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“Girl Defined” Isn’t Just Hateful – It’s Also Unfashionable

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by Kattoo King

Just like every “Very Online” fashionista, I am obsessed with hate watching Girl Defined. 

For those of you who may not know, Girl Defined is a Christian YouTube channel run by two sisters, Kristen and Bethany, aimed at young women and girls.  Kristen and Bethany focus their content on “girly” topics… such as dating, marriage, homemaking, and of course, fashion. I happen to know a lot about one of those things. 

There’s a whole corner of youtube dedicated to people shitting on Girl Defined, and criticizing their worldview for being sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and generally regressive.  They are all of these things of course, but they’re also something much worse. Girl Defined is unfashionable.

Is there a stronger word than “basic” for this…?

It doesn’t matter what you think about Kristen and Bethany’s personal style.  I’m actually living proof that you can know a lot about fashion and still look like shit. There’s a reason I’m a fashion writer and not an Instagram model. Unlike me, Kristen and Bethany don’t know jack shit about fashion, and that kind of matters when you’re telling girls how to dress.  

The sisters are a pair of strict Evangelical Christians. Kristen is the pretty one who was a model for a little while and got married young.  Bethany is the relatable one, who didn’t find any success as a model, stayed single until her thirties, and gets interrupted a lot. The two of them spew a lot of toxic shit about gender roles.  According to Girl Defined: girls should devote their lives to serving God, their husband, and their father, in that order. According to the Evangelical worldview of the channel, every minute choice should be made in a way that honors God.  Obviously, this includes fashion choices.

Yes, take fashion advice from the lady who discovered the only wrong way to wear a scarf…

Girl Defined’s fashion content is about how to dress in a way that is fashionable, feminine, and most importantly, modest. Despite how much the sisters care about modesty, they’ve seemed to ignore the fact that mainstream fashion is actually getting more modest. Skirts are longer, tops are looser, and heels aren’t as high. There are still a lot of revealing options on the market, but fashion isn’t as sexy as it was 10, or even 5 years ago.

Yet I never hear Girl Defined talking about these styles.  Not once have I heard the phrase “relaxed fit” in their videos. I have never once heard them praise the modest chicness of Phoebe Philo’s Celine. The girls are obsessed with finding longer skirts and I don’t think I’ve ever heard the phrase “midi” come out of their mouths. Girl Defined should be praising the movement towards a longer and looser silhouette instead of constantly complaining about how hard it is to shop when you’re a child of God. It’s insane that the girls are still clinging to their skinny jeans when wide-fit trousers seem like the obviously more modest option.

Girl Defined chooses to be unaware of these more modest trends  because it goes against the narrative that their way of living is antithetical to popular culture.  Why do the whites (but specifically Evangelical Christians) want to be oppressed so bad?

LARP-ing oppression

The goal of many Evangelicals is to make Evangelical Christianity the dominant cultural force in the world. Money from megachurches is funneled into lobbying for “family values” policies, and making sure the Mike Pences of the world get elected. Of course, Kristen and Bethany are much more interested in winning hearts and minds than elections.  Politics isn’t for godly women. But Kristen and Bethany preach the same philosophy that popular culture is oppressing “good Christians.”

This is probably why the sisters choose not to learn anything about the salacious world of high fashion.  Culture has to be very bad and fighting and against Christianity for their worldview to make any sense. It’s just too bad that this purposeful ignorance is forcing Kristen to wear a dress over jeans like we’re stuck in 2007.

Wistfully remembering the days when George W. Bush was still President

The Girl Defined worldview offers an interesting answer to the question “what is fashion supposed to achieve?”  Kristen and Bethany give us a simple explanation: fashion is supposed to express your femininity, and also you have to cover up so that people know that you’re not a dirty whore. 

There is a video where Kristen and Bethany discuss the verses in the bible that talk about clothing specifically… 1 Timothy 2:9 “women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.”  The sisters explain that well, gold and pearls and braided hair are fine actually because back in the day that’s what the sex workers used to wear, and what’s really important is making sure people don’t think you’ve ever thought about sex. 

To Girl Defined, fashion is not about self-expression, it’s not about showing the world who you are, it’s about making sure the world doesn’t think you are something that you’re not. It’s a pretty twisted definition of femininity, and it’s also why Girl Defined is, and always will be, unfashionable.

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1 Comment

  1. Abi
    June 24, 2020 at 7:36 am — Reply

    The reason they don’t want to wear loose fitting jeans is because it’s not “feminine.” It’s based on Deuteronomy 22:5, which says that women should wear men’s clothes (as well as men not wearing women’s clothes). However, women have been wearing loose fitting jeans since the 40s. Loose fitting jeans have been feminine for eight decades.

    On top of this, the “modest is hottest” mindset is incredibly toxic and NOT God honoring (contrary to popular belief). When we dress modestly for the sake of men so that we won’t “tempt” them, that’s adhering to society rather than Christ. I’m not saying we should go out in string bikinis every day, but to diminish God’s order to be modest to “don’t show anything above the knee” is missing the point. God did not say “don’t wear spaghetti strap dresses.” 1 Timothy 2:9, one of two verses that speak directly about how women dress, says “women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.”
    However, this verse is simply Paul’s opinion. He says in verse 8 that this is what he “desire[s].” In verse 12, he goes on to say that he individually (not God ordering people to do so) does not allow women to “teach or exercise authority over a man,” and that women should “remain quiet.” He bases this argument on the fact that Adam was the first to be created, and Eve was the first to be tempted into eating the fruit, so therefore women are lesser than men. Paul writes that women can redeem themselves through childbirth. This is not true: God has already redeemed us through the blood of his precious son Jesus Christ. All we must do is surrender our lives to His will, whether His will is for us to be a mother or not.

    Now you must be asking, “Abi, did you just say the Bible is wrong?” Allow me to clarify: I said that Paul is wrong. Paul is human. While he was an amazing man of God and helped lead thousands of people to Christ, he was still human and capable of sin and misunderstanding. This verse is an example of his humanity. Paul has written so many other great things though, so to diminish all his work for Christ to just this verse is missing the point. This isn’t cancel culture.

    With that said, let’s go back to 1 Timothy 2, but this time let’s read 2:9-10:
    “women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire.” (Now for verse 10) “but with what is proper for women who profess godliness – with good works.” This is the main verse people reference to tell women to “cover up.” However, that is not the heart of this verse. This verse is saying that women should focus on their hearts and doing God’s will rather than worrying about their outward appearance. When you judge a woman’s purity and faith on her outward appearance, that is your sin, not hers.

    1 Corinthians 10:31 says “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all for the glory of God.” Whatever you do, whatever you say, whatever you wear, let God be the one who you do it for. Do not wear clothesfor other people. Listen to God and dress according to what he convicts you of, not other people’s worldly rules.

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