Is It Okay To Wear Religious Symbols For Fashion?

Photo: Courtesy of Bagatiba.
Though cross necklaces have been around since the Roman Empire was Christianized, recently, crucifixes have become popular tropes among jewelers like New Top Jewelry and Instagram-popular brands like Bagatiba and Vanessa Mooney for fashion's sake.
Obviously, anyone who's danced to Madonna or Billy Idol knows that the "fashion cross" isn't a new phenomenon. In fact, it's long been used to criticize conformity and chastity, which critics identify as two hallmarks of the Christian faith. But in 2018, there are far fewer people wearing the cross as a subversive act, and many more wearing it as a purely aesthetic one. Perhaps it's because, in today's climate, we're holding each other to a much stricter standard when it comes to wearing sacred symbols out of context.
With the upcoming Met Gala touching on the intersection of Catholicism and fashion, some are wondering whether coopting religious symbols for purely style-related reasons is fair game. Ahead of the event, I asked a few people who buy and make the pieces to share their thoughts — and across both designers and everyday Instagram followers of mine, there's no definitive answer on what's right or wrong when it comes to religious jewelry.
Because for every practicing Catholic or Christian who wears the symbol religiously (take blogger Sami Weaver, for example, who sometimes shares her religious views on Instagram stories and has also worn vintage cross pieces on her page), there are those who are religious and choose not to — whether it's because they're no longer practicing regularly or feel there are other ways to express their faith than through clothing or accessories. Then there are those who don't wear it for fear of offending someone, those who wear it to offend and comment on Christianity.
Read ahead for their thoughts.

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