Monday, March 19, 2012

Modesty shouldn't be a thing in the past!

Modesty: The act of showing reserve in behavior or clothing.

Modesty: Almost a thing in the past.

It was just a year ago that Abercrombie and Fitch had padded bikini tops designed for 8-14 year olds. Yes, it sparked outcry, but what was disturbing to me is that the concept was even formed!

Just walking through the children's section of any clothing store you see swimsuits revealing more and more body, inappropriate words written on the seat of pants, and more see through, v-cut shirts! IN THE LITTLE GIRL SECTION! These clothes are designed for children ranging in age from 6 to young teen, but they aren't clothes that my children will be wearing.

I know that to many the word modesty ranges in definition. A spaghetti strap tank might be modest to one, while anything less than short sleeves is considered un-modest to another. Some agree that a two piece swimsuit can be modest, while others think that only a one piece could be considered modest.

Putting all that aside, let's talk about a few things that should be taken into consideration.

Recently while swimsuit shopping for my daughters, I searched the internet for "modest swimsuits". Needless to say, there were some that I considered over the top as far as modesty goes... I mean, they were full body, head to toe suits! The more and more I searched for swimsuits, the more discouraged I became. Why was it so hard to find something that I considered appropriate for my 6, 7, and 8 year olds! I don't even understand why they have two piece bikinis that are v-necked anyway. A friend of mine said it best when she said that since we don't send our kids out to swim in their underwear, why buy indecent swimwear! I was finally able to find one piece swimsuits for my two youngest daughters, that were high enough on the chest, and covered their bottom. We avoided the ones that had the sides cut out or dipped in the front. My oldest daughter chose a nice two piece suite, that had a long tankini for the top and boy shorts for the bottom. Again, there were no v-cuts. I know there are moms who don't see what the problem is for young girls to dress a certain way, but we need to realize that our daughters will one day grow up to be young ladies and I want them to maintain modesty even then! If we allow them to wear a revealing bikini now- even if there isn't anything to reveal now- they will only grow up with the mindset that it's ok.

Another reason to think about modesty is because we shouldn't be tempting others. Yes, I want to dress in a way that attracts my husband, but I don't want to attract other men's attention. Men struggle and we don't need to give them more reasons to struggle. I don't want my daughters (or myself) to ever cause a man to stumble. Even accidentally.

When wearing dresses, we look for dresses that are long enough. Shirts that don't show their belly. We wear tights under our skirts or dresses until we are old enough not to "flash" others.

My girls have enjoyed "putting on makeup" or wearing "perfume" from an early age, but they only do that because they see me do it. I don't wear a lot of makeup, just a little eyeshadow or mascara and when I "put it on the girls" I put it to where nobody else can see it. It makes them smile thinking they look like mommy though. They won't be wearing makeup for a while though, and when they do I will make sure to teach them how to apply it so that it keeps them modest- enhancing their natural beauty.

Modesty begins at home and modesty begins at a young age. You, as mom, should set the example. Look diligently for clothes that keep our girls modest! They are out there, but they are harder and harder to find.

We don't have to let our girls wear short shorts, revealing tops, or dressing older than they really are. It's time we take control of our children and bring back modesty!

How do you define modesty? What are you doing to instill modesty in your children?



Michelle @ Changed By The Maker said...

Your post made me thankful that I have only boys to dress! Of course, modesty (the flip side) will definitely be an issue as they mature.

I was at the checkout lane yesterday at Wal-Mart and noticed the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue was displayed. I made note of how little the cover girl was wearing! Surely she couldn't have moved without having something exposed! Awful! I made a note to tell my husband to avoid taking the boys into the checkout isle. Sad.

I don't want them, at this early age, to develop the thinking that THAT'S what girls SHOULD dress like! Yikes! It's impossible to hide.

Thanks for your thoughtful post and for linking up with me! Have a blessed week!

Erika said...

I was in the magazine aisle the other day, looking at my usual health/fitness/running magazines and glanced down and saw that my 4 year old boy was looking at the cover a magazine that had skateboards on it (his obsession... he thinks one day he'll get one! HA! lol) and RIGHT NEXT TO IT was a magazine just like you talked about.... I quickly left the area. It disappointed me that people were so open with things like that.

Shari said...

I loved your post. I couldn't agree more. It's something I have always practiced with myself and my daughter. It's so important to teach them when they are young. I wish more parents felt this way. I was told by one parent that she picks and chooses her battles. And felt it was ok, to over look this issue. To me this is a huge battle, worth fighting for!

Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries said...

Thank you for this post. I currently only have one son, who is only three, but I am trying to set an example for other young girls {and other grown women, for that matter}. What infuriates me more than anything is when women, who claim to be Christians, wear provocative clothing TO CHURCH! I'm not saying that they're NOT Christians if they do this but I am saying that it is very disrespectful to the Lord and very offensive to me. My husband doesn't just attend church with me, he's the Worship Leader who stands on a stage gazing out into the congregation and I don't want him to have to be tempted by some woman in the second row with her boobs hanging out...

*sigh* Sorry for the rant. This post just really struck a chord with me.

~Alana {}

Head Ant said...

It makes me so sad that the clothes offered to little girls is often immodest. I went shopping for my four year old this weekend and it was hard finding a skirt or dress that fell below the knees. Don't get me started on the tops...

Jenny said...

I have three girls and I too struggle with finding modest clothing for them. My oldest daughter is 8 and loves to sew, so she is learning to find cute things at Goodwill, then repurposed them into something new - like adding a fabric panel to a too short denim skirt, or sewing a skirt and shirt together to make a cute dress. Love her creativity!

Robin said...

We've taught our girls that modesty starts in the heart. That your heart has to be set on pleasing the Lord in EVERY area of your life. When your heart is right your attire will be. I seriously get sick at my stomache when christian women try to justify dressing inmodestly! First-This is disobedience to God (1 Peter 3:1-5 and 1 Timothy 2:9) Second- This places a stumbling block in a brothers path (repeat of #1). 3- This causes pain to sisters in Christ whose husbands may not be faithful.

Enough of my rant....great post

Jennifer Dougan said...


Nice to "meet" you. Thank you for stopping by my site. I can't picture how a western meadowlark sings, but the artistic nature of our Creator charms my heart, and I'm curious to hear that bird now.

Thanks for tackling the issue of modesty. It's an important one to talk about. I have three kids and we also work with teens. We find this to be an important topic for several levels.

Have a great week.

Jennifer Dougan

Ryan and Carly said...

This is so good! I wrote about the same topic here on my post titeld "Modesty Is Hot":

It can be SUCH a challenge to dress modestly in our culture but not impossible. Just more work, prayer, and intentionality. So encouraged by your pursuit in this area :)

Renee said...

Amen! I teach in a Christian high school, and it is difficult for our girl students to find skirts and dresses that simply meet the knee. And they all wear camisoles under just about everything. It hurts my heart to think of them being treated like objects or subjected to leers . . . But even tho' the girls learn this from us, some of their mothers do not have the same philosophy--I can tell by how they dress!

Just call me Suzy Q said...

Another checkout aisle story I was checking out at our local Walmart, here in southern NE, I noticed a scantily clad Kim Kardashian on the cover...encouraged by the testimony of another Mom with young boys, I promptly reached up and turned the magazine reveal she was in the same bikini but a different color, on the back!! I felt a rush of embarrassment, disapointment, and anger! How frustrating that this is what our world has become!


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