Good afternoon, everyone. Today I wanted to talk about something that has been on my heart for a while: modesty.
When I started this blog my target audience was other women like me: early 20s, newly married and first time home owners. In late 2014 I gained a new audience: young women (many of whom are about 10 years younger than me). While I’m thrilled to have new readers I wasn’t sure I had much to offer them since we are at such different places in life. I wanted to write a special post, dedicated to these young women who have happened across my blog and decided to stay a while. I have a soft spot in my heart for youth and I wanted to share my views on modest dressing because it’s important to me. I was single and young once; I know what it is like to struggle to dress modestly while still feeling pretty and fashionable
I’m going to break this post up into 4 parts, one per post, so it’s not too overwhelming to read. The first part of my story is a little history on my modesty journey. Spoiler alert: if you didn’t know I’m a follower of Christ, you are in for a surprise.
First of all, I grew up in a Christian home with parents who were always involved in our church. My younger brothers and I went to Sunday School, Vacation Bible School, Summer Camp, mid-week boys and girls club (kind of like the church version of Scouts), were involved in every play and production, etc. My parents taught classes, led bible study, played on the worship team and were very well respected members of the church.
In addition to church my brothers and I were enrolled in a strict private Christian school. From an early age I was taught to cover my body and that it was something to be ashamed of (I can’t recall where I was taught that but it is something that stuck with me right into adulthood). My parents would not let me wear 2 piece bathing suits, short skirts, tank tops or shoes with a heel, flashy jewellery, makeup, etc…My school enforced a dress code but we didn’t have to wear a uniform. They ruled that tank top straps had to be 3 fingers wide and shorts/skirts could not be shorter than fingertip length.
I’d like to emphasize that body shaming was always implied…not directly at me but in general. I was taught that I should cover my body because it is not meant to be seen. While I agree with parts of that statement, the way it was said was damaging to me. What should have been said instead was: Covering your body is important because there are certain parts that should be saved for your husband’s eyes only. One day when you get married he will be grateful that he is the only person who has seen all of you. I would have understood the value of modesty and likely not wanted to rebel against it, and I wouldn’t have been ashamed of the way I look.
As a kid and pre-teen I did not disagree with my parent’s rules about dressing. Once I hit public high school, where rules and people are much different from my private school life, things changed. The next part of my story will be talked about next week.