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Pure Fashion. A beautiful soul, a beautiful body.
The Catholic Legionaries of Christ movement is the promoter of “Pure Fashion” – an international project, dedicated to young women from 14 to 18 years of age.
Thérèse Baumeister from Regnum Christi speaks about this in an interview with WYD TV.
In the time of dictatorship, “Fashion” integrated us young women wanting to remain “pure,” not afraid of their womanhood and approaching beauty of the body from the view of spiritual development. Paraphrasing the once popular meme Design for God, I started to wonder: maybe in a wounded world “holy” has a chance to become “the new trendy”?
A woman brings beauty and order in the environment
In “Pure Fashion,” we aren’t dealing with a marginal phenomenon, but with an idea that is already widely known, which is certainly still waiting for its best time. Up until now young women from 20 countries have been engaged in the Regnum Christi project, among them from the United States – the place of origin of this initiative, and also from Germany, Austria, France and Hungary. “Pure Fashion is a big international family,” says Brigitta Kis coordinator of the Hungarian version of the project. In Hungary the first meeting took place in 2007 in Budapest and gradually included new cities. Starting in 2012 each year the workshops gathered around 30 young women, while this year there will be almost 120!” Although the creators of the project are members of a Catholic community, it is open to young women from other Christian Churches. “Really, everyone for whom the idea of the project appeals to is welcome,” invites Bernadette Ballestrem from the German Regnum Christi. The heart of the project – a well thought-out idea, is a strong advantage of “Pure Fashion”. “The authors of this initiative remind young women of the value, which their gender holds, about the Divine plan of creating women as relational beings, bringing beauty and order in their environment,” says Brigi.
A woman as the heart of the family
The project should awake in Christian women the feeling of special mission and responsibility for the whole human society. “For example for our Hungarian society – I admit – a key challenge is creating community for young women, so that they would mature in it and that in the future they would want to become the heart of a family,” adds Brigitta Kis.
Inviting them to spiritual life and forming their personality, the organizers want to strengthen the values that they will pass in their families as mothers and wives, and in their environment as creative participants in the life of society. “Pure Fashion” is based on faith, which is at the root of the person, and allows itself to be directed by hope and draw on strength and inspiration from God’s plan of creation. “First we had to get to know the problems and questions of teenagers, their needs and dreams. Now when concrete issues come up, we try to show them an answer arising from experience. Our goal is to make it so that in the future they can independently make good decisions,” says the coordinator of the Hungarian workshops.
An attractive bonus of the workshops, which take place every Saturday, is the closing gala – an elegant “Pure Fashion” fashion show, for which they lead lengthy and creative preparations.
Real beauty comes from the inside
The German Regnum Christi popularizes the same idea under the name “Looking good – inside and out” (LGIO) according to the principle that real beauty comes from the inside. The project in the last two years engaged young people from Germany, Austria, and also from Poland. The program consists of six consecutive weekend workshops bursting at the seams. The goal of the meetings is awaking self-certainty in faith-filled young women, so that they would not be afraid in their environments among less faith-filled friends to confess their faith in Jesus. The next challenge: through their own beauty to bring back beauty and joy to the world.
That’s why at the time of the workshops young women would among other things be able to acquire practical knowledge from the meetings with stylists, learn something new about their temperament, how to fight with the weaknesses of their nature, how to strengthen the talents they’ve received from God. During the third weekend they will raise the topic of relationality of women and family planning – here organizers invite young men, who talk about what they value in women and what attracts them in femininity. The next weekend is dedicated to freedom: the issue of time management, self-control, how in practice to deal with contemporary addictions like social media. The workshops are completed by a strong accent, “Be cool – be holy!,” the testimony of older adolescent women, authentic life and giving testimony to their faith on an everyday basis.
All meetings are accompanied by prayer, adoration, and the Eucharist – the inexhaustible source.
Gathering materials for this article, my memory brought the faces of a few people I know of to mind whose life I consider to be holy, and whose appearance I always considered magnetic despite bodily imperfections. Among them is the charismatic Uncle – Karol Wojtyła in stylish sunglasses, while camping.
In the Family Home of St. John Paul II in Wadowice, where I took photos from the visits of various important guests, I had a favourite wall, which is found along the winding staircase to the loft. It’s a patchwork of photos of Wujek, later the Pope found in different situations: at the time of prayer in mountains, with people close to him, in sneakers, genuinely amused.
Passing there and back on the stairs, looking at the photos, in the end I began to meditate on these photos and it came to me – Wojtyła has no unsuccessful shots! In every photo his face is internally radiant: harmonious features, peace, dignity. It’s the face of a beautiful man to whom eyes naturally are drawn to.