A recent Huffington Post article, written by Kelleigh Bannen, claims, “Vulnerability is the new black.” In this well-written article, Bannen indicates that she started to realize just how much she was hiding in her life. She felt as if she was succumbing to the “perfect on the outside” façade, and just couldn’t keep up with trying to maintain a reputation as a strong Christian girl, and a young, fit, and beautiful woman all the time. In this article Bannen reminds us that it is fully acceptable to drop the façade, as people will still love you. She says they might even like you more because you’ll be one fo the few people they know that they don’t have to impress.
That is an important topic of conversation, and the subject of this blog. Too many women feel as if they have to be the everything to everyone. They cannot leave their homes without a trendy set of clothes, full application of makeup, and the perfect jewelry to match. They know the outside world will judge their every choice, and so they worry about the notion that they just might not be sexy enough, or good enough, or thin enough, or hot enough. This is a tough way to traverse life.
As Bannen, a singer-songwriter by trade, was experiencing her own personal struggle regarding how she appears to the world, her brother Grant died of an overdose and her parents ended their 40-year marriage. Both of these difficult experiences helped her to realize that it was okay and acceptable to appear vulnerable. It was at this time she heard the song “Church Clothes.” Even though she mostly wrote her own music, she reached out to the writer to see if she could have the song and perform it. They agreed, and she started to perform “Church Clothes” at her shows. The chorus of the song includes the following:
You drive, I look out the window
It’s not right but nobody said so
We walk in, I head to the bedroom
But you don’t, you do what you want to
Like last week when you packed a suitcase
And came close to getting your own place
Oh that’s the stuff that nobody knows
When we’re wearing our church clothes
The song was such a hit with her audience that she received regular contact via social media and email with people sharing their own version of “Church Clothes,” which are the difficult times we all experience and share. The song absolutely connected with people, and they started to share their own shade of vulnerability with the musician. This led to a true awakening for Kelleigh. She realized that vulnerability is in fact not only acceptable, but a crucial part of human growth and existence. We all have a sense and certain level of vulnerability. As women we are often told to bury it. But that shouldn’t be the case. We should all accept it, recognize it is a natural and important part of our lives, and share it with the world. Why? Because it is truly our fight song and connects us with one another in a genuine and real way. And that is why vulnerability is definitely the new black.