The interaction between religion and fashion is a fascinating one. Without much acceptance, both ideals affect each other. Fashion is a way to show our world view and one factor that really influences that is religion. One of the foremost exposure we get in the world is through religion. Our perception is shaped by this and ultimately this will actualise in our fashion. It may not always be the case because some religions can be more fluid in fashion because your personal identity goes beyond clothing.
The term fashion encompasses clothing, grooming, and all forms of body adornment. This could also include behaviors that are aimed at controlling the body. In this regard, there are diverse beliefs. In religion, we are taught to love ourselves the way we were created because God made us in his image and likeness. Some acts such as dieting, plastic surgery, and cosmetics, for some, goes against this belief. However, fashion is a way of communicating nonverbally. So, we show the love of fashion and our belief through this nonverbal means.
More to this relationship, we cannot be defined by how we look. Most times, things are more than what we see. There are different situations that call for different kinds of fashion. We just have to know the right one and use accordingly. The end point will always be to appear the appropriate way whether that is in agreement with your belief system or not; one of which is modesty. Almost every religious group preaches modesty but this is a term that is defined differently by these groups. In this case, the Muslims will appear in Hijab, Christians in scarves. Some religions allow trousers while some don’t. There might be a disbelief of jewellery adornment for some people and some others stick to their natural hair. All of which directly have an effect on fashion style choices.
Whether or not we want to agree that religion affects our fashion, self-presentation and self-promotion still rest on the discretion of the individual. We all know what perception we want to put out there and we will go the length to achieve that. The one thing we cannot deny is that whatever we believe in will determine the kind of decisions we make, fashion wise or not. Just be sure to be yourself and be confident about whatever fashion choice you make.
Written by Nkem Ikeh
Image source: globalfashionreport.com, womenitems.com