What I see and what I think about it.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Modesty - a thought (and a bit of a rant)

Some people think I am a bit of a prude. Some people think I am odd and go over the top but I am a BIG fan of modesty. I am not talking about Laura Ashley dresses here, I am talking about being attractive, not attracting. (I stole that phrase from someone else!) I think we give men a really hard time. We all know that men are very visually focused and yet we continue to taunt them by wearing things that aren't ...er...helpful.

So you know what I am talking about when I say modesty here are the guide lines I have set myself and my girls. Skirts should be no shorter than knee length, trousers shouldn't hug bottoms too much , no bare midriffs, shoulders covered, no sexual/demeaning slogans. (I can't believe I have to say this about "children's" clothes.) The list could go on but you get the idea.

I think this has really begun to be an issue for me since I have had my 3 girls. I think that anything I expect them to do I should be doing already. I should be setting the example. I am also the one to teach them about modesty. I want them to start now so it isn't something that is suddenly imposed when they hit the pre-teen age. So I have started thinking a lot about what I wear and how covered I am. I have read LOADS of really encouraging things on line and it is good to know that there are others who share this view point. What worries me is how hard it is to find funky clothes that are modest (and not too expensive). I have taken to buying school skirts a couple of sizes to large for Martha just so they reach her knee. And it is getting harder and harder to buy clothes that cover my children. (I am very grateful for the recent rise in long skirts and tunic tops for me!)

I was shocked and horrified the other day when I saw a 4 year old girl wear a denim mini-skirt. It was barely long enough to cover her bottom. Yes, she was wearing thick tights but what sort of message are we sending out when we let our children dress like this. I think we are taking away their innocence. They should be given the chance to be children. They should not be dressed in scanty sexualising clothes. I want my girls to be known as people who love and care, who are helpful and considerate. I want people to see 'them', not what they look like. I want boys (in the very distant future) to notice their personalities before thinking them "fit". I also want them to not be stumbling point for men.

I am only at the beginning of this and am searching for the way forward. (I am thinking a lot about swimmies at the moment, and will let you know what I come up with.)I know that some people might think it I am silly and over-reacting. But I would prefer to land of the side of caution even if it seems over the top. I am trying to find a way of us dressing that reflects who we are. I don't mind being different. Jesus was different and he has called us to be the same. One of the way I am choosing to be different is in the way I dress myself and my children.

Any thoughts?


fiona said...

I thought I should tell you that your children always look pretty. Or sometimes just like children having a good romp, but non the less very nice.

Joanna said...

Good post! Having five daughters myself, modesty is big with me. My husband often compliments me on my modest but attractive attire and this is how I know that I am being an appropriate example for my girls. He has agreed to tell me if what I am wearing is, as you say, attracting, not attractive and I appreciate his input, since he is a man.

We just recently bought swim shorts and rash guards for the girls to wear swimming instead of swimsuits.

Your girls are so cute!!