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She enters the sanctuary pretty and pristine
With confidence, grace and poise.
Apathetic to on-lookers who are green with envy,
Such jealousy is cacophony of noise.

She approaches her seat and is surprisingly greeted
With stares instead of an inviting welcome.
Wondering, “who is this woman coming in here in such attire
That style is either never seen or very seldom.”

Very seldom, indeed, because it contradicts tradition
Which has nothing to do with God or brotherly love.
Her outward appearance exudes her individuality
A trend setter, having nothing to be ashamed of.

As she curtsies to sit, her dress gently lays
Tastefully a few inches above her knee.
Leaving “saints” to gasp over a little exposed skin
Their focus is her instead of “The Almighty.”

One parishioner in particular was an elder woman
A mother of the church and considerably revered.
Captivated by her silk blouse that compliments her desirable frame
Provoking impure thoughts from the “the brothers,” she feared.

Impure thoughts, indeed, because her style is indelible,
Leaving the deacons in awe and the sisters to choke.
The mother became infuriated with resentment and spite
And grudgingly she walked over and spoke.

“What short skirt you have my dear,” she stated with coy
“Why must you cause such a stare?”
“Vogue deems it fashion to wear such a skirt,” she wittingly replied.
Because my long silk sleeves balances out the pair.

“What red lips you have my dear,” she mentioned with disdain.
“Such a color draws too much attention.”
“Does my Spring Pomegranate seem to offend?”
As she questioned her ol’ school conventions.

“Your heels, my dear, why are they so tall?”
As her frustration came to its peak.
“Please understand, this is high fashion,” she answered with respect,
Which makes it classically retro for only the bravest stylist to seek.

The mother finally conceited because she had to admit
The young lady wore her ensemble with elegance and esteem.
She likened her to Eleanor Roosevelt, Jacki Onassis, and presently Michelle Obama
Grace, poise, and decorum of the person who adorns the fashion is the overall theme!

As a church girl, I have heard many colloquialisms around a woman’s attire and what it represents based upon biblical references. Recalling a popular character referenced, Jezebel, she seduced men using her body. This became the premise to much of my childhood, as to how a young woman should dress to prevent things like that from happening. However, JezeBelle, inspired by what we know her to be, is highlighted in a different way. While she does embrace her femininity, she also is inspired by her southern “Belle” roots which heavily influence her style and the way that she carries herself – with poise, style, and grace. Every woman should be able to express who she is through her style, without fear of judgement or condemnation!

Photography – Rob Shot Me Photography, STL
Makeup – Joy Loveless Makeup Artistry, STL
Wardrobe Designers – Morgan Williams

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E.B. Burke
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