Let’s Talk About Modesty

Today my lovely friend, Kristen, tweeted this.


And after favoriting it, retweeting it and yelling a few “yeses” and “amens,” I decided that since I’d written three papers, watched a documentary for one of those papers and made a powerpoint for a presentation this weekend (if you want to find my vomit, check the first floor women’s restroom in HSS in the morning) even though I was on a field trip that took up a lot of my day on Friday and babysat on Saturday for half the day, I deserved to write this blog. (I may be a little proud of my accomplishments of the weekend if you couldn’t tell… I’m also thankful to God that he apparently added hours to the days or something.)

Let’s talk about modesty. Growing up we all hear this word “modesty.” Especially if you grew up in a church. So what does modesty mean exactly?

A quick Google search says that modesty is a “behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.” But what does that mean?

Well, that’s the problem. Modesty is such a subjective term. Everyone has a different idea of what modesty looks like. My definition is different than yours. So why do we assign such strict rules and regulations to ensure that kids are dressed modestly? Dress codes (especially for girls) are ridiculous. Girls can’t wear: short shorts, low cut shirts, shirts that show their stomach, tank tops, bikinis, shirts that show their bras… (breath) Guys can’t wear: saggy pants

You probably think I’m insane for not necessarily liking dress codes, but let’s think about this. Girls have all of these things that they are told not to wear, but everything sold in stores are those exact things. Everything that’s advertised? The things they aren’t supposed to wear. Women’s clothes are made tighter, shorter, and more low cut than anything in the men’s section. So how are girls supposed to dress “appropriately” if there’s nothing that’s “appropriate” for them to buy.

One time at a Christian camp, I was asked by another leader to tell my girls to change out of their tank tops. This was while a boy was in a tank top right in front of the other leader. Was the boy asked to change? Obviously not. Like Kristen pointed out, when there’s a pool or lake or beach involved in any kind of church trip, girls are told to not wear bikinis. The boys, on the other hand, are allowed to go around shirtless. I’m pretty sure a girl in a bikini is more covered than the boy who is shirtless.

A middle schooler (I love them so much) told me a fun fact the other day. A man’s Adam’s apple is a secondary sex characteristic… the same as women’s breasts. So why don’t men have to cover that up? Obviously no one wants to see that.

There’s also that annoying thing where people always point out that a woman’s bra is showing. My response: well at least it isn’t her boob. Since when did an article of clothing that is necessary (and freaking expensive) according to society become so offensive?

Basically what I’m saying with all of this is… modesty is good. But it’s good according to your own definition. If you are comfortable in what you’re wearing and the amount of skin showing, you are golden. You do you. I’m also saying that there is obvious inequality in society and the church’s definitions of modesty for men and women, and I don’t like it. I’m not necessarily saying everyone should go around shirtless, but what if we all wore shirts. Because I’ve already written a blog about the fact that women stumble too (especially with baseball pants). Women aren’t immune to men just like men aren’t immune to women. We should both protect each other in that, but we also shouldn’t tell each other how to be modest. Modesty is whatever you want it to be. Just some food for thought for all of you reading this.

Comments ALWAYS welcome.


3 thoughts on “Let’s Talk About Modesty

  1. I agree with much of what you said here and, as a Christian man, everything about modesty has bothered me a little.

    Fact is, even if men and women were completely covered by loose fitting clothing all the time there would still be attraction and (the horror) sexual attraction because that’s how human biology works.

    That being said, there is a distinct difference between noticing an attractive member of the opposite sex and lusting after them or having impure thoughts or stumbling

    1. I agree. Because of human biology, we will be attracted to other people no matter what they’re wearing. I do think that certain things can make that attraction come about easier, though. And I definitely agree that attraction is different than lusting, but I just think that men make such a big deal about stumbling and having impure thoughts over women and think women don’t have the same problems when in fact we do. Thanks for your comment!

      1. Thanks for writing it. It’s an interesting subject, I hope more people weigh in.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s