I found it really hard to write this article for fear of misinterpretation and misconstruction from my, other churches and the general public. The disclaimer is that I am not having a go at well-meaning congregants that cherish freedom of dressing. This is a lament over some unnecessary vices that are seeping through most church doors. I am not and will never be a regulator of appropriate church dressing, and male chauvinism is not my cup of tea. One thing for certain is that I profess views from an inner rather than a cosmetic angle and generally write as I see.
It is no hidden fact that skimpy dressing and cleavage have taken root in most of our churches. Not to proselytise, it has its own pros and cons depending on which angle you look at it and your position in Christ. Our people’s pious and let it be nature coupled with the Christian nation declaration has blinded us from documenting and commenting on skimpy dressing in churches. I hope women enlightenment movements won’t go for my jugular for suggesting that cleavage and skin tight clothing have no place in our churches. I’m just stating a gender-neutral statement.
Why do congregants gasp when a lady with a strapless revealing top in an inordinately short skirt and high-heeled shoes enters a church? Doesn’t this trigger something about the inappropriateness of the attire? To the contrary, would a husband disapprove if the wife in similar attire was entering a bedroom? Do our glamorous fashion-crazy ladies realise that age, occasion and time define dressing? Some modest Godly women suggest that as a rule of thumb, their folks should not enter church if less than one third of their bodies is not covered. Whether this holds water is an article on its own.
Let me begin by defining cleavage and skimpy dressing; cleavage is the deliberate exposure of part of a woman’s breast and neckline enhanced by an internal tightener and V shaped attire, sometimes miraging double breasts. Skimpy dressing has more to do with failure to cover most and vital parts of the body. A combination of cleavage, skimpy and tight dressing for the female gender, especially in churches, that are supposed to be celebration points, does not bode well for other members. It becomes not only a point of attraction but has a way of negating the very pious nature expected in such gatherings.
Skin tight attire that exposes every curve in a human body whether from a male or female becomes a public distraction, especially during religious gatherings like in church or mosques; the least thing needed in a worship set-up. This is a double-edged sword that does not respect gender. Although congregants should take note these remain my personal views.
I also find it rather amusing that female church-goers who come in very short skirts have the audacity of pulling them down at the entrance. Don’t you check yourselves at home? What is the role of the peers you tag along to church? While we do appreciate that humanity has choice when it comes to dressing, appropriateness should be the hallmark of every person who chose to move in public. We must be considerate of people’s perceptions about our dressing because we don’t operate in a vacuum.
All of us, especially women, whose make-up demand less exposure of their upper front and lower behind, must discern the fine line between appropriateness and exposure. Fashion, design and styles notwithstanding, both male and female church-goers who are supposed to be the salt of the earth must lead by example.
Some opponents of decent dressing wrongly insist that Adam and Eve taught us that dressing involves only covering our private parts. I beg to differ! In this modern era, we should be wary of being injurious to other church members, who are constantly distracted by our bad dressing. Isn’t it a wonder that we now can’t distinguish some female church folks from loose night club ladies. Strapless dresses, short skirts, bikinis and related skimpy attire have their places but certainly not in churches.
The author is a social and political commentator