Friday, August 04, 2006

Hot for preacher. Do looks matter?

There was something strange a priest friend --executive director of a local non-profit--said to me when I came out of the ecclesiastical closet to him and I haven't been able to make sense of it.

"What great news! That is awesome – the church needs real women like you! Young, intelligent, attractive and willing to make a change in the church and the world"

Attractive? That's sort of strange, isn't it? It's not that he's attracted to me. He's got a model-gorgeous wife, but it made me think. What role do looks play in the clergygal game? Is it a coincidence that almost all the ordained women I've met look remarkably similar --either friendly and matronly with wash-and-wear, or benign with a bland wholesome prettiness.

more importantly, what does it mean that I don't fit in?


Blogger Marie said...

You haven't met the female clergy that I've met then. Well, maybe you have. I was gonna say that a lot of the Pisco ones that I know are lesbians, like me, but unlike me, they tend to try to play it WAY down. They do dress kinda matronly. I hope I don't come out of seminary that way. Hmmmm... you've given me something to think about. Let's both break the mold, shall we?

10:11 AM  
Blogger revabi said...

Good question. I can't believe he called you attractive as part of what ministry needs. Did he know what he said?

Not sure there is one look for clergywomen. I mean we have the looks God gave us. I do think as peacebangs preaches at beautytips for ministers we do need to take care of ourselves and look our best.

So good question.

9:26 PM  
Blogger Anna said...

There is a stereotype of what a young attractive woman is interested in--usually it doesn't include ministry. Really, with all the time spent on hair, makeup, concerts, picking up men, shopping... who has time to think about God. Don't just break the female clergy mold, you can also break the young attractive female mold!

2:16 PM  
Blogger Sally said...

ooh difficult one- perhaps he just ran away with compliments due to being really pleased for you, but it makes you think doesn't it.

5:35 PM  
Anonymous Glen said...

Intellectually, I know that the body is just the tamale husk of the soul.
'Though, admittedly, (on a visceral level) some husks are better looking than others.
The thing is ... in all my (long) years in the Church (fragmented and universal) I have yet to meet a clergywoman that did not seem to be an absolute Babe.
This is so, regardless of age, phenotype, orientation, or any other of the diverse (and meaningless) details.
I am at a loss to explain the Divine's seeming preference for right handsome women —
While it may be that all that wisdom, kindness, strength, love and concern shine out from within and that registers as gorgeous ... can't say for sure —
I'll chalk it up as A Mystery of the Church and leave it as that.

11:55 AM  

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