When I was 13, I straight up told my mom that I did not want a purity ring. I had my reasons, but I think all my mom heard was
“No, thank you, Mom, I actually plan on having sex before I am married.”
Purity rings were the thing. If you were going to be a virgin, you had a purity ring. That’s just what you did. Not I, said this teenager. Not only did I already feel too far gone, I was a tomboy, and when a tomboy acquires a shiny silver ring, people start asking questions.
I didn’t want the questions and the guilt that answering them would bring. That silver ring that symbolized abstinence to the world, would mean nothing but hypocrisy to me.
It bothered my mom, and I know it bothered her because months later, while I was visiting relatives out of state, my aunt decided to take my mom’s side. “You should have let her get that ring. There’s nothing wrong with it.”
As if getting pestered about my virginity at school wasn’t enough, now my family was going to pester me about purity. Can a girl get a break!?
There are preconceived societal expectations of purity. We expect that pure people will do something and that they will not do other things. For some reason, a lot of these expectations center around our wardrobe and few center around the heart.
You know what we have done? We have made a system for judging people. Nose ring= heathen. No purity ring= prostitute. Tatoos= rebel. We have compartmentalized Christianity into cute little controllable coded boxes.
What blew me away recently was the extreme we have taken that to and how much I have bought into this system myself!
((For you men that like to crash the party every now and then, you might want to leave now. It’s a little girl talk for the ladies. You’ve been warned.))
I didn’t pick up on this in my own life until I watched a vlog from Lauren over at the Good Women Project. I would post the video but, because of the content, some of the suggested videos are… suggestive.
The video is in response to questions asked about singleness.
What do you miss about being single?
What do you wish you would have done when you were single?
What advice do you have for single people?
Lauren said something that completely floored me. One of her suggestions to single women was,
What!?!? I had to play that part of the video again. How could she encourage young women to do that!?
Her reason was that we should not feel like a different person. Getting married does not make you some new person, but some women can feel uncomfortable in more ‘attractive’ undergarments. They feel like it isn’t them.
Well that suggestion grated me the wrong way. I didn’t like it. It didn’t seem right. Back in July I had an issue. I was invited to a friend’s lingerie shower, and it mortified me. I sit here and talk about how we should be open about sex, but was scared to death of a lingerie shower. Oh the irony.
Frankly, I hated shopping for her, because I hated being in that section of the store. Maybe I’m the only one who grew up this way, but since you don’t see it, it didn’t need to be cute or expensive, packs of 10 in bland colors was all that was needed. The ‘other stuff’ was reserved for married women.
I felt guilty and embarrassed shopping there! I felt like people might judge me. What if someone from the church walked up right then? That would be awkward! What would they think?
I tried to come up with a reason why Lauren was wrong. I wanted to prove this was a bad idea. I tried to think of a Biblical approach to underwear. Guess what! There isn’t one.
She wasn’t telling them to go have sex. She was, essentially, telling them to be comfortable with their bodies. There are standards of modesty, but the idea of underwear is that you wear it under your clothes. So, no one sees it. I can hear you now: Well, if no one sees it, why does it need to be cute?
I have always been a bit of a free spirit. I don’t like to throw restrictions in where God only gives principles. I like to call myself un-traditionally traditional. I love being classy, but there is a bit of a rocker chic in this refined, postured shell. I paint my nails- but I paint them neon blue and green. I wear earrings, but only if they make a statement. I don’t think I own a pair of white socks (rocking the neon anklets) and my most recent shoe purchase are two pairs of knee-high chap boots that I rock with knee-length pencil skirts.
I want to be one of those women who isn’t afraid or a ashamed of who God has created me to be. I just replaced the entire top drawer of my dresser. You know what? I join Lauren in her statement.
If it is your thing, rock it, girl (modestly, of course- just because it is cute doesn’t mean everyone needs to see it, k?). I don’t mean frequent a sex shop, but maybe sacrifice one package of tighty whities every now and then for something with a little more fun.
Wearing something ‘cute’ that no one sees does not mean you are promiscuous any more than a silver ring everyone can see means you are not.