The Matter of Modesty: A Christian Culture

Spring is nearly upon us and Summer will be right at it’s heels. So of course we are bound to start seeing Jessica Rey’s viral swimsuit video pop up in all of our news feeds very shortly. While there are lots of blog posts out there on this topic already, I wanted to toss my opinion into the mix. I believe the modesty teaching has been blown way out of proportion and is harmful to men and boys and women and girls alike. Over the next few weeks I plan to explore several different aspects of the modesty culture. I hope you will join me with an open mind. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and solutions on this topic as I’m sure this post will not end the debate.

Modesty in Christian Culture

I grew up in a conservative Christian culture where girls are taught that the way they dressed directly affected the way men and boys thought of them. Women could cause men to stumble in their walk with Christ by revealing too much skin or too many curves which might trigger the men to imagine what was beneath the clothing and then to imagine…other things. So in my family, there were no tight or low ridding jeans, no v-neck tops, no short shorts, and certainly no two-piece swimsuits. In fact, as I got older, it became popular among the people we associated with, for the girls to wear shorts over their swimsuits and sometimes t-shirts. I also knew a few people who wore culottes in place of shorts. When I was 12 years old I was wearing clothes that would be too big for me today so that I wouldn’t cause men to stumble. I fought vehemently against these family guidelines as I got older, but interestingly enough, when I was around people from ATI circles I felt very uncomfortable in the clothing that my family had concluded were modest. I wondered how these people might be perceiving me or my family. So usually I’d just stick with the safe route and wear a skirt or a dress. Continue reading