I will never forget the day that I was accused of being “insecure” and “uncomfortable in my own skin” for desiring to dress modestly.
This accusation happened several years ago when I was exploring the modeling world. The agent I spoke with told me that my modesty standards were due to insecurity in my life and advised me to “get comfortable in my own skin.”
Up until this point I had never attached the word “insecurity” to my modesty convictions and I was offended that a grown man would label me that way. I left that conversation with a strong desire to further establish my beliefs on modesty and encourage girls around me to do the same.
The title of this blog post, Dressing Modestly Doesn’t Mean You’re Ashamed of Your Body, really captures the main objective I want to share with you today.
Sadly, we live in a culture that has this modesty issue totally backwards.
According to popular opinion a girl who dresses in skimpy and sexy clothing is considered confident. Why? Because she proudly shows off the body she’s got and isn’t uncomfortable with people giving her the up and down.
On the other side of the coin a girl who covers up and dresses with decency is considered to be ashamed of her feminine curves and insecure in her own skin. She is given labels like: old fashioned, insecure, uncomfortable, self-conscious, etc.
I don’t know who came up with the silly idea that immodesty equals confidence and modesty equals shame/insecurity.
Last I checked dressing modestly requires a TON of confidence and security. Here are a few reasons modesty equals confidence…not shame.
1. Dressing modestly requires a willingness to go against the crowd.
Girls who dress modestly are willing to stand out and look different than those around them. I’m speaking from personal experience here. It takes a lot of security and confidence for me to wear long board shorts and a surf top when I swim. If I wasn’t secure in my beliefs and worth in Christ, I would cave to the cultural pressure around me. But because I know the value of my body and the great worth Christ places on my femininity, I’m willing to dress modestly even if nobody else is.
2. Dressing modestly requires confidence in one Person’s opinion alone.
Dressing in slinky/sexy clothing is typically accompanied by a deeper yearning for attention and approval from others. When a girl intentionally dresses modestly (out of a desire to honor God) she is concerning herself with the only opinion that matters. In reality it doesn’t matter if other people like you, like your body, like your curves, like your style or like anything about you. It only matters what Jesus thinks of you. Choosing to dress in a way that honors Christ is very, very, very difficult. It takes a lot of guts to go against the culture and live out this lifestyle.
3. Dressing modestly requires humility.
When a girl dresses modestly (out of a desire to honor God) she is basically saying, “it’s not about me.” She is choosing to honor God with her body and is striving to keep the focus on her face, personality, and character qualities rather than on her body. I can attest that humility is not my strong point. I typically find myself wanting the eyes on me rather than on Christ. Dressing modestly is one way that I can practice humility and work on this difficult but essential quality.
4. Dressing modestly acknowledges the beauty and power of femininity.
When a girl chooses to dress modestly she acknowledges that her feminine beauty holds a unique power. She realizes that she was created to be different than men and was designed to be extremely attractive. She realizes that her femininity is a good thing and should be taken care of and respected. She isn’t willing to display her feminine curves for any passerby. She keeps her body tastefully covered in a way that portrays humility, elegance and respect.
The next time you hear the words “shame” and “modesty” put together, I want you to remember this.
Modesty in no way, shape or form should ever relate to shame, embarrassment or insecurity.
Modesty is simply acknowledging that the woman’s body was designed by God to be breathtakingly beautiful and extremely valuable.
Modesty doesn’t mean that you’re ashamed of your body. Modesty is simply you valuing what has value.