Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Not Alone Series: Modesty

Continuing our reflections about our make-up routines, let's chat about modesty! What does modesty mean to you? Does it just involve the clothes you wear and how you wear them? What about the things you say or do? In what ways can we improve our overall modesty?

Ohhhh modesty! LOVE.

As I look back on the past 10ish years, I have to be honest: I didn't always dress modestly. But, as Katie pointed out, modesty isn't just about dress. And I am often guilty of not living, behaving, or speaking modestly.

For the sake of today's post (and so I don't ramble on for.ev.er.), I'll focus on modest dress.

Much to my delight, dressing modestly has become MUCH easier. When I was in high school, it was "in" to wear tummy-baring shirts. Well, actually....in my case, it was actually tummy-baring camisoles. I know. I'm shaking my head too.

The more skin, the better. Or, at least, that's what I thought. It wasn't until I was a bit older that I realized: in order to get attention, I didn't have to show a lot of skin. No! I had more to offer!
My thoughts! My humor! My personality!

And as I've grown older (or as my students like to tell me: OLD), I find more and more delight in wearing MORE clothes.

Sure, it helps that layering is "all the rage" and vintage styles have become fashionable. 
High necklines, cardigans, scarves, high-waisted pants, fit-and-flare dresses.... *sigh*

It is true that there are also not-so-modest styles that are popular.
Leggings as pants (WHY?!), crop tops, body-hugging spandex-like dresses, aaand cleavage.
All the cleavage.

So, while it's easier and relatively unquestioned by others....the question remains with me: why? 
Why not simply succumb to what others are doing? Buying dresses would be easier...not worrying about length, fit, or up-top coverage. Looking for pants in the morning would be a cinch...not attempting to conceal my derriere.

Well, for starters, there are practical reasons. Have you ever worn that just-a-little-too-tight or just-a-little-too-low-cut or just-a-little-too-short shirt/dress/etc? If you're anything like me, you had a hard time enjoying yourself because you were constantly adjusting, pulling, tugging, making sure everything was in place. I find it hard to be myself when I'm uncomfortable, and so one of the reasons I enjoy more modest clothing is the FREEDOM I find whilst wearing it. Surely, I must still be a lady, but I can allow myself to laugh heartily without fear of popping out of my outfit. 

Dressing modestly helps me to feel more comfortable.

Additionally, dressing modestly helps me to be more present. While it helps me to feel more physically comfortable, I also feel more emotionally comfortable. I know without a doubt that a cute guy at the bar is talking to me for reasons other than how I'm dressed. Again, there is a freedom found in coverage. I feel more secure knowing that someone is focusing on me attentively for reasons other than my upper body parts. In having this freedom, I am my most authentic self. Less insecure and less concerned about the reasons for which someone approached me.

But modest dress isn't something I appreciate just for myself! No, I am so grateful when the people around me are dressed modestly. Many people would agree that "men are visual creatures", but the truth is, we all have eyes and are all visually stimulated. I find it very difficult to concentrate while amidst all sorts of exposed body parts. I truly desire to know others on a deeper level, but find it challenging when bombarded with all sorts of skin. Shoot, I can't imagine what it must be like for men!

And finally, I dress modestly because I know that I am worthy of deeply knowing others, and that this can be accomplished without showing everything my mama gave me. I can't phrase it any better than this:
"Therefore, the problem with immodesty is not that it reveals too much, but that it obscures the value of the person. Modesty, then, is not about hiding one's body, but about revealing one's worth. It is an invitation to contemplation. It conceals certain areas of the body not because they are bad, but in order to invite others to discover one's full value as a person, thus opening a way toward love."
Saint John Paul the Great: His Five Loves by Jason Evert, p 106-7

Modesty is freeing, both for the person practicing it and those present. Because of the liberation I find in dressing modestly, I feel free to be a better version of myself, and those around me experience and better version of me! Win-win!

What do you think? Is modesty something you practice or simply hogwash? Please share your thoughts in the comments and link up your post below!


Next week's topic:
Our culture is obsessed with sex. With anyone! At anytime! If you want to, just do it! But, the Church teaches that sex was created for the context of marriage. Why do you choose to abstain? Why aren't you going around having sex with just anyone? How would you encourage others to do the same? How do you remain strong when everything in our culture is encouraging you to abandon your convictions?

October 28: Discernment Challenges
We all agree that discernment is challenging. Figuring out what the Lord is calling you to do with your life can be frustrating and exhausting. But, then add on lack of family support, cultural pressures, and your personal expectations... ugh. And, this isn't just in relation to vocational discernment, but general life discernment, too! How do you keep going? What helps you to push through? How can we encourage one another? What indicators have you experienced that lets you know you're going down the right path?

November 4: Still have those deal breakers?We have chatted about our deal breakers/non-negotiables before, but how do you keep from letting your standards fall? What prevents you from just dating any guy out there? What keeps you going?

November 11: Feeling downWhat ways do you run to implore the Lord's help when you are struggling? Do you always spend time in Adoration? Do you dive into the bible? Automatically go to Confession? Could you be better? How? And what about those times when things are good and you are joyous? Do you still give the Lord your time?


  1. I completely agree - being free to be me, and not worrying about if something has 'slid too low' or 'come up a little too high' when I'm out with friends. So many times we're already concerned enough if we look okay, taking away the 'am I showing too much' question relieves at least one stress!

    And thanks for the shout out! I feel 'famous' whenever you link to me!

  2. Being uncomfortable in immodest clothing is such a critical aspect of this issue. That's not liberation. That's not freedom.

    I wrote an editorial about modesty for my college newspaper (with a friend ghost-cowriting). It got a lot of nasty comments on the paper website, but I am so glad it was published. It even got me a connection with Wendy Shalit (of A Return to Modesty)!


  3. Alright, friend. You will pry my leggings out of my cold, dead hands.

    Although I never, ever, ever wear leggings without a top that covers my butt...so I guess we're really all on the same page.


Be my friend and leave a comment! :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...