A Fashion Revolution

July 10th, 2008

Focus Text: Psalm 91: 7-8 (NLT)

 7 Though a thousand fall at your side,
      though ten thousand are dying around you,
      these evils will not touch you.
 8 Just open your eyes,
      and see how the wicked are punished.

 

Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

We live in a world of fashion . . . well, some of us do.  Some of you may be familiar with the medical condition that I suffer from: Mallshopariacis.  It’s tragic really, and its symptoms only manifest themselves in certain environments.  When I feel the beginning of an outbreak of Mallshopariacis, my hands begin to sweat, my head begins to ache, and there’s a shaky weakness that permeates my whole body.  It’s not pretty.

For a man living in this world of fashion, Mallshopariacis is doubly tragic.  You see, I only have outbreaks when I’m involved in shopping trips that last for more than two hours.  Now for some reason, I can spend three or four hours at a music store and feel fine.  Put me in Lowe’s or Home Depot, I can wander around aimlessly salivating over the various tools and I never miss a beat.  For that matter, for some reason I thrive in the shopping environment of a store like Sam’s or Costco.  I suppose the bulk mentality is comforting to me because I subconsciously realize that by purchasing in large quantities, I am extending the time I’ll have before I have to return.

No, malls are the key.  High fashion is the trigger to my disorder.  I begin to feel an uneasiness when I drive into the huge parking lot and I begin making the laps over and over again searching for a spot. Then, we usually enter the mall through one of the huge department stores like Dillard’s or Macy’s and I am “greeted” at the door by the waft of perfume and organic make-up from the cosmetics section.  Then, we actually walk through the cosmetics section– the gauntlet one must pass through before making an entrance into the actual mall itself.  Dozens of make-up and perfume “specialists” wearing all black and constantly talking to each other about millions of topics that have no value in the real world begin eye-balling you as you make your passage.  I find that one should just not look them in the eyes and reply constantly, “no thank you, I don’t need new eye-liner.”

If one can successfully navigate the “fire-swamp” of the department store cosmetics, they will gain access to the vast expanse of the inner-sanctum of the mall subculture.  With the first step across the freshly polished tile floor, the eyes behold a virtual sea of people each chained to their own paper or plastic bag with some store’s logo on the side– this personal “brand” is one of the consequences of the mall experience.  Next, one must be almost rude to the poor, underpaid teenagers at the various kiosks who aggressively try to get you to buy their completely worthless product.  “No, I don’t want to cut my hair at home with my vacuum cleaner.  Please stop following me.”

Then, if you’re still alive at this point, you and your guide (in this case, my wife) actually reach you final destination– the specialty clothing store.  The unchanging constant of these types of stores (ie, GAP, Structure, etc.) is the music.  A constant pulsating synthetic bass line blares from the speakers built into the ceiling tiles overhead.  “Shopping music” I call it.  As my guide joyfully glides in and out of the round hanger-thingies, I usually find myself searching for respite– for some place to sit down and ice down my knees from the inflammation.  Only the most merciful of stores will place a solitary chair at the entrance to the dressing rooms.  If some other poor victim isn’t already occupying it, I quickly light there and offer to hold my guide’s purse for her while she shops.  Humiliating?  Sure it is.  But this is the life of one who suffers from Mallshopariasis.

At the heart of my frustration is the expectation of the world of fashion.  I’ll see some girl walking down the hallway of the mall wearing something that I consider to be absolutely and almost comically ridiculous.  So, I ask my guide and she informs me that what the girl is wearing is actually “in” right now. In?  Who decides this stuff?  Some skinny punk prancing down a runway somewhere in Paris with more rings in his nose than the logo for the Olympics?  Why does it matter what he thinks?

Apparently, as I’ve been told by my guide, it does matter and we’re going to do what Le Punk says.

Psalm 91: 7-8 also alludes to the tyranny of preconceived expectations.  It says that thousands may fall all around us- even right beside us, but that doesn’t mean that it has to touch us.  You see, fashion is just a microcosm of how our culture lives their lives.  We live up to the expectations of what we’re told.  “You can’t stay pure until you’re married, that’s crazy!”  “You’re not disciplined enough to have a daily devotion, just quit trying!”  “Here, try on this rebellious attitude– it’s what’s ‘in’ right now!”

No!  I don’t want to wear that and I’m not ashamed to say so!  Just like the Psalmist says, “open your eyes” and see how dumb everybody in the mall looks!  Okay, so that’s a little harsh, but we seriously must realize that just because we’re expected as a culture to do the things that are wrong, or to be lazy, or to wear lust like a new Versacci bag, doesn’t mean that we have to march along to the pulsating beat and hand over the “credit card” of our spiritual well-being.  Thousands may fall, but you don’t have to.

Be a trend-setter and stand firm in your own relationship with God.  Let your walk with Him set the pace for your decisions.  Join me in defying the unjust rule of a over-conscious fashion culture by proudly putting on your socks and then putting on your sandals at the same time . . . spiritually, of course.  

NOTE: If you’ve read this far and you’re confused about why John hates the mall and it’s employees, you may have missed the point.  Try googling the term “satire.”  I love all of you, even those of you who serve faithfully behind the cosmetics counter.

