Friday, July 31, 2015

Repost: Underneath Your Clothes

Please tell me I'm not the only blogger who obsessively checks page views and comments on the day a new post goes up.  Please.  In the past month since I began my attempt to bring this thing back from the dead, I've been staring down the search terms and traffic sources that led people to these pages, and was surprised--not in a bad way!--to see a significant number of search terms for "Catholic lingerie" and "Can Catholics wear lingerie?"  My opinion is here in this post from 2 years ago, and I'd love to reignite the discussion.  Thoughts?

Remember my honeymoon essentials post ?  It featured a pretty lace bra and underwear set, and as I collected images for the post, I came across plenty of other pieces worth sharing.  Behold, here, the products of my internet wanderings.

1 and 4, Rikshaw Designs.  2512, & 13, Anthropologie.  3, J. Crew.  67, & 9, Topshop.  810, & 11, Aerie.
To be honest, I wasn't really interested in lingerie before I got married.  I'd heard of lingerie-specific parties for the bride that sounded impossibly awkward, and asked my bridesmaids to just politely let shower guests know that I wouldn't prefer to receive any. Mostly I just wanted to avoid being embarrassed, but I think I also had this idea in my head that I'd be buying into the culture, and its seeming insistence that women look and act like Victoria's Secret models, if I set foot anywhere near something lacy.

In the past few years, though, my attitude has actually changed.  I realized I was failing to separate the culture's idea of beauty in the bedroom from that same beauty as it really is and should be.  It wasn't what a woman wore that was the problem; it was the messages of objectification and naughtiness that I'd been encouraged to believe about it, and I realized that with purity there can be freedom from so many of those lies.  Plus, I discovered there are plenty of classy, pretty choices available, a far cry from the costumey nightmares some brides receive.  Back in December, I wrote about beauty and sensuality in a way I don't think I can reword better, so here it is again, a little summing up of my attitude towards the way a woman can (and in my opinion, should) present herself to her husband with love:

When I was younger, I remember being so surprised by the Song of Songs' overt sensuality, as well as by the idea that lines like "Your hair is like a flock of goats!" were considered turn-ons.  Now, though, having been graced with a deeper, much more integrated view of sexuality, I see nothing but purity in these lovers' passion.  As human persons, we are more special than we could ever fathom: no other being on earth is made in God's image and likeness, as a body and soul.  And as women, we're the crown of creation.  Our bodies express who we are and express the love between man and wife in such a visible way, so what I've come to realize is that sensuality, in the literal context of having to do with the senses, is such a beautiful thing.  Sensuality, eroticism, and sex itself...these goods have been so twisted by the world, but when they're untwisted and placed squarely back where they belong, in light of nuptial love, they're nothing but good, pure, and holy.

You totally wanted to read about my undies today, I'm sure.  The reason I brought this up is that I think there's a possibility, particularly in Catholic circles, to turn lingerie into a moral issue, probably because of the negative messages out there that had me confused for a while.  I'd humbly argue that it's not an issue of morality, but of preference, love, and femininity.  I think adorning your body can be a beautiful (though certainly not necessary, if it's not your thing) invitation to be gazed upon with love, not just in the physical sense, but in the sense of truly being seen.

What do you think?  I realize, like I said, there's some debate about this,  though perhaps largely as a result of misunderstanding, and I'd love to hear your thoughts!

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