Some of you may have noticed that priests--maybe especially female priests--sometimes have a hard time finding ways to stay stylish post-ordination. I have thought long and hard about this phenomenon and have identified three reasons for priestly fashion violations: (1) The long hours and odd scheduling makes it hard to muster the energy to, like, wash your hair; (2) Clerical shirts are generally un-flattering and can make an otherwise cute outfit to straight to hell; and (3) On a more serious note, I think that female priests are especially self-concious of putting energy into looking attractive, either because they don't want to send the "wrong" message to parishioners or because they are afraid that they won't be taken seriously if they look "cute." Obviously, reason number three is deeply rooted and cannot be solved with a quick fix, but reasons one and two are totally (in my opinion) avoidable! (Quick side note: When I was in seminary I was once told that I should cut my hair short and stop wearing makeup so that men will be less inclined to sexually harass me at work...seriously. I mean, just think about that.)
Anyway, I was really excited on Sunday morning when a parishioner at my church told me that a friend of hers--a 25 year-old priest in Mossouri--was selected to be on TLC's What Not to Wear. Now, I really love this show and I often hear the voices of its hosts, Clinton Kelly and Stacy London, echoing in my ears when I go shopping. Their "rules" for clothing selection have been an enormous help for me as I've transitioned to professional life. Just thinking of them doing a show on a female priest delights me! My mom has always thought that a priest would make a good candidate on the show and she's totally right. Clinton and Stacy will have a lot to work with as they deal with the inherant fasion illiteracy of clergy, the peculiar problem of the clerical collar, and maybe some style resistance. Oh, I can't wait!
The show probably won't air until sometime next year, but I'll keep you posted!