Modesty: What is that?!

Modesty. What is the first image that comes to mind when someone mentions modesty? Do you have pictures of Amish women and nuns running through your head?

If so, I would like to show you a different definition of modesty and why it is so very important for young girls and this generation.

Modesty isn’t solely concerned with, “how much skin do I have to cover.” Modesty is an outside and inside type of lifestyle.

The question shouldn’t be, “how much skin can I show without getting into trouble?”…it should be, “by wearing this, what am I trying to achieve or convey?” or “while I may be completely comfortable wearing this, will it lead other minds to wander and sin?”

While it is not a female’s sole responsibility to make sure men do not think impure thoughts, we certainly have the duty to make sure we do not accidentally lead others to sin by our wardrobe choices. More often than not, we’re not trying to make them lust. We simply don’t take them into consideration. But it’s not enough to avoid bad intentions. We must have pure ones. This can be a challenge when we desire attention.

What girl doesn’t want attention?

Although, by flaunting your body, I am willing to vouch for the fact that you won’t be happy with the kind of attention you receive.

I cannot tell you how many times I have heard a girl complaining about how the boys at school treat her, act around her, how they don’t respect her and are “just so rude!” What most of these girls don’t understand is that by the way they dress they are lowering the standards for “those boys.”

Believe it or not, many of the good guys that girls really want to attract are more impressed by your attempt at modesty rather than bearing as much skin that is allowed in a public place. If people are so distracted with the amount of skin you are showing, how hard will it be for them to learn to love you as a person?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that we as girls need to start wearing floor-length dresses and turtle-necks during the summer. Just be sure your cute fashion sense isn’t making others uncomfortable.

Instead, you should be leading others to Christ…not only by word, but through your example. Modesty is not limited to your clothing choices. Modesty applies to you as a whole person. Whether it is the way you carry yourself, the way you speak, or the way you interact with others.

Now for a side fashion note: some clothes are soooooo comfy, but they just aren’t modest. I have plenty of shorts that are super-comfy to wear around the house or out in the yard, but I wouldn’t want to wear them around in public. Why? Because I don’t want to be intentionally or unintentionally leading others to sin and I also never want to be treated as an object…I want to always be treated with dignity.

Oh and dresses. There are so many cute dresses out in the stores, but the majority of them are ridiculously short, clingy or sheer. Now while it might look perfect while standing still, don’t even try to bend down and pick anything off of the floor! Usually the solution to the short dresses is to throw a pair of leggings or long shorts on underneath, but the clingy or see-through ones might be good to avoid. Not only does this let you be more comfortable just moving around throughout the day, but I am sure many guys would thank you for looking out for their purity as well.

Remember: You are not only representing yourself to the world… you are representing Christ.

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BioImageLauren Ramseyer is a sophomore at Franciscan University of Steubenville working towards a major in Mass Communications with a concentration in journalism and a minor in Theology. She will be working as assistant editor of The Troubadour and as a writer for the Public Relations Department at Franciscan in the fall. She loves her Catholic faith, her family and chocolate. Lauren currently runs two blogs, one of which hosts her small business; if you feel so inclined, you can check them out here: randomramblingsofme.wordpress.com & aiming4the2percent.wordpress.com

 

28 Comments

  1. Great article. An exterior manifestation of the author’s inner soul. 🙂

    By Paul Sefranek | 2 years ago Reply
  2. Great post!

    By Gretchen | 2 years ago Reply
  3. Great post! I’m obviously agree with you.

    By Claudia | 2 years ago Reply
  4. I love this article, esp. this line, “By wearing this, what am I trying to achieve or convey?” I think about that a lot actually and how I want my clothing to mirror my identity as a Catholic lady. Great article, Lauren!!

    By Maria | 2 years ago Reply
    • Oh I am so glad you liked the article! Thank you for reading! 🙂 I am so happy to hear that you can relate to how one must be Catholic in and out and how your outfits do actually reflect that! God bless you Maria! 🙂

      By Lauren Ramseyer | 2 years ago Reply
  5. Love this article! There are tons of modest clothes that are also cute! Out of curiosity… What are some examples of being a modest person outside of our fashion sense?

