Christian Fashion Week in Tampa Wants Models to Keep Their Clothes On

Categories: Fashion

Christian Fashion Week: Wear all the makeup you want, but keep your clothes on.
Do Christians dress differently than the rest of us? Yes, because they're not letting all their shameful flesh hang out for other sinners to see.

That, at least, is what we're taking from the announcement of the first Christian Fashion Week, taking place this weekend in Tampa. It's "the world's first series of fashion shows and events around the idea of fashion with a Christian worldview, considering Christian values such as modesty, boldness, and true style."

Seriously, women -- boldly cover those lady lumps up, will ya? It's for Jesus.

The event plans to showcase fashion from designers of all types: clothing, swimwear, and of course, bridal. But they all have two things in common: Most of them are based in Florida, and all of them want to restore dignity to women by covering up their sinful naughty bits.

"We aim to ... increase awareness of a values-based fashion industry that has always taken a back seat to the world's more risqué sense of style," explains CFW's press release. "Christian Fashion Week is a mission to stand for dignity on behalf of communities, families, and fashion consumers."

The CFW website even has a section misleadingly titled "Getting Naked," which is about not getting naked. Specifically, it details the history of Christians trying to help models make their way to Heaven by keeping their clothes on. For example, Mayra Gomez, the Tampa-area founder of Model4Jesus, appeared on The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency in 2008 to inspire its model contestants to refuse to get nude on the job.

That led to a campaign by CFW that aims to show models that they can have successful careers without baring it all for the cameras. It's called "You Don't Have To":

You Don't Have To Get Naked To Be A Model - Christian Fashion Week ®

Yep, that's a topless model advertising an anti-nudity campaign. Go ahead and let that marinate for a minute.

Look, we're all about rejecting society's strict standards of beauty. And of course, no model should be forced to do anything she's not comfortable doing for a shoot. But Christian Fashion Week isn't doing anyone any favors. The idea that modesty equals dignity is antiquated and dangerous. It implies that bodies -- women's bodies, in particular -- are inherently shameful, that pride in one's own shape and size is somehow sinful, and reinforces the idea women who express themselves by showing a little extra skin are "undignified" -- which, let's face it, is just a Christian euphemism for "slutty." The overall message is one of judgment, and we're pretty sure Jesus wouldn't be down with that.

And again, we really can't emphasize this enough: The anti-nude modeling ad contains a nude model. That's some ballsy hypocrisy right there. Maybe that's what they mean by the Christian value of "boldness"?

Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

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With the fashion industry constantly promoting such risque attire to our youth I must disagree with your article. As a parent of a teenage daughter it is my job to teach her to have respect for herself and to demand respect from others. I would find it hard for her to get that if all she is wearing is shirts that show her breasts and pants or shorts so tight that she has camel toe. Gross right, wrong this is what numerous fashion companies promote to our youth.

It is nearly impossible for young girls to find shirts or tops covering their midriff, or pants that are not skin tight and revealing. Children are forced to confront the concept of “sexy” before they are capable of understanding what it means. Western society is organized to sexualize young people and the fashion industry goes right along with it. Your Statement " The idea that modesty equals dignity is antiquated and dangerous" I beg to differ it goes without saying that in an age of pedophilia and other perversions, such conduct is not only immoral, but dangerous.

I think it is great that there are groups forming christian and non-christian alike who have no tolerance for the constant bombardment that in order to sell fashion it has to show off the body and promote sex. I am all for what they are doing and look forward to seeing fashion that does not require me to dress or my daughter to dress like a prostitute.


Ciara, since you are fundamentally correct in your argument about the image used in the campaign, we accept the critique and have changed the image. Thank you for keeping us righteous. :)



First, I want to thank you for the write up, although it's a bit tongue and cheek. LOL. I actually loved the article because you bring up some valid points. Let's hit the most obvious issue we face in the article - the usage of an implied nude in our anti-nudity campaign. You're not the first one to bring this up, and I assure you that we were very aware of the contradiction when we chose to use the stock image. The idea here was to establish some realism and allow the campaign to resonate with those who felt uncomfortable with the image itself. We didn't take the picture - we found it and licensed its usage because we felt that it conveyed the emotion we were looking to convey. Its the way a lot of models feel when they are asked to do what is "normal" in the fashion world. We know that there are models that couldn't care less. But, we are sticking up for the ones who do. As a journalist, you would never consider a photo of a starving child in an anti-hunger campaign hypocritical. You would see it as a picture that tells the story. Thus, our choice of image for the campaign.

As far as the dangers of equating modesty with dignity, we actually agree with you. Women should not be ashamed of their bodies, nor should they be anxious about whether they will be judged for what they wear. But, Christian Fashion Week just isn't about that. It's for men and women who ALREADY feel uncomfortable with the fashion industry's "norms" and are demanding an alternative. For those people, modesty is part of their requirement for wearable fashion. For others, there are a plethora of other fashion weeks that give you the full range. And, we support the artistic side of it all - although we do not necessarily agree with the final expression. But, who does. Our religious values are our filter, while someone else's filter is taste or culture.

I hope this clears up the misconception that we are here to force a message down anyone's throat. We are simply here to give a voice to those who are already asking for modest fashions and a forum for designers willing to cater to them. We're not a bunch of religious kooks who want you to cover up the "sisters". But, we do want to give people an alternative if their internal value system compels them to. And, there's nothing wrong with that.

Thanks, again, Ciara.

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