Church member Tristen Seal was one of eight fans to win a makeover on the hit TV show Project Runway—and she became a powerful example of modesty in the process.
Tristen Seal smiles on the runway with designer Justin LeBlanc (photo from mylifetime.com)
If you didn't catch last week's episode of Project Runway, you missed a real treat. Church member Tristen Seal of Sachse, Texas, was one of eight "superfans" chosen to receive a head-to-toe makeover, including a custom-designed outfit from one of the Project Runway contestants and a new hairstyle courtesy of L'Oreal Paris. And what could have been a battle between modesty and fashion fought in front of millions of viewers instead became a beautiful example of how the two can tastefully and respectfully coexist.
Seal, who recently lost 130 pounds, was paired with designer Justin LeBlanc. When he asked her what she would like in an outfit, she immediately requested a knee-length dress with a modest neckline and sleeves, explaining, "I am Mormon, so modesty is important to me."
Many designers would have balked at such "limitations," or rolled their eyes at the very least, but LeBlanc respectfully obliged. But would the judges criticize his design for not being sexy or modern enough? No. In fact, the judges loved the dress. Zac Posen, a well-known designer who serves as a judge on Project Runway, praised LeBlanc. "I applaud you," he said. "You made a personal, beautiful black dress, and Tristen is glowing."
Sometimes it can feel like modest and frumpy are synonymous, but these celebrities from the 2013 Emmy Awards proved that is not always the case. Check out some of our favorite modest looks from the red carpet.
Now before we start nit-picking, let me clarify: not all these
dresses are 100 percent modest by LDS standards. But most of them are pretty close, and we applaud these women for choosing to show less skin on the red carpet. Though most of the following dresses would need a few modifications, they can certainly provide inspiration for all of
us in our quest to be both modest and stylish.
What’s the one thing—or things—a Mormon missionary needs to know? That’s what we recently asked our readers online. Here’s some of your best advice for missionaries.
Sister Jenny Spencer with a convert family in Madagascar.
• “No matter what you have to do to get there, learn to love your companion. Looking back on my mission, I can see a direct correlation between success and the relationship I had with my companions.”
• “Write in your journal and wear out your camera.”
• “What should every missionary know? It is HARD! Rejection is the norm, baptisms fall through, and people generally don't react the same way you would in a similar situation. I think without exception the returned missionaries I know have a point in their mission when they think ‘I can't do this anymore. It’s too HARD.’ Everything worthwhile is hard. Missionaries need to know that so they can expect it and push through it trusting that although it is hard it is so worth it!”
• “Read John Bytheway’s What I Wish I’d Known Before My Mission.”
• “Remember that it’s the Spirit’s job to convert those you come in contact with. It’s the missionaries’ job to love those they come in contact with and to show Heavenly Father's love through example and service. Lean on the Spirit in all things.”
• “You will have the rest of your life (and eternity) to think back and either regret or feel good about your mission. Make sure you make good use of every hour.”
We swear we see her everywhere: she's in the halls at church, she's our neighbor across the street, and she's showing us up one perfectly made jar of jam at a time. But how does Molly Mormon stack up to reality?
I was a Laurel when I first heard Vickie Gunther’s poem, “Girl in a Whirl,” which describes the super-human efforts of one LDS mother to be perfect. Some of her self-proclaimed feats include keeping her house spotless and home-making “gourmet” meals every day, all the way down to running a home business and getting all her Christmas shopping done by July! As the list of her accomplishments grows, she continually reiterates how easy it is.
I won’t spoil the ending of the poem for you, but there’s a lot to be said about the “Girl in a Whirl.” A lot of us call her Molly Mormon. She’s this perfect, intangible person we swear we see everywhere and all look up to. Her children are well-behaved, she home cans goods straight from her garden, she attends the temple weekly, and she prepares amazing Sunday school lessons. Oh, and did I forget? She does it all with a smile.