April 24, 2024

Fashion’s Effect on Men and Women

Warning- You may find the original photo offensiveIt is no secret that the culture today is pressing onto men and women a certain look— and that look is not one of inner beauty, but it is an appeal to the carnal desires of the world. God made men and women to be appealing to one another to look upon– for obvious reasons. But ever since the fall, there have had to be barriers put into place to protect us from inappropriate desires and to lead to sexual thoughts and sin.

Indeed, for as long as there has been modest clothing, there has been immodest clothing. If we take a chance to look back through history we will find that prostitutes (no, it’s not the world’s oldest profession, since Adam could be considered a farmer or engaged in husbandry even before there was a woman on the face of a planet) were identifiable. Why these women chose to do this is a discussion for another time, my point is that they dressed in a way to advertise what they were selling, and it was clear what they were doing.

Down through the centuries we see that there is always this difference in literature and history. We see women that portrayed chastity, virginity, modesty, etc. and those that did not. But! We also see that, over time, what was considered risqué has steadily seeped into the chaste woman’s wardrobe. I don’t think that we could place a finger on when it happened or the first instance of this cross over, but I’m certain that as long as there has been lacy frilly under things there has been a certain desire to appeal to the baser desires of the opposite sex– which is all fine and good when it comes to husband and wife, but wrong when used otherwise.

MidriftI’m certain that as Sodom and Gomorrah moved down the path to the sinful, sexual corruption that lead up to its destruction, we would see that path paved with a blurring of the lines between acceptable and unacceptable fashion. Why? Because fashion affects the mind and influences it. In the case of America, we are also blurring these lines as we celebrate more and more skin being displayed.

What is a woman advertising or drawing attention to when she wears a shirt that exposes her midrift? She’s drawing attention to my curves, and attention to her womanly features. What’s the problem here? Nothing, if you’re trying to say “I have the morals of an alley cat!” or “Guys! Look here! Don’t I look nice?” I am told that a man’s attention is like a powerful narcotic, and that is part of the reason for the explosion of exhibitionism on the web and in the mall.

Belly ShirtYou see, we are now constantly focused on exposing the previously unexposed. We’re drawing attention to things that used to be personal. We’re removing the surprise and mystery out of things that used to be saved for spouses, and instead broadcasting them from the mountaintops.

The funny thing is, in our culture’s effort to forge new frontiers of shock, we have resulted in showing off things that used to be mocked! For example– the belly that hangs out. I’ve seen a lot of this and it’s just disgusting, even though it’s “the style.” It is now the style to wear clothing that doesn’t fit. Before people would have made fun of a person for not having clothes that fit, now it’s cool. And it draws attention to ones midsection like the midriff baring shirts– but it doesn’t show the belly button. That has to make it better right? Pair this with a tight pair of jeans, and there’s little left to the imagination.

Short SkirtIt’s interesting that in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus chose to emphasize and intensify two sins. In choosing the two He did he got to the heart of sins that people may not have been practicing on the outside, but had been poisoning their hearts on the inside. In the case of adultery, Jesus told those present that it wasn’t enough to just not commit adultery, but if a man looked upon a woman to lust on her, then he was committing sin.

Any Christian woman can guess the next step. That short skirt and plunging neckline should be avoided at the very least because it may cause a brother to stumble. I’ve tried to be very careful with this post and the images used to depict my points, but even then I wonder if I may have ventured too far. The net can be a dangerous place simply because people– both men and women– have allowed pictures to be taken (and things to be worn) that cross the line, but they excuse it in the name of fashion.

Applying MakeupIt’s gotten to the point that we need to have serious discussions about not only how we dress and how we let our children dress, but the effect of how others dress at the beach or in the mall on us and our children. There may come a time where we have to avoid certain places because of what they display. That time may be sooner than we think.

Keep in mind, with all of this, that I’m not saying that a woman should not wear makeup. I’m not saying that she shouldn’t look her best. I’m even not saying that a woman shouldn’t dress to wow her husband or that some of these things may not be appropriate in his presence. What I am saying is that people should be defined by their insides, not by what they wear. We should all stop and ask ourselves these questions:

  • What am I selling by wearing this?
  • Who am I selling it to?
  • Does what I wear glorify God?
  • Can I cause a brother/sister to stumble by wearing this?
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20 thoughts on “Fashion’s Effect on Men and Women

  1. Another trend are the women’s shirts with fabric that’s bunched to emphasize cleavage…and plunging necklines have been a problem for more than a year now…even in v-necked t-shirts. I’m guilty for wearing these in the past, thankfully my children in their toddler years “helped” me realize that with their little hands pulling on my necklines it wouldn’t take much to expose a whole lot more than I wanted.

    I agree that there’s nothing wrong with make-up or dressing fashionably, as long as it’s modest, but sometimes I get the feeling that the ultra modern woman is unapproachable by other women…in church for instance. Sometimes I feel frumpy around the high class dressy mommies, and it’s their attitude, not their clothes. Not my clothes either, b/c I’m not a denim-jumper mommy. (Ha, now I sound like the biased one!)

    Also, my dh liked me in tight wranglers and plunging necklines (by plunging I’m not talking as bad as your actress pic above!) when we were first married…and I used that as an excuse when I should have known better. I guess I’m easier on the younger women who dress a little too fashionably (in regards to modesty) because I know how easily decieved we women are. My dad had rules but no reasons behind them. I think parents need to talk turkey with their teenage daughters. It needs to start when they’re young, but there are reasons (hard ones to talk about) behind dressing modestly that older girls should know about. If they’re teachable. If they’re rebellious, then it won’t do much good, sad to say.

