To help promote my book, I am going to be giving a sneak peek of the contents, one this week and one next week. Each one will be a section of a chapter that will hopefully give you a taste of what the book is about. This first sneak peak is the first few pages of Chapter 1 - "Lies We Believe About Physical Beauty". It features a story from my college trip to New York City. If you enjoy it, make sure to like and share it to spread the word. Thanks ~ Bethel
While I was a student at a Christian college, I got to spend a week in New York City for a seminar class. That trip was an experience I will never forget. I had never been to New York, and it was only the second time in my life I had traveled by airplane. This class called “Exegeting the City” helped us learn how to make Christianity work in an urban context. I learned so much on that trip, but there is one experience that stands out from the others because it taught me a lot about what the world perceives about fashion and beauty.
One of the points that our professor was trying to communicate to us is that rich people are people, just like you and me, even if there was a cultural gap between us. To help us bridge the gap, we were given a special assignment. Together we walked to one of the fanciest retail stores in the United States, Bergdorf Goodman’s. We were given instructions to go into the store, find the formal clothing department, and try those clothes on. The men went to the men’s store across the street and the ladies when into the women’s store. Even before we got to the formal wear department, we all felt like a fish out of water. We finally got to the formal gowns, it was like we were on a completely different planet. We looked through the dresses together, but most of us were scared about trying them on since we would have to ask the attendants. I was quite nervous myself, but I had been preparing myself to do this since I had a friend tell me about this assignment. So I was the brave one that asked first. I will never forget the contrast in the attendants’ reactions. The first one was polite and helpful, as would be expected. She even let me know that the dress was available in other colors. But the other one gave me a glance that said, “You don’t have enough money to be touching that dress.” I guess my clothes had given away that I was not part of the first percent clientele that they usually served. But that glance of judgment based on my clothes is something I have never forgotten.
The nice attendant helped me to my fitting room and eventually, the other girls worked up the courage to ask as well. The fitting room was the size of my current bedroom. (Ok, maybe not, but it was still huge). It even had one of those round modeling podiums. The dress I picked was a silver strapless mermaid with layered fabric. Although it was pretty, it almost seemed like the kind of dress I could find in the prom department of a local department store. I’m sure the materials were superior quality, but it didn’t seem like the kind of dress I would search for in a store like this. I took some pictures and took the dress off. Up to this point, I don’t think I had taken notice of the price. But I wanted to make sure I documented it, so I finally looked at the price tag: $4,330. I remember thinking to myself: who in their right mind would pay this much for a dress like this? Part of me started to think that the rude attendant had a point.
Addressing the Lies
I believe this sales attendant had bought into the many lies that the culture fed her about a women’s value. In our culture today, we believe a lot of things that just aren’t true, whether we realize it or not. Buying into them will cause us to live our lives apart from what God has in store for us. So many of the lies we believe can be as a result of deception from our own emotions or our struggles with shame. Either way, it makes us harder for those of us that are trying to live our lives in light of the truth.
To me, some of the most pressing lies we face have to do with our self-worth and our physical appearance. This is an area of life that can very easily be influenced by the father of lies, making us question who we are and why our lives even matter. Because the beauty standards that society puts before us are nearly impossible to obtain, we spend our time chasing something we can never reach and therefore are never satisfied. If we don’t learn how to have our identity firmly rooted in Christ, we will never find the heart motivation behind the need for modesty in our world today. So we are going to begin this journey by walking through several different lies many of us have come to believe about our physical appearance...
Like what you read so far? Then make plans to order your copy of Beyond Your Wardrobe today! Preorder is available now for the ebook through any of the following links:
Paperback will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and more by February 21, 2020.