Here lately, my news feed has been blowing up with bloggers talking about modesty. Seriously; if its not “What Game of Thrones Character Are You?” quizzes, its a debate about modesty.
I’ve read a few of the articles. Some I agree with, some I don’t. Some make me roll my eyes and others make me take a long look at myself. I initially swore off talking about this subject, but now I think I’ll join in.
Growing up, I also heard the phrase: “Modest is Hottest” (not from my parents; they more like: “That doesn’t pass the school dress code, so it doesn’t pass ours”). One blogger made a great observation about using those three words. She said (and I’m paraphrasing because I can’t find the article): “If modest is hottest, why dress modestly? I thought the point of dressing modestly was to de-sexualize. By saying ‘modest is hottest’, you’re essentially confusing young girls.”
Another article I read (again, I searched and searched Facebook, but I couldn’t find it! Agh!) discussed that when we talk modesty, its usually pointed at the girls with: “Dress modestly so boys won’t get any ideas and think ‘you’re asking for it’.”
That struck a nerve with me too. Why should girls always be the ones responsible for a boys’ thoughts or actions? Why can’t he take responsibility for the way he thinks and acts? Maybe along with talking to girls about modesty, we should be telling boys not to be jerks, that “no means no”, and to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
So where do I come down on the whole debate of modesty? Here are my thoughts:
1. Modesty doesn’t mean you have to dress like the children from the original Cheaper by the Dozen.
You don’t have to don a throat to ankle swimsuit to be considered modest. I always thought: “Would I be comfortable wearing this around my grandparents?” If the answer was no, 9 times out of 10, I would change.
2. EVERYONE is responsible for the things they think, say, and do…
YOU are not responsible for the way someone thinks toward you, talks to you, or their attitude. You can only control yourself.
3. …But also be aware of how you’re representing yourself to others.
I wouldn’t walk into a job interview wearing Daisy Duke cut-offs, a crop top, and piles of makeup. I’d want people to know I was a professional, so I would dress professionally. I think the same goes for life.
4. Everyone (but it seems especially girls) struggle with self-worth, desire to be loved, and need for acceptance. Some use clothes to reflect that.
It can be such a frustrating, maddening conundrum when picking out attire. Especially when you want to convey an array of different messages while also being comfortable. Maybe stop looking at what others are wearing and try taking a look a the person within.
What about you? What do you think about the whole modesty debate? Did you have rules about what you could and couldn’t wear as a kid? Do you impose rules on your child’s wardrobe?