NOTE #2: It should be plainly stated that I do, in fact, believe that the combination of socks and sandals, though socially unacceptable, is the pinnacle of personal foot comfort.  Consequently, if I could get that skinny French punk on the phone, I would offer him a hefty bribe to introduce this combination into the world of fashion.  He hasn’t returned any of my calls yet.  Au revoir!

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~ by johndriver on July 10, 2008.

10 Responses to “A Fashion Revolution”

  1. funniest one yet! I have to say that when it comes to society i realize everyone’s different, even the fashion designers. Very rarely do they have anything other than the shape of the dresses thats similar. This makes it easier for me to realize that if everyone is different then i can be my own person with my own beliefs. Most of my beliefs im not easily swayed from, and i tend to like to sway people towards my beliefs. I thought it was great that you “talked” about this because tons of people are falling down around me.
    o and im not a big fan of malls either i go in get what i need and get out….and socks and sandals will never ever ever be “in” or considered ok.

  2. HAHA! This is hilarious. =D

    I think this is funny because like so many others in the world, I find myself falling into “Le Punk’s” trap of fashion. I have to have this or I must have that. It’s really annoying because it’s so difficult to keep up with. Fashion changes so much. So once you get one thing, it’s time to go shopping again because there’s one more thing that would look really good one you. That’s definetly me!

    This relates to God because the world always wants you to do one more thing. It’s never satisfied with just the one mistake that you have already made. Satan is always pushing just to get that one mistake out of you. “Come on, it’ll look good on you. You look like the bad girl type. Try it on! You might like it.”

    We have to stop buying into that. Quit buying the clothes just so you can fit in with the world of fashion. (This is just a metaphor. I, by no means, want anybody to stop buying clothes!)

    So I’ve come to the conclusion that your “Le Punk” is definetly Satan! (hehe)

  3. I dont have anything to add to your story but its absolutely true!

    And I wanna meet this “Le punk” dude.

    And socks and sandals? Not cool man, not cool ;]

  4. this was a bit confusing..but i tried to make it fit to my life.
    its true that ppl around us are falling into temptations and satan is constantly wanting us to fall. and the worlds expectations for us && gods are TOTALLY different. the world wants us to just do what is expected of our age && fit in with the statistics, yet god dosnt want us to be coformed to the ways of the world. that dosnt me we cant like stuf or clothes..ha casue id be in trouble. it just means that i dont need to let my possessions own me, i own them..i liked what you said about peace last night by the way. its true that peace is when everythings falling around you, but your okay about. cause you know gods there && he is in control. jahova jira- god our provider 😀 MY GOD IS MIGHTY TO SAVE. ha && socks && sandels…not so muchh, but shorts && snow boots, you should try that

  5. This is exactly what I needed to here today. One of my friends asked me about my beliefs and as I discussed them with him, I realized that so many people in todays world are changing themselves to “fit in” and be like everyone else. It’s incredible how God can work and keep us strong with our beliefs if we seek Him.

  6. I love this! Wow I have a lot of thoughts going through my head right now about what to say… my biggest advice for this devotion would be to have no fear when you try to set a certain “trend.” When we try to be different one word always catches us–FEAR. It is easy to say, “Don’t follow the crowd”, but harder to actually do. People let fear get to them simply because we are worried about what people might think of that trend they try to set. We have already discussed God is our shelter and that we should not be fearful. If we really believe that and trust in him, then our trends should not be a problem. It is kinda cool because when trying to be set apart from the world and not care, God is also testing us in other areas of our life. For example, if we are fearful when doing it, our trust in him, or even our influence. I’m not saying its bad to be afraid of being set apart and to be afraid of the ridicule you might face, but as long as you still trust God and know that this is for him and not for all the people who might laugh at you, God will take you under his wing. He already told us that in the previous scriptures. God is our help. He wants us to take a stand. My new favorite verse is Hebrews 12:13- Mark out a striaght path for your feet so that others who are weak and lame will not fall, but become strong. God calls us to be set apart, to make a new path for those who need guidance. God uses you in so many ways, and half the time we aren’t even aware he is doing it. Make sure your feet are planted and your focus is on God so we can mark out the right path and help others not stumble!

  7. I enjoyed reading this! It was fun hearing a guy’s perspective of the mall experience. You act like it’s dreadful! By the way, socks and sandals never mix and are always tacky, I advise you not to wear them.:) Since I’m around a lot of athletes and travel and meet different people who have different beliefs or have none at all, it’s important for me to stand up for what I believe in and to always do the right thing and be an example to them.

  8. One thing I have pondered about fashion craze and about any craze in general is, “Does culture dictate what the media reports or does the media dictate what culture will do?”

    Hmmm……

  9. This relates to my life because just the other day I was thinking about how so many of my friends have changed just because of high school. High school?? What’s so special about high school..so many of my friends changed just during freshman year, and then a little more during sophomore year. It’s really sad, but for some reason people like to compare themselves to each other and they have this idea that if someone else has done it than it’s okay for them to either do something almost exactly the same or the same thing..the weight of decisions isn’t there. it’s like satan told them to jump off a bridge, so they did and the currents carrying them away.

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