Christianity is a faith, not a social media aesthetic
One of the cons that comes with living in a digital age is the fact that aesthetics have begun to increase in importance. The things we constantly see in the media space begin to become our realities, such as the popular ‘clean girl’ image that I, personally, despise, but that millions have adopted. We are influenced to change ourselves to fit a look others deem commendable and to be proud that we were able to twist and fit ourselves into the box. And while I don’t find joy in doing this, I realize others do and if it makes them happy, why not? However, a recent trend that has been added to the world of aesthetics is Christianity, and as a Christian, I don’t think this is acceptable.
For those who haven’t chosen to succumb to the space of social media (I have fallen victim), I will provide some examples of the “Christian aesthetic.” One major example is of nonbelievers wearing crosses on their clothing or jewelry. It is blasphemous to wear crosses because they look ‘cool’ but to deny that Jesus Christ died for our sins.
One of the trends on TikTok are videos titled, “How to become ‘that’ Christian girl,” “How to be a Christian ‘It’ Girl” and “Healthy Christian Girl.” These videos include tips, tricks and day-in the life segments of, essentially, being a good Christian. All of the girls dress in pink, wear crosses and carry around their Bibles in their purses. To be “that” Christian girl, you must wake up at 5 a.m. to study your Bible, listen to worship music at the gym, only eat healthy food and buy clothing from popular (and sponsored) Christian Instagram shops.
I understand how people could support this trend. It is great to see people being proud of their faith, but it is the way it is presented that is bothersome. Already, people are producing TikToks poking fun with exaggerated reenactments of girls doing “Christian” type things, like going to Starbucks to solve world peace by posting pictures of their coffees and Bibles. Being a Christian is mocked because it is being presented as purely an aesthetic — a ‘look’ that is cute and surface-level.
Christianity is not a trend, and if this is someone’s only angle of seeing Christianity, it is not the right one. Trends are fleeting and faith isn’t. Christianity is about so much more than posting a video showing that you highlight in your Bible. Although it’s great to study your Bible, do you genuinely have a relationship with God? Are you committed to your faith or are you just putting on a show and editing the same clips of you doing the same actions everyone else is? There is no way to know.
Almost every post says the same thing: You must follow steps 1-3 and then you’ll be certified and marked as an official “Christian It Girl.” If you appear to do the right things and look the part, you too can fit into this category. To me, this is not what Christianity is about. Christianity is about the exact opposite. It is about unconditional love. It is about the fact that you can mess up on every step — on steps 1, 2 and 3 — and you understand that you have a God that loves you so much that he died for you to have the ability to try again every single day. It’s about the fact that God wants you to come to him exactly as you are but willing to grow to be like Jesus by following the instructions given to us through the Word of God, the Bible, not through trending videos or posts. He doesn’t actually care if you woke up late and had to pray on the drive to work or if you show up to worship with messy, dry-shampooed hair. He wants you to have a relationship with him and to value that relationship more than the clout that may surround bragging about it.