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More Than Modest: Respect



This is loosely related to my post More Than Modest.

This post was originally published at the blog A Pinch Of Classy, where I do monthly fashion posts. 


I have come to a huge realization: most of the world is selfish. Past the way we act and speak, on to the way we dress. To each individual life and the world revolves 100% around “me” and the way they do things.

And I am no exception to this.

(Do you ever like to watch people and think, 'to them I am the stranger. To them something drastic is happening. Their life is all that matters – my problems would be petty to them.' It's a humbling thought.)

I am going to try and keep this post clothing focused...but as in many areas, my thoughts are directly and indirectly weaved around so many others.

Life never unravels in one place – but the whole garment of
existence has a way of catching flame suddenly all at once. Not only
is it hard to put out the fire – but the damage isn't just a little
bit of mending.



More like a complete remake – but there are still pieces worth salvaging???

Anyways...fashion...modesty...respect...clothes...clothes
and how we wear them.

Man, this isn't just some light issue...even amidst deeper, harder things. It still
matters.

I've always believed
that the way a girl dresses should express her femininity with
humbleness, appropriateness, and respectfulness. I've always believed
and still believe that those are the key elements of what make up
modesty.

But...what do those
qualities really mean? What do they look like? So many disagree...so
many have good points...some are just plain wrong - or are they?

What is perspective,
what is truth?

And what is simply
hypocrisy?

I look at so many
women that dress like me (and way more conservative). Even though I
understand their background I also can see deeper, past those
clothes.

It seems so much of
conservative modesty is really just a mask to hide a vulgar,
feministic, selfish woman. No joy (or smiling). No beauty.

Shouldn't women be
beautiful – aren't we after all the epitome of beauty, of God's
creation?

And then I've seen
that so much of conservative dress is completely a man-made belief –
and we judge each other on our own self-made rules!

Where in the Bible
does it say a dress must be full and ankle length? Or that we must
dress against the modern culture?



Where in the Bible
does it say, “Seek weirdness, flee fashion”?
It doesn't.

I still hold to my
core beliefs in how to dress...but I am unsure how those ideas must
be expressed through my clothing in ways that both honor God and man.
In ways that show respect yet I can still express my personality.

I'm not saying
modesty is bad...but it most certainly is being abused.

Dress appropriately,
yes – but we don't need to hide the fact we are women and have a
shape.

Women are not
offensive.

We are beautiful.

Conservatism modesty
(hide under layers and layers of polyester – sweat out your faith)
doesn't help women be true women.



And neither does the
porn industry or Holly Wood
(starve yourself to get your bones to
pop, then give away your skin for free in clothing that is very
worthy of being labeled poverty rags. Show all men what you have –
and hide next to nothing) inspire feeling in women of being something
more than an object for men.

These two extremes
scream at all of us young girls.

How are we supposed
to know what to do? Feel good about ourselves?

Balance is a foreign
concept – we only know the two wrongs.

Be holy and “save”
our entirety for a potential husband (who may not notice us because
he's enthralled in the cheap alternative that is too accessible).

In frustrations so
many of us throw away the layers...to embrace almost nothing. Trying
to say, “I am just as beautiful...”

Of course there is
still the chance he will only see what you are showing instead of who
you are...and even then what you have may not be enough...


Starvation...fashionable
clothes...it doesn't work.

Wow…

But why not???

The problem is way
bigger than the way we dress, first off…but that is another matter
entirely.



Dressing to please
anyone but God will lead you only to darkness – there will always
be someone to find fault.

We must recognize
the hypocrisy. But we don't run away from it toward sin.

We embrace the truth
of what was said – and “fix it up” instead of covering the
truth in lies.

We are women, and
must dress accordingly despite what the two extremes tell us.

I am wanting to
learn how to respect God and man and myself by not becoming an object
– whether an object that hides behind layers or an object that
exposes her skin for men to lust after. Who is with me???

I'm still not sure
what this looks like. I'm still not sure on a lot of things.

But it is starting
to fit together...slowly.

I do not need to be
ashamed or hide my body. And I do not need to prove this by embracing
the opposite end of the stick – I can still be me, be free in the
fact that I am me with out being ashamed of not conforming to one or
the other.

True femininity
starts with those modesty qualities being instilled in our hearts
through Jesus (Yeshua). And once it is we should be able to better
express that true modesty in the way we dress.

Many will still judge and hate.

But modesty
(fashion) isn't about receiving approval. It's about so much more –
such as what is right.

This is an old picture - but I love it because it was a time from my life when I was happy for no reason. When I had every right to be depressed - I was content. The feelings in this picture - this should be our fashion statement. 