    Side note, my 8 yo walked by and saw what was on my computer screen (the plunging neckline shot–thanks a lot! ;O) ) and she commented, “That’s a terribly immodest picture!” I gulped and half-laughed, “Yes, immodesty is what this article’s about.” “Good thing!” she said as she walked off!

    Good article, MInTheGap!

  2. Am I noticing a theme in your last four posts:

    1. Powerful Women
    2. Indecent Women
    3. Proper place for man and Women
    4. Fashion effects on men of Women

    I just think that is interesting is all.

    On a side note: I think that picture from “Fashion’s Effect on Men and Women” might be a little too indecent for this G rated site. Countless scores of adults and kids alike come to this site as means of encouragement, discussion, and edification. Thousands nay millions have come to call the family atmosphere of minthegap.com their true source for up to the second Christian news….well maybe not exactly like that…but I do think that picture is a little too revealing.

  3. I think you’re probably right in your observations. Now we just have to plunge the depths of my motivations:

    Does he hate women? Not really, I’m very much in love with one, and think that I’d be lost without her.
    Is he obsessed with talking about them? No. Well, I don’t think so. I believe my audience is generally women, and I think that having a man’s perspective on these kinds of things is helpful since most are just checking other women’s sites?
    Why all the focus on women then? Well, the Bible has a lot to say about a woman’s place in the home and the church, and the culture is going against that more than against the man’s place. It is feminism that brought us women taking men’s positions, women’s objectification/liberation, and the like. Satan is trying to replace the normal order of things, and this series attempted to look at putting it back
    Then perhaps a series dedicated to just the men and culture? It is hard to address men without considering women, but you’re right. Maybe we’ll tackle that in an upcoming series and perhaps I can get the women of the blog to comment so that it will be equally as enlightening.

    As for your comment about the picture– I wondered about it. But it was the original picture from Yahoo, and I figured that if it was there, it was ok. Plus, I was trying to illustrate my point without going too far: Mainly, that fashion is going the wrong way. I apologize if my image offended you.

    — Edit: As you will note, the image has been substituted with the offending area blurred. Clicking on the picture will take you to the original Yahoo image.

  4. I’m sorry Mary, in my response to Flash I totally forgot what I was going to add to your comment. I thought you were going to go in a different direction when you said fabric is also becoming more more bunched up, etc. I have seen more and more women (even in Christian circles) picking up translucent or semi-transparent tops that they put over what would be normally risque clothing and thinking it is ok because it covers to some extent, but it does give the hint of what’s going on underneath. This too can be a great distraction.

  5. Speaking as a jumper or one who loves to wear overalls, I don’t think those are bad for the evening service or bible study. I do tend to dress up a little bit on Sunday mornings.

    I have to totally agree on how the clothes are for women. The jeans hang down too low, if you know what I mean, blouses, etc are way to low-cut that I feel the need to wear a tank top underneath.

    What ever happened to modesty?

  6. It was supposed to have been making a come back, and yet we find ourselves still in the mode that “skin is in” and “sex sells” and we as a culture have yet to find a reason why we shouldn’t be parading our bodies for everyone to see.

    I say this, but there is a movement to return to modesty, and some of it is because of the internet. There are some clothing stores that are now focusing on those of us that want modesty. There’s also places that are even making modest swimwear (Mary comments on this on her blog). The problem is that it’s not too convenient– but opportunities are there.

  7. It’s not convenient, and it’s usually expensive. I’ve got one pattern for a long flowing skirt, that I’ve sewn up for myself…but even with that, the slit on the pattern was way too high, which meant altering.
    At Wal-Mart, or wherever, I’ve pointed out to my daughters the masculine type skirts (camo with cargo pockets). I also point out the flowing organdy type that are so pretty. When we see a gracefully dressed woman, I point her out too.
    I forgot to comment on MInTheGap’s statements about the too tight pants with bulging tummies…and the women who wear spaghetti strap tops…don’t they know how horrible that looks? Or polyester stretch type pants that show what you’re wearing underneath? Plus all your cellulite?
    Today’s fashions aren’t that flattering.
    Btw, good job on the blurring bosom!

  8. Yep, we were just born in the wrong era, huh? Except, wearing those without air conditioning would really expose that I’m spoiled to death!

  9. MInTheGap, Im not into the ball gowns! LOL, there are some things on that site that are intended to be risque.. like the saloon wear! But I was more referring to the calico dresses and such.

    Mrs. Meg Logan

  10. My pastor actually added another instance today of the culture and fashion. He said that he saw a recent commercial on TV during this back-to-school time period. It had a picture of a girl’s bottom in jeans and the voice over/caption said “Choose the Jeans that he would like.”

    Again, a sign of a culture more interested in selling sex than anything.

  11. Good the article illustrated the way fashion has wrongly percolated into Christian culture and in-turn Christian are using the Church aisle for their fashion Parade.Short skirts,plunging neckline,Bare chested men and women shirts exposing belly,undone hairstyle and low-hipline which expose the back is very disturbing to worshippers who come to find solace and peace at the church. Church leaders and authorities should introduce dress code and educate parishners to look and dress modestly, especially in place of fellowship with God and Humans

  12. Fashion is supposed to be so good, so neutral. Yeah right! The negative effects are overwhelming. God help us.


  13. Thanks for continuing to write articles that expose the lies of fashion that women buy into! I’ve linked to this on both my Facebook and Twitter accounts.

    A lot of women want to have their cake and eat it too. They want to expose themselves sexually, saying they are doing it for themselves, then say they’re being assaulted and treated less than human. Women can’t keep flaunting their bodies without having to suffer the consequences for it.

  14. Great article. As a woman, the pictures do not distract me, however they probably would distract the gentlemen that come to this site. Particularly the actress and the woman in the jean skirt.

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