Being Human: Being Art

IMG_9641

“To create is to reflect the image of God. To create is an act of worship.”

Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

By: Gabriela Yareliz

26fc4d2e00000578-3011473-image-a-2_1427306149296

I want us to talk about the way we show ourselves to the world.

Recently at church, we were discussing how humans are constantly seeking acceptance, belonging and love. The person was saying that one could say that fashion is one of those aspects in which we try to do this. Fashion is a form of expression. The way we present ourselves to the world says volumes about what we believe, how we feel about ourselves, and what we think about others.

Each era has had a look, popular haircuts and things people strive to emulate. A part of how we look is influenced by societal/cultural trends.

the-rachel_

We live in a day and age where we are all about branding and image. Most social media platforms serve as marketing platforms (if we are being honest).

While it may seem shallow to discuss how we project and adorn ourselves— as with everything, what is on the outside hints at what holds true inside.

“While it may seem shallow to discuss how we project and adorn ourselves— as with everything, what is on the outside hints at what holds true inside.”

It’s natural to gravitate toward trends– we don’t always have a choice. Not many of us make our own clothes. It’s not about the clothes but about how we wear the clothes and how we use everything else. What is the message we are sending into the world?

Today, there is so much that is cookie-cutter. Fashion rules, entire channels that teach you how to dress like a certain brand’s catalog (essentially— everything is an ad), makeup tutorials that mask each face in the same way, fillers that have made a whole generation of women look a certain way— that’s where we are.

IMG_9703

Ironically, I think some of the people we see as the most iconic are people who don’t look like the rest. They tend to be the people who make the trends and don’t follow. Whether it’s Amal Clooney, Kate Moss, Jane Birkin, Brigitte Bardot, the fictional Carrie Bradshaw or the mysterious Olsen Twins— I think the quality that makes their style so iconic is that it’s not very imitable— the reason being that their image is made up of the uniqueness and authenticity of who they are.

The clothes, hair and makeup aren’t there to cover who they are, but to truly accentuate who they are.

Mary-Kate Olsen said: “There are just some really beautiful people in the world. When you’re walking down the street, or you’re at a restaurant, someone catches your eye because they have their own look. It goes way beyond what they’re wearing – into their mannerisms, the way they smile, or just the way they hold themselves.”

IMG_9701

“Whether we realize it or not, everything we do is an expression of either how alive our souls are or how much we have allowed ourselves to be deadened over time.”

Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

This may seem simple and so common sense, but I really don’t think it is, anymore. It’s a fit-in culture when it comes to everything, including beliefs. If you aren’t on the same page as the person next to you (who may be totally clueless, by the way), then you might as well have a target on your back.

These days, there are “acceptable” ways to do everything, including a designated style for not fitting into the promoted categories— but my point here is we should be breaking categories. There should be a higher and more difficult standard.

We should be seeking to be our most authentic selves, but not in the way society and social media dictate and normalize.

Sure, clothing and societal trends, plus TV and general media have influenced every era — but I never felt like it was so cookie-cutter like this. Our faces, lips, eyes– everything. We are physically changing ourselves.

I can scroll through social and find thousands of girls who all look the same. And they didn’t look the same before. They have altered themselves to look the same. And yet– we admire the ones who dared to be different. Why is that?

Do we as a general population lack courage? Do we lack creativity? Do we lack acceptance? Do we lack vision? Do we lack connection with the source of all truth?

Why are we, as a society of individuals, so unaccepting of who we were made to be?

IMG_9704

There is a reason why we admire Carrie Bradshaw wearing two different colors of the same sandal with a dress (above), or why Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen look like queens while breaking every fashion rule known to man for petite women. They are comfortable. They look like themselves no matter what trend is captivating the general masses. They set trends just by being themselves.

“They look like themselves no matter what trend is captivating the general masses. They set trends just by being themselves.”

So, here is a simple call— why don’t we stop hiding behind brands and logos, sponsorships and image, and why don’t we look like ourselves? That may even mean looking more like our smaller, younger selves. The little beings who were unpolluted (relatively speaking) by societal agendas and advertising. All we cared about were toy commercials.

Pick the little pieces that make you, you. The point is we need to be happy with ourselves. If we aren’t, it will show. When we look around, we see a world that is deeply unhappy with itself and with others. It bleeds into everything.

Choosing to be our own person is profound and one of the most daring things we can be.

It’s impossible for God to work uniquely through us, if we can’t handle being ourselves.

God is the ultimate Creator. The greatest example of creativity.

Let’s pause and look around us. Observe each person and their visible intricacies. Then, think about who you are inside. Who does God want you to be? And then, your job is to show the world art. You are the creation that mirrors the Creator. That will look different in all of us, so let’s resolve to be that. If we fail, no one else will be able to be moved and changed by who God is creating us to be.

Ultimately, God doesn’t care about the details of what we wear. This only matters because it’s a hint as to what we feel and value inside of our hearts and minds.

And truth be told– the rest of us, we aren’t God. We don’t have soul x-ray vision, so we will definitely just go off of what we see. God made us externally unique and beautiful. If God made us this way, that must mean a part of this, as simple as it may sound, matters.

“What is your idea of you? Who is it that you have decided to become? If your greatest work of art is the life you live, and ultimately life is a creative act, what life will you choose to leave behind as your masterpiece?”

Erwin Raphael McManus, The Artisan Soul: Crafting Your Life into a Work of Art

Published by Gabriela Yareliz

Gabriela is a writer, editor and attorney. She loves the art of storytelling, and she is based in NYC.

2 thoughts on “Being Human: Being Art

  1. You’re speaking a lot of truth here. I call it authenticity. That magical spark that we recognize in someone that attracts us, as if to a warm fire. They may not meet the standard standards of beauty–but they are beautiful, in their own right. Oh, I love that. I am trying hard not to bring anything into my life that doesn’t give me a feeling of “this is for me.” It has to resonate.

    1. Thank you, Kay. That means so much coming from you. I agree with you— it is authenticity. These small things are beautiful in their own right. I am with you, sister. I am trying to sift through the clutter to find what matches my essence! Here is to more authentic lives and moments!! 💕

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: