Last week a friend of mine posted on modesty. She argued that we are to dress for ourselves and not for others. She said how modesty is ‘choosing to dress a certain way based on personal choice.’ And you know what, she got alot of backlash for that.
The whole modesty debate is so sticky because despite what some people think, you can not simply declare, ‘wear this and not that and therefore you will be Modest’. It is a simplistic approach that completely ignores the fact that we have different body types. There are busty gals who unless they wear a turtle neck, they will show cleavage. There is nothing wrong with them.
Note that I said ‘them’. What bothers me the most about the modesty debate is that it puts gals with certain body types in a lose-lose situation. If they dress in a way that flatters their figure, they are told they are being immodest. When you are curvy, or busty, unless you wear completely shapeless clothes, it will be clear you are busty or curvy. So if these girls dress in those shapeless clothes, they are told they are being dowdy.
No woman should be shamed for her body. Whatever her shape. And I believe every lady should be allowed to dress in a manner that makes them feel beautiful.
Modesty is an attitude. It is how you carry yourself, you present yourself to the world. How you dress has little to do with it. The busty gal who is showing some cleavage, can be more ‘modest’ then the girl who is wearing a tight turtle neck and a long skirt.
But the main reason I think the modesty culture should be talked about is because of the thinking behind it: that women are responsible for another human being’s thinking. I cannot tell you how many things I’ve read or heard, or sat through about not letting our ‘brothers in Christ stumble’. My mom put it best, for some men you could be wearing a ‘potato sack’ and they will still have lust in their heart. These men are accountable to God for their thoughts, you are not accountable for their thoughts. And before I go further, there are men who struggle, and I have great respect for those who work hard against letting their thoughts wander. I have more respect for those men, then the ones who think ‘oh, had a lustfull thought, it’s that girl over there’s fault.’
This attitude that is being taught, that men are incapable of controlling their own thoughts and actions, is insulting to men. In my opinion, it is even more insulting to men, than to the women who are told they are responsible for keeping these men from stumbling. Those who argue this are basically saying that men are incapable of controlling themselves if someone might be wearing a low top.
Both men and women, we are accountable for our own thoughts and actions. If I see a handsome young man, I am responsible for my thoughts. Not him. Regardless of what he is wearing. Same goes for men, they are accountable for their thoughts.