Today's Modern and Modest post features Marie, an American Baptist living abroad. Read on to learn about her negotiations between the public and private aspects of modest dressing.
- What does "modesty" mean to you? Why do you choose to dress modestly? Modesty to me is all about respect! I don't think girls should have to sell their bodies by flaunting immodesty. I believe in inner beauty. Furthermore, modesty keeps me safe and honors my God and my family!
- What are your personal modesty restrictions? Describe a daily
look. Are there places where modesty doesn't apply or situations in
which the rules change (ie: your bedroom, your home, the beach, with
your spouse, with family)?
No showing cleavage.
Skirts kept around knees.
No excess tightness.
No excess skin.
Most of all I try to look in the mirror every morning and ask "is Jesus okay with this? am I a good testimony dressed like this?"
I try to look in the mirror every morning and ask "is Jesus okay with this? am I a good testimony dressed like this?"
And yes, I think that modesty can be situational. What I wear to the beach with my husband I wouldn't wear to church. Simply because of respect! Just like you wouldn't wear gym clothing to a wedding. There is a time and place for different kinds of clothing.
- Do you dress in a typical style for your religious community, if
you are part of one? If not, how does your style differ? How do you feel
about members of your religious community who choose to dress
differently? I am a Baptist and my church is what I would consider very modest (many
wear head coverings, skirts to ankles, only long sleeves, no flashy
colors, etc.). While I tend to differ from the majority by dressing not
so strict, I find that I am (mostly) respected and I very much respect
my friends and other church members who have higher standards than I. I
think it is between them and God! :)
For church services I tend to dress more like the majority simply because I believe God is the focus of church and I wouldn't want to hinder that in any way by standing out.
- Have your modesty standards changed over time? How so? Of course! I think different times in life, your opinions and standards can change. Sometimes for the good, sometimes for the bad. They are just cycles of life and that is okay.
- Do you find modesty empowering, restrictive, or somewhere in between? Is it something about which you feel passionate? Modesty is very empowering, and it is a feeling that I wish I could share with all the girls in the world! You don't have to show everything for people to like you or want to meet you. You are beautiful and special and by dressing modestly you promote that self worth! After all, we are daughters of the King!
- How do you balance your personal style with modesty requirements? Are the two the same? If my personal style wishes start to get out of hand I just have to remind myself that I am not my own, Jesus is the Lord of my life and modesty will always be more important than a new trend or a style I'm attracted too but isn't modest. But really to be honest, I think you can have almost unlimited amount of personal style AND be modest. You just have to be a little more creative sometimes! :)
- Do you dress in a style typical for your geographic location? If not, have you ever felt out of place or overly conspicuous because of your appearance? I live overseas as an expat, and yes I feel out of place! But that might be just because I'm a foreigner. Most of the women here dress in an over-sexulized manner which I find to be horribly sad. It does cause me to stand out as sometimes I'm the only one in a room with a skirt longer than my bum or without my chest hanging out. It has never really made me feel awkward though. I'm glad I dress how I dress. I feel good like this, it just feel natural to dress modestly. So it doesn't bother me very often!
- What role does your spouse/significant other play in your clothing choices? I will always honor what my husband asks of me, but in my case, he doesn't get involved in this area of my life too much. He respects my choices and trusts my decisions in how I dress. However I do appreciate his input and I'm very thankful to have married a man who loves modesty and thinks I am beautiful for dressing in such a way! His support is very appreciated!
- Does blogging or reading modesty blogs strengthen, weaken or somehow alter your relationship with modesty? What has been the impact of going public with modesty?Modest fashion blogging has been an encouragement to me in many ways. It is wonderful to know that I am not alone and there are many girls out there who also believe in the same basic principles that I do!
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