priests' and nuns' habits are not immodest. The cross is not a decoration.
Some of the fashion didn't seem religious at all. There were several angel outfits, including Katy Perry, which were secular heavenly creatures. Arianna Grande wore a gown made from the print of the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. While certainly religious in inspiration, did not mock or inappropriately use Catholic items. None of those bothered me.
What did bother me was crosses randomly sewn on gowns that would not be allowed in the Catholic Church due to their revealing nature (Kim Kardashian). The Catholic Church is considered God's house and as such, respect must be shown when entering. This includes not bearing cleavage or wearing a dress so short that your pubic area may or may not be visible.
What bothered me was Lana del Rey dressed as Our Lady of Sorrows.
Rihanna dressed as the Pope, the leader of the Catholic church, while wearing a strapless, micro-mini dress. AKA "sexy pope."
I saw "fashion" based upon the habits of the clergy, complete with cut-outs, bare shoulders and midriffs, and cleavage. Our clergy dress very modestly.
I saw the birth of the Lord depicted as headwear.
I saw an interview with Tracee Ellis Ross who said she picked fuschia because on "the third Sunday of Lent, the clergy wears pink to remind us of the coming joy." She struggled to remember those words. She should have rehearsed more because it is the fourth Sunday of Lent, otherwise known as Laetare Sunday. For the record, Tracee Ellis Ross is Jewish.
In this day and age, cultural appropriation gets thrown around a lot. A white teenager gets skewered on social media for wearing an Asian-inspired prom gown. Halloween is a veritable minefield of what you can and cannot wear. Never is it appropriate to make a race/nationality/heritage sexy.
So why is it acceptable to do this to the Catholic Church?
The answer is, it's not.
I know the Vatican approved the theme this year and lent some artifacts for display. However, that doesn't mean that it's open season on my religion.While some of the "offenders" are at least Catholic, many are not. This, for me, makes it that much worse. I would never be allowed to show up in a traditional African dress or sexy Muslim outfit. Of course, I never would because it's insensitive.
I understand that there is a level of artistry to haute couture that is beyond me. Some of the outfits last night were stunning. Some were horrendous. Regardless of the taste level or style, please don't use my faith and religion as a fashion statement.
My religion, and all the sacred aspects of it, are not accessories. Please don't treat them that way.