8/6/13

modesty & humility: you've got style



I figured I might as well tackle the issue of modesty and humility in regards to dress from the get go. This can be quite a touchy subject. Some of you, sadly, may have been shamed by parents, friends or religious figures who told you that your choices in attire were making men stumble. The finger was pointed at you for the sins of others, but the logic is failed. This way of thinking holds you responsible for another's sin.

Yet, I do think saying the way we dress has nothing to do with modesty and humility is not entirely correct. The truth is, the way we dress does say something about us. And a dress that hits just above the knee says something very different than shorts that show half your bum. 

Modesty in the dictionary is "the quality or state of being unassuming." Does this mean we should be a wallflower or slob in the way we dress? That we should throw on sweats in the morning in the name of modesty? No way! Modest dress is being presentable and full of dignity. It is not seeking the attention of everyone, all the time, stealing the limelight from those around us.

In fact, did you know that in past eras women would wear dresses with deep scoop necks that had a piece of cloth that fitted into the chest area, giving a modest look. But the cloth was removable. Why? Well these women may not have wanted the eyes of all on them throughout the day, but when it came to the one whom her heart loved she could slip off the cloth, giving a more revealing look. We save our lingerie not for everyone and their mother to see, but for our husband to see. This should be the outlook we take toward modesty: saving the more revealing numbers for our lover's eyes only and letting mystery linger everywhere else.

A recent article online posted onto Darling Magazine  dealt with the topic of gym etiquette. What began as a simple piece in regards to manners while working out turned into a heated debate because of a few lines the author wrote on appropriate dress in the gym. The discussion (which in my opinion got blown out of proportions) of if a woman should or should not work out in tight, revealing clothes was at hand. Commenters claimed that women have the right to wear only a sports bra and spandax on the treadmill if they would like. They said that if men look that is their problem, not the girls. While I agree that a woman is not accountable for the lustful thoughts of a man, I do think we as women need to realize that wearing revealing clothes will warrant us attention, whether we go out seeking it or not.

Natalie Borton, Exectuive Editor of the magazine, chimed in and gave a truthful voice to it all: "The fact is, dressing immodestly and flaunting our bodies *will* get attention we don't want. That doesn't mean that it makes it okay for men to gawk at women's bodies (nor does it suggest that women are to blame for sexual violence...a very different topic than dressing appropriately for the gym), but it is just sort of a fact."

Do we have the right to wear whatever we want? Perhaps. Is it necessarily beneficial to us? Not likely. Even the Bible said that all is permissible, but not all is beneficial. 
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The fact is, dressing immodestly and flaunting our bodies *will* get attention we don't want. That doesn't mean that it makes it okay for men to gawk at women's bodies (nor does it suggest that women are to blame for sexual violence...a very different topic than dressing appropriately for the gym), but it is just sort of a fact. - See more at: http://darlingmagazine.org/how-to-dress-for-the-gym/#sthash.rDV4mSSC.dpuf
The fact is, dressing immodestly and flaunting our bodies *will* get attention we don't want. That doesn't mean that it makes it okay for men to gawk at women's bodies (nor does it suggest that women are to blame for sexual violence...a very different topic than dressing appropriately for the gym), but it is just sort of a fact. - See more at: http://darlingmagazine.org/how-to-dress-for-the-gym/#sthash.rDV4mSSC.dpuf
The fact is, dressing immodestly and flaunting our bodies *will* get attention we don't want. That doesn't mean that it makes it okay for men to gawk at women's bodies (nor does it suggest that women are to blame for sexual violence...a very different topic than dressing appropriately for the gym), but it is just sort of a fact. - See more at: http://darlingmagazine.org/how-to-dress-for-the-gym/#sthash.rDV4mSSC.dpuf

Jessica Rey said it perfectly. She claimed that "Modesty isn't about covering up our bodies because they're bad, modesty isn't about hiding ourselves... it's about revealing our dignity."

I hope this post left you with fresh insight and curious questions. Feel free to ask or comment below! And join me tomorrow as I do a continued post on modesty in relation to dress. Thank you for reading!

For further reading, I like this article by Michael Belote.

How big of a play do you think dress takes when it comes to modesty? Do you agree that though all may be permissible, not all is beneficial?


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