    By Hannah Pavalko | 2 years ago Reply
    • Being modest is also about not flirting and throwing yourself at guys; you want to be treated with dignity and respect, you should treat them the same way. And it’s about carrying yourself with dignity and respect; when people can tell by the way carry yourself that you know that you are made in the image and likeness of God and are therefore deserving of respect they are way more likely to treat you in the same manner.

      By Claire | 2 years ago Reply
    • Thank you so much for reading! I completely agree. Sometimes you really have to hunt for the classy clothes…but they ARE out there! 🙂 Oh man, there are so many ways to convey modesty outside of your fashion choices. In my opinion, you have to be “emotionally modest” in your interactions with others…always careful about how what you say and do can influence the hearts and minds of others. I think that idea of modesty can overflow into the definition of chastity too! 😉 Does that answer your question? May God bless you Hannah!

      By Lauren Ramseyer | 2 years ago Reply
  6. As a high school senior who is going to Franciscan college this upcoming fall, I love that my fellow female students have the same modesty ideas as I do. I have many girl friends who constantly say “It’s not my fault guys are perverts, why don’t they just look away?” But they ust don’t realize how visual guys are. If a girl wears bikinis in public, guys are going to look, and the girls will probably get cat calls.

    God bless:)

    By Tri | 2 years ago Reply
  7. “Instead, you should be leading others to Christ…not only by word, but through your example. Modesty is not limited to your clothing choices. Modesty applies to you as a whole person. Whether it is the way you carry yourself, the way you speak, or the way you interact with others.” So true!! Thank you for saying this!!

    By Mary Beth | 2 years ago Reply
  8. Great article! How do I email it to someone?

    By C.L. | 2 years ago Reply
  9. Thank you for this article, what a breath of fresh air.

    By Gary Stepanek | 2 years ago Reply
  10. I agree with everything you said, but I have never been noticed for being modest. I think guys only notice when a girl dresses immodestly, you’re invisible if you dress modestly.

    I have always been an advocate of covering up, but I just want to point out that guys won’t magically come out and date you because you do so – I am not convinced that they notice modest women the way they do immodest women.

    By kiki | 2 years ago Reply
    • Trust me, the right guy, with the right intention and heart, will notice you. After all, your self worth, does not lie on your appearance… you are worth because you are a child of God. nothing more, nothing less. And it takes a Godly man to see that. Once he does, you’re one lucky girl! Sadly, these kinda guys are near extinct. But that is why ladies have to raise their standards.. so that guys too will raise theirs, to match ours! 🙂

      By lala | 2 years ago Reply
    • Notice and get distracted with are two different things.
      Thanks you for spreading useful lessons for the young women of today.
      – one of the boys

      By Joe | 2 years ago Reply
    • I’ve never had a problem attracting guys, and I don’t even wear make-up. I dress in crewcut t-shirts, bermuda shorts, knee-length dresses and skirts in the summer, and crewcut sweaters or shirts and jeans in the fall and winter. I pick out cute, and stylish clothes, but they also cover up. No low-cut shirts, no spaghetti straps or tank tops, no short shorts, no short dresses, no short skirts. It’s harder to find these cuts in fashionable clothes, especially because I’m so petite, a size 0, naturally, but you can do it. And like I said, I don’t wear make-up either, and I wear simple jewelery pieces. I wouldn’t say I’m a natural beauty, I have one blind eye that is smaller than my good eye and it has calcium build-up on it, and my hair varies from day to day. I think you attract people based on how you carry yourself. Be approachable. Smile at strangers in passing. Keep your head help up high, not looking down at the ground. Say hi or join in conversation with other people you don’t know while waiting in line. People like those that they can talk to.

      By Vanessa | 2 years ago Reply
  11. I truly appreciate your article. It was brought to my attention by a student at my school (I go to a very liberal university) who posted it on Facebook for open scorn. I tried to explain to this person and his friends that the article was not excusing the abuse of women because of their dress, but rather promoting feminine consideration and dignity. Of course, they didn’t get it, and I got lots of nasty remarks from people I didn’t even know.

    I admire your tact and gentle rhetoric as you discuss an issue that I found can be quite controversial and cause many a fight. Even though we would have many differences due to the fact that I am a Protestant, I would agree with you that there is an ethic to beauty. Keep up the fight for an informed, loving understanding of Biblical modesty.

