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    How Does Modesty Fit in with Feminism?

    By Bethany Kibler

     

    They tell me to dress up.

    They tell me to curl my hair.

    They want my makeup just right.

    They want my legs to show tonight.

    Their looks are flattering.

    Their stares make me feel something else.

    I know they’re watching me,

    But they’re looking at something else.

     

    It is fun to dress up.

    It is fun to curl my hair.

    Sometimes the makeup feels caked.

    Sometimes this skirt is too tight.

    Their looks don’t deceive me.

    Their stares make me feel something else.

    I know they’re watching me,

    And I wish I was wearing something else.

     

    He tells me I’m His bride.

    He tells me He likes my hair.

    He loves me when I’m not right.

    He will take care of me tonight.

    He looks from far away.

    Oh His grace is like nothing else.

     

    It is fun to dress up.

    It is fun to curl my hair.

    I won’t let my looks deceive them.

    I am glorifying Someone else.

     

    Lately, there has been a movement. Girls across the world are rallying together to fight against dress codes and sexual stereotypes. This passionate group of young feminists seeks to give women the freedom to dress however they please, without having to worry about what the men think.

    Let me just start out by saying it is a good cause. Girls should be able to dress without fear. However, modesty is still needed in our world.

     

    Modesty: behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency. (Oxford Dictionary)

     

    Being “modest” is different for everyone. Especially in today’s society, there is no clear line as to what is considered “decent.” Even other Christians have different ideas of what is appropriate, and we are quick to judge others not fitting our mold. Yes, everyone has her own opinion.

    Perhaps instead of dressing for the acceptance of others, or to please other Christians, we can dress to glorify God.

     

    Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Colossians 3:17)

     

    As Christians, we reflect something greater than ourselves. When we dress, we reflect God and other Christians like us. I don’t want to reflect God in an immodest or “indecent” way. We are called to glorify God in whatever we do. How do we reflect God in a glorifying way, though? What does it mean to dress like a Christian?

     

    She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. (Proverbs 31:25 NLT)

     

    There you have it! We are called to dress with strength and dignity. What makes you feel strong? It could be a stylish blouse, or a sweatshirt. It’s different for everyone. Embrace your God-given strength and individuality in ways only you can. Feel confident, dignified and strong! After all, you are the daughter of the King.

     

    Now therefore, if ye will obey My voice and keep My covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto Me above all people: for all the earth is Mine. (Exodus 19:5 KJV)

     

    You are God’s treasure. Go out and reflect Him in your own “peculiar” and “dignified” way! God Bless You!

    —Bethany Kibler

    Team Project Inspired
    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

    6 COMMENTS

    1. I dress modestly, I mean there are the times when I indulge in a form-fitting dress, or a low-cut top, or a short skirt sooometimes… But I know it’s always best to be dressed modestly, and I do so more often than not. It glorifies God and is the right thing to do. Also modest clothing definitely doesn’t mean frumpy, ugly clothes. It doesn’t mean we have to go around in ankle-length skirts, and turtlenecks, though some are really cute too… ?

    2. What a lovely article. I am for dress codes that apply evenly across genders, so if the school says tanktops are ok, they can’t send a girl home for wearing racerback just because it might show more skin than some tanktops. If they say tanktops are out altogether, fine- and then enforce those rules consistently.
      The rules have to be made thoughtfully and carefully, and then applied in a sensible way. For example, when I was a teen, my school had a dress code that said no stomach showing. Fine. But at the time mini-tees were in, and I was a size xs, but 5’7”. One time my mom bought a top for me, and I tried it on and asked her if it was too short, and she said that it was fine. It didn’t show my stomach when I was standing or walking normally, but when I raised my arms it would pull up (as ALL shirts do). I got to class and took off my sweatshirt and the t-shirt pulled up. My teacher looked at me and said “Jackie, put that sweatshirt back on, or I will give you a big t-shirt to wear over it.” I was so mortified. At the time I was very shy, had few friends, and wasn’t comfortable socially. It was an awful thing for her to say that in front of the class, when I had never ever broken dress code or gotten in trouble for anything, and clearly wasn’t trying to break the rules. Not only that, but would the guys in the class even have noticed if she hadn’t drawn attention to it? And when guys remove their sweatshirts, they their t-shirt often pulls up all the way showing their whole chest and I NEVER saw a teacher scold a guy for that!

      So dress code, fine. But a little common sense in making and enforcing the rules is necessary. No one should be sent home to change, if their boxer or bra straps show, or if their shirt pulls up a little bit. Give them a warning if necessary- they may not even realize they are breaking the rules.

      Also, breaking the dress code doesn’t automatically make you immodest, and wearing lots of clothing doesn’t make you modest. Modesty is much bigger than clothing, and includes attitude, intention, heart, and mind. A women wearing a long, buttoned up dress to try and impress a religious man with her modesty and piety is actually being IMmodest.
      Dress first in a way you feel is pleasing to God, second in the way that is most comfortable to you. What other people think of your clothing -whether they are ultra “modest” people calling you a slut for wearing pants or advocates of “less is more” calling you a prude, what other people think of your clothing choices is not important.

    Project Inspired

    We here at Project Inspired want to guide and inspire teen girls to be true to themselves and to God. We want to show young girls how to be people of value and confidence – how to be your own best selves – through leading a Christian life. Who are we? We're a team of girls, like you. We edit the site, we post to social media, we hang out in the chat rooms and forums. We talk with you, we listen to you, and we love you!

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