A Long Overdue Leggings Intervention

I am an amateur. I admit it. If you do your weekly grocery shopping at Costco on a Saturday morning in December, you pretty much deserve what you get and have no room to complain about the lady who appeared strung out, parked in the middle of the cheese aisle, blocking all entrance or exit, because her drug of choice was actually most likely the 25 days of cheese package (relax, I put it back…) and not the harder stuff, like the Scandinavian smoked salmon. So I am not complaining. The things I saw at this capitalistic zoo were all a risk that I consciously decided to take when I laced up my leopard print trainers and tackled the world on that bright, cold weekend morning.

However. We need to speak about this American female habit of wearing leggings out in public as if they were pants. Repeat after me: LEGGINGS ARE UNDERWEAR (leggings are underwear). THEY ARE NOT PANTS (they are not pants).

I know, I know… where is the compassion? Isn’t love supposed to cover a multitude of sins? Where do I get off making sweeping generalizations about another woman’s clothing (and Christian women do this too)? Interesting objection, when you think about it… “covering” is exactly the thing I am pushing for here. But you have a point. I have no busy making such an ostensibly offensive remark and exhortation without backing it up (and at Christmas, no less!), so without further ado, here is my argument for why you should give up leggings and cover your bits for real — physically and spiritually.

As much fun as it would be to just blame Lularoe for our current assumptions about the viability of leggings as clothes (and don’t get me wrong, they can shoulder some of it. But for real, as soon as you caught yourself saying, wow, it feels just like I am in pajamas, you then needed to look in the mirror and ask yourself, why don’t I wear pajamas out in public? Lularoe may have planted the idea, but you walked out of the house wearing the idea), the fact that their legging world found a ready market is an indicator of an underlying belief system. Never forget that our theology always works its way out our fingertips… the same fingertips that button our shirts, zip our jeans, and… well, whatever the verb for legging wearing is. We wear leggings, uncovering our bums and other wonderfully made anatomical features, because we have a shame problem.

What? say you, my intelligent readership. Wouldn’t bold flaunting of the posteriors indicate a total lack of shame? You would think.

But I am arguing today that actually, when we commit to expose things that really do need covering, we are seeking to hide our shame by denying that it is shameful, by demanding the acceptance and approval of all who have to stare at it. And this (as you knew it would) has ramifications far beyond our backsides.

Because we do this with our sin. We need covering, always have — we are Daughters of Eve and have needed our sin covered from the get-go, and in Christ, we have that covering. Yet our sinful nature remains, and so we still fall into imitating our first mother and do a creative figgy scramble that has nothing to do with pudding, and in our current day, one of the most common ways to hide shame is to stick it out there and insist that everyone find it not shameful, but rather unique, independent, perhaps even beautiful.

Don’t I have a right to jiggly cellulite riddled body parts, we scream with our skin-tight spandex…

I glory in my piles of unfolded laundry, because I, unlike those other people, don’t want to have a sterile house that everyone is afraid to sit down in…

People who make their own Christmas gifts?? Who bake cookies for neighbor kids?? Not me! I am terrible at domestic garbage, and that makes me more spiritual. That’s why I make my husband do the cooking…

My current favorite came up in a conversation this morning: You should love how badly I am treating you, how I made sure to tell you that I hate you. I am giving you an opportunity to minister to me, and you are the one in sin if you don’t take it.

When we take pride in our weaknesses, when we stick out our chin over our failings and dare someone to call it what it is, we are telling a lie about the Gospel, a lie about the whole reason we have Christmas, because we are flaunting a shame that has been dealt with in Christ. See, you don’t have to wiggle into those leggings. You don’t have to secure unabashed approval for the things you are ashamed of, because God is in the manger, darkness has been turned to light, and you are covered. For real. Give up all these poor substitutions, and this Advent, proclaim the story with boldness — that you were lost, but now are found, that you have been forgiven, ALL OF IT. You have been covered.

Put on your Christmas pants.

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