|| Leggings && Ladies ||

I write about what I’m passionate about, what I feel strongly about, when I want to be known that I, Arielle believe in, (insert all the things). Sometimes my tongue and hands have a mind of their own and work against me; often, I won’t post certain things because I am so caught up in second guessing myself. I wonder, what will people think? Will I lose audience members? Will my parents be shocked; will my church ask what the heck was I thinking? This. This is one of those posts where I cannot ignore that another voice needs to be heard in this conversation. So here it goes…my voice added to the array of other bloggers, Pastors and wordy individuals.

I like wearing leggings.

They’re comfortable and versatile; I can wear them with dresses, long shirts, boots, and sandals. I can wear them when its hot or cold, I can dress them up or dress them down. When I don’t feel good, leggings reassure me that, “Hey, even if you feel like crap…we got this.” Leggings give me the opportunity to take a chill pill, to fold my legs in a chair and give my full attention to someone, they let me lift my legs close to my chin and give myself a hug if I wanted to. I LIKE WEARING LEGGINGS. Fun fact, I have them on right now and I wore them yesterday.

I don’t know if you’ve seen it and I’m not going to attach it in this post because this is my blog, not hers, but if you Google it you can find it. A blogger talked about her decision to stop wearing leggings because of her own personal conviction that it was causing the men around her to stumble. I totally get her mindset, her conviction, and I understand her heart as best I can from reading her perspective. But here is where my boiling over passion lies, for so long women’s bodies have been seen as something that belongs to everyone else but ourselves. Let’s think about it, there has been years AND more years of women being told how to look, how to think, how to and not to be. We STILL get told all those things. Here, be a size two but also with curve. Be educated but also with just the right amount of flirty, be this and be that. We are seen more as dolls and puppets than as human beings.

A recurring concept for me for the past couple years is the idea of taking back my body. If I want to lose weight its because I want to, if I want to wear something then I wear it and I don’t let the opinions of other people consume me. This is something I’ve had to come to terms with as not being selfish. Sometimes taking care of yourself, loving yourself is not selfish...it’s necessary.

I don’t know if you know this...but it was never our job as women to live our lives worried about the “stumbling” of men. I’m sure this will raise a lot of different conversations but I do not believe that we were created to be on this earth solely to wake up each morning and make sure our outfit doesn’t make so-and-so in our class drool.  I’m going to get real finger point-y here but do we tell men when they’re at the beach or the gym to wear shirts so that WE don’t stumble? Do we tell them not to wear really attractive suits so that WE don’t stumble? It’s a two way street here people. When will we both be on it? Because right now all I see and hear is ‘women, be this’ or ‘ladies, be that’. Practice modesty and be a virgin as a dainty little wrapped gift for whoever comes into your life (that is, IF they come).

My questions are these: What about us? Where do we come into this equation? What about our health, our sanity, our walk with Christ and struggle with lust?

These are our bodies after all, and I think its time that we also reap the benefits of taking care of it. I cannot speak on behalf of men, because I am not one but newsflash… they’re not the only ones who struggle with love and lust. They aren’t the only ones whose minds wander. It is both our jobs as Christian men AND women to practice self-control, practice the living out of purity in all ways and not just physically. Don't get me wrong, I love the brothers in my life and would not want to be the cause of any type of negative influence but have we ever thought of approaching this issue in a different way? The primary argument here is that women, in just the act of being a woman and not censoring our bodies holistically, creates a stumbling block in the walk of Christian men. Like shoot way to lay it on thick.

This is not a rampage post to say that all women should just go and wear whatever they want because well, do you boo. I can’t sit here and tell you what you can and cannot wear. What I can tell you is that you have value, you deserve to have people look at you and desire to know more about who you are, what you love and also admire how BOMB you look in that dress. God made you to be a beautiful human being and despite how much this world and everyone else wants to convince us that it isn’t true, it absolutely is.

I’m sorry that I’m not sorry, I will keep wearing leggings, I will practice “modesty” because I care and value myself. I will not flaunt everything I have because I want to be as much of a mystery worth exploring as I can be because I deserve it.

I am tired of feeling the burden of everyone else on my woman shoulders (granted, this never really leaves us because well… we’re women) but this is my body. My body that I so desire to be in communion with the one who created it. This is my body; it is a temple, a safe space and my home. It was not created to be a temptation, lust-filled atomic bomb or someone else’s demise.

This, is a two-way street, and I’m just sort of waiting until we all start walking on it. Until then, I’ll be at the cross street, and I’ll meet you there.