Modesty. What is the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions modesty? Do you have pictures of Amish women and nuns running through your head?
If so, I would like to show you a different definition of modesty and why it is so very important for young girls and this generation.
Modesty isn’t solely concerned with, “how much skin do I have to cover.” Modesty is an outside and inside type of lifestyle.
The question shouldn’t be, “how much skin can I show without getting into trouble?”…it should be, “by wearing this, what am I trying to achieve or convey?” or “while I may be completely comfortable wearing this, will it lead other minds to wander and sin?”
While it is not a female’s sole responsibility to make sure men do not think impure thoughts, we certainly have the duty to make sure we do not accidentally lead others to sin by our wardrobe choices. More often than not, we’re not trying to make them lust. We simply don’t take them into consideration. But it’s not enough to avoid bad intentions. We must have pure ones. This can be a challenge when we desire attention.
What girl doesn’t want attention?
Although, by flaunting your body, I am willing to vouch for the fact that you won’t be happy with the kind of attention you receive.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a girl complaining about how the boys at school treat her, act around her, how they don’t respect her and are “just so rude!” What most of these girls don’t understand is that by the way they dress they are lowering the standards for “those boys.”
Believe it or not, many of the good guys that girls really want to attract are more impressed by your attempt at modesty rather than bearing as much skin that is allowed in a public place. If people are so distracted with the amount of skin you are showing, how hard will it be for them to learn to love you as a person?
Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that we as girls need to start wearing floor-length dresses and turtle-necks during the summer. Just be sure your cute fashion sense isn’t making others uncomfortable.
Instead, you should be leading others to Christ…not only by word, but through your example. Modesty is not limited to your clothing choices. Modesty applies to you as a whole person. Whether it is the way you carry yourself, the way you speak, or the way you interact with others.
Now for a side fashion note: some clothes are soooooo comfy, but they just aren’t modest. I have plenty of shorts that are super-comfy to wear around the house or out in the yard, but I wouldn’t want to wear them around in public. Why? Because I don’t want to be intentionally or unintentionally leading others to sin and I also never want to be treated as an object…I want to always be treated with dignity.
Oh and dresses. There are so many cute dresses out in the stores, but the majority of them are ridiculously short, clingy or sheer. Now while it might look perfect while standing still, don’t even try to bend down and pick anything off of the floor! Usually the solution to the short dresses is to throw a pair of leggings or long shorts on underneath, but the clingy or see-through ones might be good to avoid. Not only does this let you be more comfortable just moving around throughout the day, but I am sure many guys would thank you for looking out for their purity as well.
Remember: You are not only representing yourself to the world… you are representing Christ.
Lauren Ramseyer is a sophomore at Franciscan University of Steubenville working towards a major in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and a minor in Theology. She will be working as assistant editor of The Troubadour and as a writer for the Public Relations Department at Franciscan in the fall. She loves her Catholic faith, her family and chocolate. Lauren currently runs two blogs, one of which hosts her small business; if you feel so inclined, you can check them out here: randomramblingsofme.wordpress.com & aiming4the2percent.wordpress.com