Growing up in Colombia, I learned very early on the value of modesty from three distinct experiences:
1. Perverted low-class men in Latin America tend to practically salivate at the sight of female legs and behinds. So as a kid, I was always instructed to cover up the upper part of my legs even though I’d always remain the backseat of our car.
2. I attended a Catholic all-girl school, so yes, we had a uniform and our skirts could never be over three inches (in US speak) above our knee. >> Not too may cared for this one, but b/c the principal liked me and our family, I was OK w/being the role model and wearing my skirt where it was supposed to go, dangit.
3. Our family was rather well-off, so we shopped at places that carried the best-quality clothes, which were always rather conservative. If you ever want to find clubwear or skimpy outfits in Latin America, just go to the WORST parts of town. Trust me on that one.
In light of ^ these ^, I grew up w/a model of what ladies should look like, and I always took it for granted.
|via Just Say Amen Already|
Fast-forward a few years and I find myself in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Here, one can almost always find “modesty” in the same sentence as “religion,” and “God,” and “purity,” and “boys,” and “attention.”
WHY IS THAT?!
Blame it on my having grown up in a country where neighborhoods are often referred to by their social strata (no, seriously: a neighborhood w/a “stratum” of “1” is in a bad part of town; one w/a stratum of “6” or higher is the BEST), but to me, modesty has more to do with how you present yourself to the world than how God or men will see you.
(And I’m a Catholic, so I have nothing against God/Allah/Yahweh/Jehovah!)
Think about it: Why make God or other men liable for what you wear? Why not make yourself liable? Ever hear about how addicts who try to quit for their kids/significant others/families sadly end up failing? My mom volunteers at a local jail and she hears stories like these all the time. They fail because if they put their success on someone else, then they lose all accountability. They have to quit for themselves–to better themselves.
Well I’d like to apply the same logic here: Why not make yourself accountable for the impression you make on others? Simply put, if you dress skankily, you’ll get the wrong kind of/unwanted attention. So dress nicely. It’s not hard, but it takes work. It’s also not about following trends, but it is about dressing for your body. Your body is precious, so treat it that way, and don’t embarrass it–or us or yourself.
Modesty has more to do with how you present yourself to the world than how God or men will see you! It’s not about God or men–it’s about class and comfort (and you, of course)!
(Also–Isn’t dressing modestly more comfortable? I don’t know about you, but I really like being able to walk and sit freely without worrying about possibly flashing/mooning anyone or exposing “the girls.” [Granted, they’re not huge, but still, I like them 100% covered.)
What do YOU think about modesty? And do you look at it as a “God,” “men,” “class,” OR “comfort” thing?