Modesty is more than covering your bosoms

“…the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags”

I grew up in a southern Baptist church AND was homeschooled, so I have endured my share of lectures on dressing modestly. I even took some classes at a church that wouldn’t let women on their property if they were wearing pants. I have never experienced more wrath than when a homeschool mom yelled at me, her golden eyes sparking with hatred, because my shirt showed my tums when I raised my arms (Now, I find it hilarious and maybe a little ironic that I have been slut shamed). Granted, these examples stick out to me because they’re outliers.

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Stanley and I feel the same about immodesty being a female privilege.  (this was a still from a gif that wouldn’t show up on this page properly — please don’t sue me!)

But even so, we all know that a “modesty” talk will be directed exclusively toward women. And it will be about what they’re (ornot) wearing. Because you know, the thrill of being immodest is a female privilege.

Some of you may want to sit down for this one. Ready? Here it comes – Men can be immodest, too. Maybe they aren’t teasing with low cut v-necks, but they may hog the “air time” during a group discussion to showcase their exquisite insightfulness.

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This center giraffe is immodestly hogging the convo. Smh (pixabay really limits my options, y’all – worth with me!)

Or they may show breathtaking creativity in how many times they can oh-so-casually work their six-fig income into a conversation. Or they may plaster their social media with pics of them surrounded by village children in Haiti, to really drive home their compassion and sensitivity. All can be forms of immodesty, all achievable without ever showing the smallest amount of bosomery. Amazing!

 

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“To be holy, thou shalt look Amish.” said Jesus, NEVER (image from pixabay)

I’m not advocating for us to chuck propriety out the window. There IS a balance somewhere between looking Amish and frolicking around in nekidness. But rules like No Skirts Above Thigh Where Fingers Reach When Standing Straight With Arms Fully Extended don’t really get it… and the answer isn’t to try and outdo each other in modesty until we’re shuffling around in form-masking body suits made of brown paper bags.* Because really, immodesty is about drawing attention to yourself. Yes, showing some cleavage is a great way to get some attention** but

1) it’s just one of many ways to draw attention to yourself

2) men aren’t exempt from clamoring for attention

3) immodesty is a visible symptom to an insecurity that goes all the way to yer ticker.

This myopic focus on women’s bosoms and bootays when discussing modesty does a disservice to women AND men. Making up detailed rules to emphasize your rightness and expose the unrightness of others… 100% guaranteed to make all hearts involved worse off. Now, how to change the heart so that it doesn’t want or need validation from others? Hmm.. 😉 ***

— EDITORIAL NOTES —

*Consider Jesus’ sermon on the mount. One of the main themes was how the commandments all went way beyond a simple rule to the heart behind specific commandments… not a stricter rule. For example, Jesus didn’t say, “Hey – remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even pinch a brother.” No, he said, “Remember that rule about not murdering? I say, don’t even be angry in the first place.” (paraphrase, Matt 5:21-22) This is frustrating, because it’s like.. “but, that’s internal! I can kinda control my actions, and barely control my thoughts on good days – but control my innermost desires?! Impossible!” And it’s like Jesus was like, “Bingo!” [cue Holy Spirit].

**So I’ve heard. *sniffs self-righteously*

***[cue Holy Spirit]

 

Men, your facial hair is beard-ening society

Brethren, I appeal to you as a sincere sistern who has your best interests in mind. Can we cool it with the beards?

When I was a youth, facial hair was for Amish men, Disney villains and drug dealers. Now …

Brethren, I appeal to you as a sincere sistern who has your best interests in mind. Can we cool it with the beards?

When I was a youth, facial hair was for Amish men, Disney villains and drug dealers. Now, we have CEOs of Fortune 500 companies looking like Willie Nelson.

It’s not that I think it always looks bad per se, I just don’t think it adds anything. At best, some men are attractive enough that their magnificent bone structure shoves its way through the bramble of face fuzz and still declares “I AM A STUD.” And I say back, “Yowza Yowz!” But mostly, it homogenizes the male population so they all kind of look like this –

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(I literally just googled ‘average man’ and this is what popped up). Ladies and gents, I present to you Monsieur Averagé.

I know what’s happening here. All you bearded men watched Lord of the Rings 1,903 times at an impressionable age, and perhaps bromantic feels for Aragorn were stirred. As you grew into men, your facial hair – perhaps subconsciously – began to mimic the facial hair of your man crush.  I get it – my shero-worship for Arwen has led me to ride around on a horse with a tiara and yell elvish sentences by streams in my neighborhood. But please, let’s consider a few things —

  • John McClane, Rambo, Batman, Tim Keller — all clean shaven. Just think about that for a while.
  • If you’re good looking, give the gift of your gorgeous, unique bone structure to the world. Or do you really just want to be Monsieur Averagé, numero mille-deux cent-quatre-vingt-sept???
  • If you’re not good looking, don’t hide behind the moustachio! What if you meet someone and everything is going great, and then a powerful czar issues a command that all men between the ages of 18-88 shave their face and when you do your lady is horrified and leaves you for Monsieur Averagé numero mille-deux cent-quatre-ving-huit???! Why are you leaving yourself open to these vulnerabilities? Come clean early.
  • Facial hair is itchy and can cause the ladies in your life great physical distress. I’m being serious. I was allergic to an ex-boyfriend’s facial hair and it made me look like I had leprosy on my face. Think about others. Do the right thing.
  • When you shave, that means you can have stubble. And stubble is wondrous, and tragically underused by the male population. Yowza-Yowz-Yowzy!
  • Hitler had facial hair. FDR did not. I don’t think any more explanation here is necessary.

You can do it, fellas. Be bold, be beautiful, be smooth! Shave yo’ face! 🙂