March 4, 2024

What Does It Mean to Look Pretty?

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Shortly after God made clothes out of sheep skin for Adam and Eve, the very next thing Eve did was turn to Adam and ask, “Does this make me look fat?”  Or at least we can imagine that she did.

As far back as the Song of Solomon we know that women were judging themselves, their attractiveness and their worth by how they looked– their physical features.  They compare themselves to each other.  They long to have things that others have.  They believe that their worth is tied to how they look, and they project this onto men (who already look at women for the outside too much) creating a vicious cycle.

Feminism tried to help women to see that they were worth more than their body– that they had every right to vote, to get a job, and to their own life.  The problem at the root of feminism is that instead of focusing on what makes women special, they tried to make woman into man.

To that end, they encouraged women to not only compete for the men’s jobs but to adopt a stereotypical male attitude when it came to sex.  Whereas the women of old would try to enhance their figure and improve their looks– especially for their husband– the new woman would choose to put herself on display to show her freedom.  She would celebrate her form instead of hiding it, and she would think that this is pretty.

The only problem is that it change woman from being something wholesome and feminine to something sinful and sexual.

If I didn’t know better, I would consider that the founder of the feminist movement in the United States was a male.  Seriously!  Instead of having to sneak around to buy magazines where women showed off their body, now they can go to the local mall.  Instead of having to purchase a sleezy magazine of women in their underwear, they can go to the nearest beach.

Not only that, but the new feminism has convinced women that they will be the most fulfilled only when they can detach emotion from sex, and have it as casually as a man.  So now, instead of the guy having to work hard, to buy a ring and commit to a life together with provision and love, all the guy has to do is show up and make sure he jumps on the bed at his earliest convenience.

That’s why it’s important that we encourage this next stage of feminism– that of modesty.  We fathers have to be guardians of our wives and daughters letting them know what their clothing signals.  That’s why it’s important for mothers to show their daughters what is wholesome.  And it’s also important that fathers teach their sons how to treat a lady, how one looks, and what to do about the girl with the morals of an alley cat.

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18 thoughts on “What Does It Mean to Look Pretty?

  1. While I agree with the general message that you’re trying to convey here, something you said just doesn’t sit right with me.

    She would celebrate her form instead of hiding it, and she would think that this is pretty.

    The only problem is that it change woman from being something wholesome and feminine to something sinful and sexual.

    Celebrating your body is not sinful or sexual. Flaunting it, perhaps, is. But celebrating your body is, to me, being comfortable in your own skin. Being perfectly content with what God has given you. And I can’t see anything sinful with that.

    Amanda’s last blog post..Death Penalty Debate

  2. I tend to strike a happy medium between the two viewpoints, Amanda. Celebrating your body can be an act of worship, but it depends on how you celebrate it. I love wearing clothes that make me feel feminine, which is fine, but wearing a low-cut blouse (while feminine) may cause my brothers to stumble. I think many women think you need to show some skin to be pretty or desirable. (I’m not saying you think so – I know you don’t.) The opposite is the reality. Leave some mystery and intrigue to be discovered.

    AG’s last blog post..Mary

  3. I guess I need to clarify a little what I’m saying when I say “celebrate her form”. I definitely mean more like flaunting it. Wearing plunging necklines, belly shirts, tight clothes, etc. All of these things draw attention to her body, not who she is.

    Anything that says “Hey, I’m woman” rather than “Hey, I’m a woman” is what I’m trying to get it. It’s a subtle but important difference.

  4. Pretty does not equal sexy, and that’s the difference he’s talking about here. Pretty is for public consumption, sexy is for a woman’s own husband. (and if you wear sexy underneath of pretty, and let your husband know, that can be good too!)

  5. That’s a good way to make that distinction, Katie. And you’re right – a little suspense for the husband never hurts. 😉

    Something that enhances pretty and sexy is how one carries herself. And that goes back to what Amanda was saying about being comfortable in your own skin. As a woman, we need to realize that God created us and His work is always good. When we can have confidence in His love for us and our value in Him, we carry ourselves totally differently than worldly women. That type of beauty radiates, blesses, and doesn’t cause our brothers to stumble.

    AG’s last blog post..Mary

  6. Suspense, nothing! Try telling your husband early in the day what you’ve got on and see what happens when he gets home!

  7. I just stumbled on your website through blog carnival. This has become and interesting topic to me recently, as I was poked fun at last week at work for dressing too modestly, which really surprised me! At work we are required to dress at least business casual. It has gotten me thinking about what I am wearing at work, and I guess because of my rebellious side, look into how I can dress more modest at work. Sounds strange, I know. Thanks for the great info I’ve found on the carnivals so far!

    Dawn’s last blog post..OLD CAT NEW TRICKS!?!

  8. Dawn, thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you found the information in our carnival useful. I wrote a whole series on modesty some time ago that you might also be interested in.

    It’s interesting that you say that you actually dressed more conservatively based on the reactions you were getting– I did the same in high school, where the the kids would tell me not to dress as I was, and I went even further to dressing more conservatively. I think I even wore a tie a few times!

  9. While I agree, in substance, with your blog, I find it interesting that you place the onus of controlling male lust with Christian women. The fact is, men need to learn to control their own lusts, their own thoughts. Our Lord Jesus told us to pluck out our eyes if they caused us to sin. The apostle Paul told us to take our own thoughts under captivity.

    Yes, Christian women need to learn modesty. Christian men need to learn self-control.

  10. MIn, how is entrapment bad if it’s only our own husbands? O:)

    Dawn, I completely understand what you mean. I had a commitment in high school that my first kiss would be on my wedding day. I got so much flack for it, but it only strengthened my resolve, as I knew the moment I gave in, I’d never hear the end of it. Sometimes the secular world is the best accountability. 🙂

    AG’s last blog post..Mary

  11. AG, It’s not “bad”, it’s just devious!

    Robin, I’m saying no more about male lust than it does exist. Obviously there are two sides to the discussion, but women have known for a really long time that appearances effect men. And to me, that’s why it’s important that guys encourage a high standard for women, because women care about what men think of what they wear.

    So, I’m attempting something very positive here– I’m trying to tell women that at least this man says that you should dress modestly because it’s what is right, feminine and pretty. Pretty is not dressing like a woman with morals of an alley cat.

  12. I still don’t think it’s devious. I think it’s fun. Just a little flirting with my husband is all.

    Both sexes need to do what they can to control how they are affected by others, how they affect others, and encourage each other to have higher standards.

    AG’s last blog post..Mary

  13. Fun comments going on over here, MIn! Great post, I’m all for women dressing modestly and keeping the sexy stuff in their bedroom w/hubby.

    We women also need to recognize that what our husbands deem pretty might not fit our own definitions. For instance, my dh loves the natural look, yet I can’t seem to wean myself from wearing make-up. I gave up earrings for him (not a big loss, imo) and am going gray with his blessing…er, I could amend that to say by his directive!

    I’m not what *I* would consider pretty, but he sees me with fifteen years of married love and that is just an amazing gift to your spouse. To love them for who they are…

    There’s not much room for that kind of grace in the feminism movement.

    Mary’s last blog post..I Need Advice

  14. Mary, hubby hates when I wear makeup, too. And when I wear perfume it drives him nuts ’cause he can’t smell. (I’m a perfume enthusiast, so I wear it for myself, but he always teases me about trying to pick up other guys.)

    Isn’t it amazing that what so many women define as feminine and elegant aren’t what men see? (ie, earrings, makeup, lace, etc.) It really goes back, I think, to being feminine by embracing your role of caring and nurturing.

    AG’s last blog post..Easter

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