Tell me, girls –
what does your journey toward respectful dress look like?



We are all in this
together, after all. Every movie, every magazine, every garment that
is made – it honors or offends each of us personally. And affects
all of us together.







Comments

  1. Wonderful post, Keturah!!

    My journey towards modest dress started at 16 by the examples of the women at my church and a couple of books. Then it was a few years of trial and error to figure out how to be modest, functional, and fashionable. I still experiment, especially for being modest while being active.

    Catherine
    catherinesrebellingmuse.blogspot.com
    frugallyfancyfarmlass.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! And yes, our fashion tastes and modesty journey, I feel, will always change as we grow/ learn/ according to circumstance.

      Delete
  2. I use to be super modest. I wore Bermuda shorts, and skirts and dresses way past my knees, but it started feeling less important and then we moved from a super conservative homeschooled church to a less conservative church and I learned a lot about convictions and that many people feel led and called to different things. Now I typically wear short shorts without giving it a second thought. I try to be pretty modest (no V-necks, or cleavage showing) for the sake of my guy friends, I don't want to harm my friendships with them.

    I think you should do what God convicts and calls you to do. And if dressing a certain way is one of the things God places on your heart, do it!

    I love how you live by what you believe is right, what a lovely post. ^_^

    I also agree that us girls need to respect ourselves more, we aren't objects meant to be objectified, we're children of God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Gray!!

      Yes, as I've got older modesty does seem less important. We become more comfortable with our bodies. And the way we look "matters less" if you will. At times I could care less about what I wear; except that I know it always matters to God and men no matter how I feel. Plus looking nice/ wearing color makes me feel happier. But as you say... God convicts each personally, and we all must listen to His voice ourselves. For some of us it will look differently, true. Yet we should each continue to build the other up and closer to God 😁

      It all boils down to how we respect God, men, and ourselves, as you say 🤗

      Delete
  3. Ugh, this is one of those things I struggle with.

    I wear skirts all the time now and the only problem now is finding stuff to wear while looking nice as well! There are barely any skirts that are in the shops near me in Ireland that are below knee length! And I don't want to wear super long stuff because I step over it when I walk. So I'm basically not very happy with the clothes I have. I want to try online shopping since I can actually find stuff there.

    And my parents are putting pressure on me and my sister to only wear stuff that goes down to our ankles! I disagree with this because nothing that I want to wear is immodest. Everything I wear is pretty conservative for most girls.

    I want to wear stuff that is modest AND makes me feel happy. I don't wanna be ashamed of what I wear :(( A lot of girls who are practicing Outward Holiness (as it is called in many African churches) wear stuff that isn't really age appropriate? By that I mean that their clothes look a little stuffy on them because some of them are hand me downs from mothers. If you wanna wear that stuff, that's okay but I feel like a lot of mothers in that church are forcing them to wear things they may not like :(

    I envy Americans and Asians (I mean the WHOLE continent) because you seem to have so much variety of skirts in your shops!

    I really envy how you have found your own personal style.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, wow!

      I had the thing with Parents pressuring me to dress more “stuffy” than I wanted for years. I was only allowed to wear dresses that were really long, no skirt, no jewelry. But as I grew older I kept asking my parents to dress differently. All the while I dressed as they wanted me to.

      Finally, my dad started letting me dress as I liked.

      It’s taken awhile to develop my style. Even here it’s hard to find clothes I like that are modest. We are blessed to have nice thrift stores. But I can sew, too.

      Maybe you can get longer skirts and shorten them? I’ve done that many times.

      I do encourage you to try to honor your parents as you find your style. Sometimes we can find a temporary compromise. I had to for many years, and while it was miserable I still had friends. Dressing differently didn’t really affect anyone but me.

      Online shopping may be the option for you! And maybe you can pick up sewing? There are some great online stores for fabrics.

      Delete
  4. This post is so good! I'm 100% with you, but it is so hard to know what that actually looks like in the clothes we put on. I've come to take it on a case-by-case basis: what do I feel comfortable or uncomfortable in? Do I feel beautiful or do I feel revealed? It's not an exact science, and I'm wondering if we'll ever get it down to one. But like you, I'm learning and I'm trying, and I think when we're genuinely after God, with this or anything else, He honors us in the midst of that trying and unsurety.

    Lovely post as always!


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You’re so right in that it’s not an exact science. We are each shaped differently. our upbringings and thus perceptions are different. It’s as you say... something possible only through effort and pressing closer to God 😃

      Thank you!

      Delete

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