recently attended a funeral Of a beloved man and a very good butler.
The morning of service was damp with a refreshing winter chill. Of course, my funeral suit pre-COVID didn’t fit, so my only semi-solemn option was a black summer dress. That meant we needed the infamous leg layer called pantyhose.
Luckily I was able to get a box of socks from Walgreens.Black Sheer, post-COVID tummy control. Pantyhose are a delicate piece of clothing that my mother did her best to make me feel calm and feminine. I was quickly reminded that wearing them alone required divine intervention.
Somehow, I drove to the church and was safely seated in the pews without a rogue runner running down the back of my thigh. So I had to lean over a hymn rack filled with pointed pencils, bibles with jagged corners, and visitor cards with sharp edges. I put my feet down and crossed my legs like a decent woman puts on a dress. But to my horror, I looked down and saw something penetrating my pantyhose in the wooden seat. Discovered. The countdown began when a small transgression created an impious gap in the journey to uninhabited lands.
when i was sitting in the pew As I pondered the long life of this good man, I sadly thought of Pantyhose’s short life. Then, for some strange reason, the nativity scene on the front of the church caught my attention. Would the Virgin Mary of the 21st century have worn tummy control pantyhose any time after the birth of baby Jesus?
But then my thoughts shifted from her feet to her legacy. Why is she still called the Virgin Mary? She had a baby Jesus and then she had another baby, the Brady Bunch, with Joseph. Retaining Mary’s virginity is like trying to keep ripped pantyhose.
Historical depictions of the Virgin Mary have produced visual representations of distorted salvation theology and the repulsive ideology of white supremacy. Medieval and Renaissance artworks depict the Virgin Mary as the ideal representation of feminine whiteness.Western art traditionally depicts Mary with pale skin, blonde hair, and even a halo around her head She is often seen with lilies and doves, which are associated with Christian images of virtue and purity. Emphasizes and essentially illuminates her whiteness. Mary’s heritage is spotless, pure and impeccable in the eyes of God and mankind.
“Mary represents whiteness in its most ideal form: no blemishes or imperfections.”
Mary represents whiteness in its most ideal form. That is, no scratches or defects.
First, the whiteness seen in the Virgin Mary The body supports the signs of goodness, innocence and cleanliness as signs of salvation. Therefore, the opposite of whiteness becomes blackness, smeared with dirt, smudged and unpreserved. White and black, clean and dirty, preserved and unpreserved are shown in contrasting visual representations of skin color.
This is clearly seen in 1490 Virgin and Child with John the Baptist and Saint Elizabeth By Giovanni Bellini shown above. Here John the Baptist and her mother Elizabeth are prominently darker than Mary and the baby Jesus. John is black in color with curly black hair, which is quite different from Mary and Jesus, who have light skin and straight hair.Note that all four historical figures are Jewish. is important.
However, the infant Christ and Mary are depicted as enlightened or saved Jews. They are visually represented as Christians. On the other hand, John and Elizabeth, key witnesses of Christ’s coming salvation, are represented as unsaved pre-Christian figures. Racializing skin color was a conscious effort to visually distinguish between Christians and non-Christians, those who were pure and worthy of salvation, and those who were dirty and dumb.
Second, Mary’s body Sexually sanitized. Mary is depicted as a clean virgin rather than defiled by sex. Virginity is an important aspect of whiteness. It emphasizes Mary’s virginity in direct correlation with the natural and perfection of the ideal female body, as God intended. It is the perfect model that satisfies the delicate pantyhose of
This twisted theology associates virginity with untainted femininity. Virginity is characterized by the visible side of a young, pure, and unblemished woman, creating a ridiculous standard that is still held today for women of all ages, skin colors, and sexualities. Even in her old age, when she weeps at the cross, the image of the Virgin Mary is depicted as wrinkle-free, virtuous, and eternally youthful. Her complexion reflects her salvation—no moles, pimples, or black spots keep her from heaven.
“The Blessed Virgin Mary sets the standard for every woman to be whiter than snow.”
The Blessed Virgin Mary sets the standard for every woman to be whiter than snow. This religious purity is a perversion of God’s creation of humanity and sexuality.
After the funeral was over, I put on a long winter coat hoping to hide the fake pantyhose before walking down the aisle to pay my final respects. I was able to feel When I got to my car, I quickly took off my heels and slipped down my ruined socks. I laughed while tearing off one leg at a time with a sense of liberation. Sitting barefoot in the driver’s seat has led me to believe that there is no room for pantyhose or the eternal Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of God on earth and Heaven in Heaven.
Erica Whittaker He is the associate director of the Baptist Theological Seminary at the Kentucky Institute of Black Churches. She lives in Louisville with her husband, Josh, and was previously the pastor of her Baptist church in Buchel Park. Erica is a member of Baptist News Global and its Board of Directors. She has a BA from the University of Texas and a Master of Divinity from the George W. Toretto Theological Seminary at Baylor College. She is currently working on her doctoral dissertation in philosophy at the International Baptist Theological Research Center in Amsterdam.
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