Validation. An apology. A sense of regained control.
“I am saddened that I have caused offence to Hindu people through the use of printing Om and Ganesha on a pair of my leggings. This was never my intention and I am truly sorry,” said Emily Jane, a fashion model and co-founder of AMiCAFOX, which produces its entire fitness range of leggings from recycled plastic bottles.
I feel despair.
Not only because the leggings were tastefully designed and I’d love to own them, but that that the God they chose to represent has been playfully humanised so often and with such joy! But despair also on the absurdity of the Rules that Govern the Expression of Religion. It must be a picture in a frame. It must be a statue in brass. It must be in a house (or cabinet) of worship. It is absurd that religion and the business of religion can only be professed by a chosen few in whom faith has been reposed by the masses. Do they have the right to be the sole raconteurs of our mythologies and beliefs as well as guard the use of all religious symbols? Is it auspicious to have humungous statues of gods led in processions comprising inebriated followers dancing to un-godly tunes, but not permissible to print an avatar of God on a pair of leggings used to keep your body fit?
I am surprised by the acquiescence and submission. Not okay.
Faith is deeply personal. Embrace your faith. Wear it the way you wish and where you wish. It does not belong to a select few, it is each one’s to express. There is no aspect of a human form that is unclean except when viewed from a biological perspective of self-cleansing our bodies. Vulgarity is in the eye of the beholder as much as beauty is.
Graphic design, art and music give sensory form to that which is not present. It’s time to break the stranglehold of religious doctrine and express your faith your way. On leggings, on tee-shirts, saris, exercise vests, yoga pants, pendants, on all things that you consider sacred to your way of life.