Before I start, I will point out I’m not one of those Nice Christian Girls. Never have been. I believe in talking about awkward thing like anti-depressants, and sex, and pain. When I read my Bible, I see a Jesus that loved people so much he called his best friends cowards. (I also see a Jesus that would willingly address difficult questions if the person asking was genuinely searching.)
The other day I was scrolling through my Instagram, which is filled with pictures and inspiring quotes from Nice Christian Girls, when I came upon an exchange that looked a bit like this:
Person A (well respected Nice Christian Girl. She has a book and everything.): Here’s a picture of so-and-so, encouraging us as women to be each other’s Wonderbra – supporting and lifting each other to look good. (or something like that.)
Person B (random person, about five comments down): Oh we have much more important things to worry about than that. If Jesus would let me be offended, that would have done it. (Translation: That’s really offensive, but nice Christian girls like me don’t get offended. We are too busy worrying about important stuff.)
Sometimes I look at things like this and just sigh and shake my head. This particular exchange had me going “Really?” in a state of bemused frustration. Nice Christian things provoke this response on occasion.
Because mentioning unmentionables should not be offensive. If you can’t talk about underwear, how can you talk about abuse, neglect, pornography, addiction, sexuality, or any number of other important issues?
So I’m not offended by the use of a Wonderbra metaphor. But that doesn’t mean I’m going to be your Wonderbra. Not because it’s underwear (underwear is all about hidden support, and we all need asome of that from time to time), but because it’s Wonderbra. Pushing and squeezing whatever you have to make it look like you have something else. Something more, or something different. Something everybody else tells you that you should have.
And I am not for that. I am not for telling people that they
must should look good, or do good. Because looking good and doing good, is all about appearances. And encouraging people to put up appearances may (possibly) be as bad as judging them for it.
Encouragement is not about looking good (although it can be). It’s not about doing good (although it can be that, too). Encouragement is about accepting somebody’s today, and having faith in their tomorrow. Encouragement is about relationships, and time.
Wonderbrament says you need to fit these criteria, you need to make yourself look like this. Encouragement says, it’s okay if you don’t fit the mould. Not everyone was made for Wonderbra’s.
The look-good-do-good brand asphyxiates the broken. It encourages us to hide our brokenness, our pain, our trauma, behind happy smiles and good deeds. We grab our masks to face the world, because that is what we have to do. That is the only way we can look good.
We grab our masks, and we are blinded. To our purpose, to our potential, to the hurting hearts hiding behind the masks that do good alongside us.
No, I won’t be your Wonderbra. You don’t need one. You are not the way you look, or the things you do. You are so much more than that. And you always will be.
Just don’t tell the Nice Christian Girls I said that. They may get antsy.