    “…but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” I Peter 3:4 (ESV)

    By Jon | 2 years ago Reply
  12. I used to think that guys didn’t notice if girls dressed modestly, but several of my very good guy friends have proven me wrong in recent years. I have had four young men thank me for dressing modestly in the last three years. I remember each instance distinctly, both because I was so taken by surprise each time, and because their comments caused me to re-examine my own intentions behind dressing modestly. So often, I’m only concerned about my own comfort when I choose my clothing: “Will I be self-conscious all day if I wear this? What about the wind outside?, etc.” I think it’s easy to forget that yes, we should dress in a way that protects and reverences our feminine dignity, but that our primary motives should always be to glorify God and to lead others to Him.

    In short, Kiki, guys don’t notice modest women in the way they do immodest women (praise God!), but they are certainly grateful for your efforts, even if they don’t voice their thanks.

    By Jessie | 2 years ago Reply
  13. I think that people should always be treated with dignity and not as an object no matter what they decide to wear. I’m not saying walk around in your underwear anywhere you want, but if you wear a crop top to a music festival on a hot summer day, it should be just that. I understand where you’re coming from, but I don’t think anyone is inherently more valuable than any other person – God created us equally – and I feel like by saying you dress modestly in order to not be objectified allows justification for when men do treat women like objects. I feel like especially as women we need to dress to express ourselves instead of dressing “for boys”.

    By Maddy Johnston | 2 years ago Reply
  14. Very good article Lauren!

    By Rita | 2 years ago Reply
  15. You’re right, Kiki. Men don’t notice modest women the way they do immodest ones. But keep in mind, they’re not noticing the woman in the latter event. They’re noticing her physical assets. Minds, hearts, interests and spiritual life are not noticeable on the first look. It takes conversations and continual exposure to a person to see those things. But those are things most worth seeing. All it takes is a side-long glance to notice the skin the immodest woman isn’t covering. She got noticed, but not appreciated as a person. Keep the faith, Kiki. The man in your life — or the man-to-be in your life — will be better for it, as will you. God bless you.

    By Elisabeth | 2 years ago Reply
  16. They are more impressed by your attempt at modesty rather than bearing as much skin that is allowed in a public place! Good job

    By Eddie Prixens | 2 years ago Reply
  17. We have 3 teen summer workshops on this subject in FL. Do you do public speaking or summer apostolates?

    By Mary C Rodriguez | 2 years ago Reply
  18. Good writing! Congrats!!

    Happy to know that girls are aware of guys and their thoughts!

    Adding a bit more…
    A modestly dressed girl gets noticed in a guys mind. She will be always looked up with an eye of respect.

    As a guy I could say this..
    An immodestly dressed girl appear to be a girl who is of that standard, by which she is ready to expose herself to attract guys. That’s really disgusting!! And guys of “that kind ” will approach her. She could arose lust and not love!

    And modesty does goes with how you behave with others especially with other guys!

    Your sexuality is a gift that God has given you to share only with your partner that God has planned for you. And that’s so valuable and precious!

    So, being youngsters let’s pray every day for our prince or princess, for them to lead a life of chastity in all sense and to meet them at the right time in life.

    GOD BLESS YOU ALL…

    By Matt Pratt | 2 years ago Reply
  19. I just loved this article, its something that I keep communicating to my teenage daughters. I ensure that the dresses I get them are modest. I don’t approve them of using tight jeans to Church. This article has so much what a mother would like to convey to her young daughters.

    Will ensure that they read it.

    Very thought provoking article.

    Jennifer

    By Jennifer Choweller | 2 years ago Reply
  20. “Just be sure your cute fashion sense isn’t making others uncomfortable”. So basically, women should cover up so that they don’t make men uncomfortable? Wow.

    And if a girl gets called out for wearing a short dress or a shirt skirt it is her and she should be the only one reprimanded?

    This article is an example of everything that is wrong about how we treat women in this country.

    If a girl drinks too much and gets harassed, it is her fault. If a woman wears a bikini or a dress or a skirt and gets called out by guys, regardless of why she chose to wear something, it is her fault.

    When are we going to stop justifying men’s sexual objectification of women?

    When are we going to stop blaming women and when are we going to start blaming men for their behavior?

    By Karine B. Granier | 2 years ago Reply
  21. thank you! somebody is listening!! =)

    By Sunny | 2 years ago Reply
  22. an eye opener…thanks

    By aiswarya | 2 years ago Reply

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