Dec 16, 2010

Modesty Exposed


Modesty Exposed
Written by Katie of Katie's Modest Style Blog


I am a girl who wants to dress to respect myself, my parents, my future hubby, other women, other men, children who look up to me, and most importantly God. That's a lot to please, but I cannot please everyone. I think that is the key with modesty, there is always going to have to be some balance with each culture, each group of people, and each event you are dressing for! 

When it comes down to it, I'm a woman who wants to feel beautiful. My goal today in my everyday life, and this blog is to dress as beautiful as I can yet also know I'm being modest. 

When I was a teen, I dressed to show off my body. I was attractive, but all the guys that were attracted to me were attracted to me for temporary lustful reasons. They immediately liked my body over my heart, and then I would wonder why if I did go on a date, they were after my body! We can't really call men nasty names if we are leading them on to say those things in the way we are dressing and carry ourselves. Over the past few years, I have dressed modestly, and I have to say the interest from men has decreased drastically! However, the men that have shown interest are guys that are keepers because they wanted to get to know my heart. It makes dating so much better!


I am a Christian, and therefore also not only want to respect myself and others around me, but ultimately God. You see, God is perhaps the least picky about our dressing. He sees our motives and our heart. Therefore, I avoid the "rules" that some people set even if they set them up with pure motives. I cannot say that there should be rules such as no leggings, no legs, no shoulders, no arms, no pants, no fitted styles, no low cut tops, etc. I have personal convictions on all those topics. I am not here to set any kind of rules, because I believe we are all on personal journeys, and only God knows our hearts, and that is what we are judged on, not on the way we dress. 



There are no universal rules because cultures and time periods have many differences on what is considered proper and what is not. For example, around the medieval times, it was not modest to expose the wrists, yet swarms of woman had all of their breasts exposed except for their nipples. Showing the wrists today is clearly modest, but a full swoop of the breasts obviously is not. Proper dress would be different in LA, NYC, Florida in comparison to proper dress in an Amish county, depending on the acceptable dressing standards. In Afghanistan, most Americans would fail the test for Middle-Eastern modesty standards.

After my teenage years of seeking attention, I made a complete 180 and tried to not seek attention. I didn't want to show off any curve at all and purposely wore jeans that were poorly fitted (2 sizes too big) in order to do so. I wore shirts that were extremely unflattering for an 18 year old young lady. I was so stuck on a complete mis-perception of modesty (basically doing everything possible to prevent being attractive to avoid guys to be drawn to me sexually). My mis-perception and obsession with modesty took my attention off my heart and personal growth as a woman. I even cut my hair very short (because my hair was attractive) and didn't wear makeup at all. Plus, people thought I was weird, and it was hard for them to relate with and accept me because I was dressed poorly essentially and I did it on purpose too. 

I am telling you what I have learned. I am saying modesty is something we are not supposed to think too much about! This life is short, and to worry and fret about not being perfectly dressed in a certain way keeps us from being real and beautiful. I am not here to set any standards for modesty. Take and choose parts of my blog that you like. I try so many looks because I am reaching many cultures and people! Know that I am just a young woman who has confidence in the way I dress, believing I have a good grasp for modest dressing in America culture, and I want to inspire you on how it can be done. And since as a fashion designer, I keep up with the fashion and styling trends and love modeling, photography, video and layout editing, it's fun for me to present to you how easy it is adorn yourself with respectable clothing and accessories.

If you are struggling with the idea of the rules with modesty, and you have gotten to a point where you are overwhelmed with how you wear your clothes, I would like to share with you a verse from the Bible that has helped me know what I am currently doing is acceptable in the eyes of the loving God of the universe (even if some people may have a different conviction that I am not proper in showing off my legs (as an example)).

1 Timothy 2:9-10 (English Standard Version) …Women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.

Women Should Adorn Themselves --- This is a privilege and a calling to be beautiful (inside and out!) 

In Respectable Apparel --- If you’re at a religious event or hanging out with the elderly, dress very conservatively if you sense that would be respectable. If you’re on a date with a man who is not your husband yet, don’t show off your assets so you can respect yourself (let him fall in love with who you are before he praises your body since your body will not last, and I'm sure you'll want your marriage to last).

With modesty --- You don’t have to conform if you feel convicted you’re called to dress by covering more up than your peers. There is nothing wrong with naturally desiring to cover up more! But, I will say as a stylist, don’t be poorly dressed. 

And self-control --- Sometimes we desire to seduce because it temporarily fills a void that makes us feel we are loved if the guy(s) are all staring at us or pursuing us. When I was a teen, I felt good when I was walking by and a guy was checking me out. But we deserve more than a look or two, and we deserve more than being seen as a sex object. We will be beautiful brides one day, and that is what we deserve! Having self-control in modesty is being confident in who you are that you don’t need temporary approval. But it does not mean controlling what others think either. Motive is everything when it comes to self-control. Sometimes I am talking to a man and realize he might be aroused by me for reasons I don’t fully know (could be my face, my smile, my heart, or how nicely I am dressed and put together). However, I know that when I dressed myself, I dressed without the motive of seducing. 

Not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire --- I believe in those days, there was a high monetary value placed on things like braiding of the hair, gold, pearls, and expensive clothing. Today, there are plastic versions (and whoo-hoo because I LOVE jewelry!!!) I love to wear costume jewelry pearls, and braiding the hair these days is quite a pretty trend, but this isn't a literal reference to not wearing these things! It's modesty in your motives. Are you spending more money than your income allows? If you think of a modest woman, you also think of how she spends, right? I can't see her as a queen who is looking for attention for herself with how expensive her clothes and jewelry are.

But with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. –
Instead of being focused sooooo much on how we look, let's be outstanding women in our relationships, our spending, our kind charity and encouragement for others.


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I hope you will follow my blog, and share your comments on the photos and videos and articles I post. I am an artist who needs encouragement as anyone with a dream. I LOVE it when you say something nice about a post or a supportive comment praising my mission. It encourages me to keep going! I'm not saying to add a "I love this!" comment on something you don't as I'm sure some of my outfits will not be liked, but just be sensitive to how you word things. Of course, I prefer honesty as I am not perfect at my art, and want to be better. Maybe you can help me with a constructive critique every now and then. However, please be kind. I'm a human being with feelings. 


The blog can also be found on facebook. If you "LIKE" the page, you will find some posts in your News Feed, and you can stay tuned that way too!


The facebook page :: http://www.facebook.com/katiesmodeststyle

Love and peace to you,
Katie 

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