I've written my thoughts on modesty before, and then the other day I was perusing blogs, and Lindsey's (from Becoming 1Peter3:4) stuck out to me. Lindsey is probably my oldest reader... as in she's been reading and a follower pretty much since the beginning according to my recollection. Over the years (especially those recently) we've exchanged e-mails, phone calls, and thanks to her college being only a couple hours away meeting in-person. She's graciously allowing me to share this post with you as it echos some of my same thoughts on modesty as well.
I was perusing my bookshelf tonight and found a book I read a long time ago that, as I flipped through it again tonight, I believe really shaped a lot of who I am.
It’s called “Sexy Girls” by Haley DiMarco, and it’s all about modesty and all that great stuff.
Disclaimer: I 100% support modesty, and think it is important to teach girls about modesty.
However, I read some of those quotes and was all-too familiar with them. They still flash into my mind sometimes, and here’s the problem I have with them:
Too often, modesty is all about shaming women into covering up.Our bodies become something to be loathed, hidden, and ashamed of. I don’t think that’s how God wants women to feel. I don’t think he expects us to apologize for being women and cover up head to toe. I also don’t think he expected us to run around indecently either. I just don’t think fear is what God wants for us.
Those quotes were seared into my brain, and I have lived for a long time in just…fear over what guys are thinking about. Yeah, I know, a lot of it is probably gross and wrong, but I can’t be responsible for that, and that’s what every modesty book tells me I am–responsible for all men and how they all think and what they will all think when they see me.
It’s too much pressure for girls, and it’s not our job. Yeah, I need to dress with discretion; but it’s not my responsibility to ensure that no men lust over me–I can’t control that. That’s a “their heart” issue when my heart is surrendered to Christ and letting Him guide my wardrobe choices.
I think it’s time we called boys to be men rather than using scare tactics on our girls. They don’t work, and leave girls ashamed of their body and terrified of men (believe me, I’ve felt both). I never want my daughter to grow up thinking that because she is a woman she has the weight of ensuring no men stumble. Sure, as sisters in Christ we should be looking out for guys and dressing appropriately–but that’s where our responsibility ends. We’re not supposed to be nuns, and we’re not supposed to apologize for being women in the way we dress.
Gosh, I ache for our broken world. What are your thoughts?