The idea of beauty has shaped Joanna Jepson‘s life and ministry. Born with a jaw defect she was mercilessly bullied through her childhood and into adulthood. But after successful surgery she then had to figure out how her internal self related to her new external self. She then went on to issue a legal challenge against the late abortion of a foetus with a cleft lip and palate. And later she became a chaplain to the London College of Fashion. So we asked Joanna to tell us what she’s learnt about the true meaning of beauty.

Image by Alex Baker. Used with permission.


A Lot Like Eve: Fashion, Faith and Fig-Leaves


“You’ve got the designers who don’t want to make you feel crap. Their job isn’t that at all. It’s to make a woman feel the very best she can be and to enable her to express that in a very good and powerful way. The problem is that then that goes into the hands of people marketing the clothes and that’s when it gets really twisted and distorted. Because that’s when it becomes about not making you feel great, but making you feel like you’re never enough.”

“So much of my experience of the world has been about being pulled out of myself. You know, ‘You’re never going to be enough, you need to work harder to be acceptable, you need to fashion lots of fronts and masks and disguises to be acceptable, and you need to buy lots of things to be acceptable.’ And all of those things pull us out of ourselves. So for me it’s been about coming back to myself and knowing that I am enough. I am a holy space in the world. And that’s everything I need to be. And I don’t need to embellish it or try and bolster it up. It’s great. This is it. Nobody can rob me of that.”


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  1. The World has become similar to Heinrich Himmler & Hitler’s ideal of what the world should look like, “Kill everything that doesn’t fit my (Himmler and Hitler’s) perfect ideal reference frame of what’s good.” Thus the reason we pray “And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.” (Matthew 6:13 KJV). We ask to be delivered from thinking we know better than the Almighty Creator’s design, thinking we can do better.

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