Welcome to the Carnival of Modesty– Long overdue for the month. Winter is a hard time to find good articles on Modesty– for the simple reason that it’s not usually the time of year where men and women like to show off skin! That being the case, there are still people that do it, and you cannot avoid immodestly dressed people in the malls and indoor shopping areas.
So, I sat down (virtually) with a bunch of different people on the topic, and here’s what they came up with:
“Why should girls dress like girls?” I asked.
“It’s Biblical,” Rebecca answered. “You see, MIn, I encourage young ladies to experiment in developing their own style, and to take care to maintain their God-given gender identity. In other words, make sure that it is obvious they are female.”
“But is it really that difficult to look like a girl?”
“Yes it, is,” replied Natasha, “Every day I get up and wonder about what I should wear. You see, I like to wear skirts. I feel personally convicted that skirts are more modest than pants. And yet most of the people around me wear jeans and even ladies in my church don’t really wear skirts.”
“My wife and I have shopped around, there really isn’t a lot out there in terms of modest clothes, is there?”
“Sounds like you should have hosted this carnival, Liz.”
“When was the last time you tried to find a formal gown at the mall? I’ve got some great links for formal gowns on my post about being modest in an immodest world,” shouts someone from the back.
“So, Anna, what do you think is the most important thing about modesty?”
“You see, MIn,” Anna replied, “Modesty isn’t about hiding forever in the shadow of plainness. On the contrary: modesty allows to uncover the real you, with your special, unique beauty. You aren’t your body. You aren’t giggles and flirting. You are a sweet woman, cherished woman, with a beautiful heart, mind and soul. Simply put, Modesty is true beauty uncovered.”
“But I didn’t even ask you a question!”
“You did say Anna, didn’t you?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, VS is not just targeting women now, but the teenagers. They want to get these young girls thinking about sexy they are, and what effect it will have on boys.”
“Speaking of that, guys really need to know about the power they have over how girls dress.”
“What do you mean, Emily?”
“Well, if I could give a word to they guys, I’d tell them that what they desire is what girls desire to become. Many Christian guys seem to be looking for this perfect Malibu-Barbie-cross-Proverbs-31-type girl, who has perfect hair and eyes and teeth, who is thin but curvy, and who is also an ace at theology, serving, cooking, and just generally the epitome of godliness. Men, please hear me on this: this type of woman does not exist!”
“Wow, I bet a lot of guys really miss this point!”
“Yes, guys need to realize that what you desire as the ‘ultimate perfection’ of a woman is what we as women will tend to desire to become, because we want to be desired by you (well, one of you – so much so that you pursue us and ask us to marry you).
“That takes the whole concept to a new level. Up until this point we’ve talked about the girl’s responsibility, but what you’re saying is that if guys would desire the right things, girls would meet that standard.”
“The hardest part, is finding a modest standard,” Rowena. “Each person has their own ideas as to what is modest, but it’s in our best interest to find a workable standard. Even then, he availability of clothes that fit this standard are well, not plenteous. For example, hipster jeans are pretty much the only cut you can get without going to the extreme of high-waisted jeans (that look terrible on everyone except for Mischa Barton) or going to an auntie shop and buying waist cut jeans that make your butt look twice the size it really is. In the shops nowadays, it’s hard to buy stuff without looking frumpy, preggers, fat or shabby. Some of the stuff you look at and just think – not in a million years! But I reckon it can be done – you just need to put the effort in.”
“I know what you’re saying, Rowena.”
“Modesty is for both men and women, but in different ways,” adds Heather. “For women it’s all about dress, but for men, they need to realize that we are wired to desire emotional intimacy (it’s just as strong as your desire for physical intimacy) and when you treat a girl special, set her apart, flirt with her, invest your heart into her life, take her out for coffee, have her met your parents: she will begin to be turned on emotionally. Knowing that girls may have a tendency to read into your actions, be very wise in how you treat your girl friends. Be emotional modest in your actions!”
“We also need to be careful that we don’t come across as boastful when we are modest,” chimed Natasha.
“Right. I mean, some would say that pants are immodest, but I have known women who were most assuredly feminine and very modest in a pair of loose (almost flowing) pants. The woman that comes to mind was one of the most modest and feminine women I know. And then I’ve know many women who seemed to be dressed modestly from head to toe, but their demeanor was not modest,” Stacy remarked.
“So, if it’s not whether a woman wears pants, what is it?”
“It really is all about your heart, and what it’s showing to the world. We’re walking billboards, you know. I was in a department store recently with my children, I noticed a mother shopping with her teenaged daughter. The daughter’s attire made my heart sink. It was not the typical, tight, low-slung blue jeans she wore, nor the clingy t-shirt that revealed her midriff that made me shake my head, although they were noticeable enough. What grieved me most were the ironic words emblazoned across her chest: ‘What Would Jesus Do?’ I wanted to tell her, but I refrained.”
“So, if that young lady walked up to you, Mary, and asked you why someone should be modest, what would you say?”
“I’d have to echo the words of Miss Fountain City, AL:”
Your bodies are your own and they don’t have to be on display for you to be attractive, smart and fashionable. We live in a Britney Spears world but looking at her life today, she hasn’t gotten very far with her fashions or her principles.
“Well, that about wraps up this carnival. Thank you ladies for dropping by and letting me know what you think. You’ve certainly given me a lot to think through. Until next time, MInTheGap signing off…”
Though some of the replies are quotes taken directly from the articles, there is a bit of fiction included in this carnival. Follow the links to make sure I kept true to the nature of the comments! 🙂