It isn't exactly a question about Orthodoxy per se. More of a matter of the musings of a parent.
We are, at least technically, Catholic. I have a daughter who will soon be 13. She is a great kid. Very serious about her Christian faith and a driving force behind our family's growing interest in and consideration of conversion to Orthodoxy. But I have been told (by both evangelical Protestant friends and Catholic friends) that she doesn't "look like a good Christian."
Because she wears her hair cut short, dyes it a dark reddish purple colour and then spikes it out. She wears a lot of black and red clothing. She is naturally very pale (thanks to her German and Irish heritage she burns in minutes so she doesn't go out in the sun much and never without sunscreen) and she leans toward darker make-up. She also has a nostril piercing and is probably going to get her eyebrow pierced.
I believe in giving her the freedom to do some exploration of self-expression through non-permanent fashion statements. We have some simple rules. No more than three piercings at any one time. Nothing permanent - no stretching or "gauging" of anything and no tattoos. And she has to know when and how to tone it down. For instance any situation that reasonably requires a more conservative standard of dress must be dressed for appropriately and her dad and I are the final arbiter of what situations "reasonably require" dressing differently.
So far it's working well. No matter what she looks like on the outside - she is still the same kid on the inside. She's a young teen. She doesn't have a job and she is home educated so she has some freedom to do things that the "real world" is very likely to keep her from doing when she's older. She isn't doing any of this to "fit in" because her friends are all very different from her and from one another. She doesn't have a "crowd" of kids who all dress the same as friends. She does it because she's having fun, for now. I fully expect that at some point she'll find other ways to express her independence and sense of personal style. For now this is it. And I'm okay with that.
But I am a bit annoyed with hearing, "But she doesn't look like a Christian/Catholic."
What exactly is a Christian supposed to look like?
Here is my "she doesn't look like a Christian" kid - granted she was pretty tame yesterday when she took this - but this is how she usually looks.
And I guess the question for those here ... if a teen who looked like this came to your parish would you have a problem with it? Do you think your priest would have a problem with it?