I remember hearing this term used for the first time and thinking "Oh no. Now i have to dress like an Amish farm girl with a skirt down to my ankles and long sleeves." Luckily, I was mistaken and am currently not dressing like an Amish person. Modesty, as Webster defines it, is the "regard for decency in behavior and dress." Many people, like myself, when they first hear about modesty feel like it is unimportant. "Why should i dress any differently than my friends and every other girl out there? Guys are just going to see it anyways. And if they have a problem with the way I dress, that's their issue to deal with." That whole mindset is completely absurd and selfish. Personally, I used to dress immodestly. I would go out looking for the tightest and most low-cut shirt. Why? Because i LOVED getting the attention. People left and right would tell me I looked skinny and cute. I had boyfriends that would tell me I looked hot, and my self-esteem would just shoot out the roof. Every girl wants to look cute and attractive, but what today's society is telling us, is that to look cute and get guys, we have to put on a mini-skirt, buy name-brand clothes, and show off what we have. But seriously think about it. Those guys that we will get the attention of, are they they guys who will respect us and treat us like the princesses we are? Or are they going to see how we dress, take it as an invitation to use us, and then move on to the next chick in a skimpy outfit? If you don't know the answer, its the latter. I'm not saying that we should completely hide our bodies by wearing tons of layers of clothes, but that we can put on clothes that are in style, and they don't have to be showing inches of cleavage and our butt cracks. Do you want a guy who is going to take one look at you and want to get to know who you really are? Or just want to get in your pants? With dressing modestly, we enable guys to look at us and see that we respect our bodies, which in turn will make them want to respect us as well. After dressing immodestly for a while and hearing of this, I thought it was bogus. Who would ever NOT want attention and praise for looking good? Then I examined myself. I started realizing that the attention I was getting was from guys I knew were only after one thing. I recall a time when I caught one of those guys staring at my chest and walked away not filled with happiness because I caught someones attention, but sadness and a sense of feeling used. I spoke with a guy friend about the situation and he even said "Oh but you know you like the attention."
After that, I noticed that not only that type of guy, but also my close guy friends would not always be looking at my eyes, but would glance downwards. It started to really bug me. For the first time, I felt like an object. I took a step back and thought, "Is wearing tight, skimpy clothes worth the inner pain and sadness each time a guy says I'm hot or checks me out?" I decided not, and started dressing more modestly. At that time I had met an amazing guy, who is now my amazing boyfriend, and asked his opinion on the clothes I wore. I asked him to go through my entire wardrobe and pick out the items of clothing that were immodest. He made a large pile and I promptly threw the stack of clothes away. I wanted the assurance that I could go into my closet and pick out anything and not have to worry about feeling used. I realized that I could still get attention, but in a positive way. After asking my future boyfriend, Peter, to help me out, I saw how he respected me and how glad he was to help me become more modest in dress. It shocked me at first, never having experienced a reaction quite like that from a guy, but it also amazed me. I had always heard stories of women who had found men that respected them and treated them like princesses, but I had never experienced that for myself. Being treated with such dignity floored me. I knew that I was on the right path to becoming more modest and showing that I respected myself and demanded that same respect from everyone around me.
Some of you have probably heard modesty in relation to "leading men into sin". This is where I previously believed that if a guy fell into sin by looking at me, that was his own problem. But think about it. Say you lived in a house and always left the door and windows open. It is basically an invitation to enter and steal whatever is inside. When a guy checks you out, he is taking a piece of your dignity with him. A piece that was basically offered to him based on what you were wearing.
Modesty regarding dress is a huge deal, but also the way you act can be defined as modest or immodest. I was in the club scene for a summer. I never knew how much of an effect my actions made on guys i with whom i would dance. But with modest dress, comes the responsibility to act modest as well. If your actions are saying "I wanna turn you on" then that's exactly what a guy will assume you want to do to him.
Although summer is an amazing season due to the beautiful weather and break from school, it is also a time where modesty is critical and must be taken into consideration. When going shopping for summer clothes really ask yourself if the item of clothing you want to purchase is modest. A little bit of extra fabric to cover your chest or belly won't make you die of heat stroke. Personally, I don't wear short shorts. I've always felt very uncomfortable wearing them, and am soo glad that Bermuda shorts and capris are in. This way, I'm not overdressed for summer weather, but not showing off all of my legs.
In a culture that promotes immodesty and promiscuity, it is our obligation to be counterculture and show the world how to be truly respected and that comes by us respecting ourselves by the way we dress and act. Thank you for your time and keep checking back for more updates!