Wednesday, July 3, 2013

[Opinion Piece] Modesty...

I read an article this morning outlining a woman’s experiment to live a life of modesty. 

During the experiment she wore plain loose fitting clothing, never exposed shoulder or knee, and covered her hair with a scarf. She also refrained from wearing make-up. She went from having a closet full of clothing and shoes and 600$ worth of make-up to having only what was necessary to cover her body without thought of style or beauty.

As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I found myself a little staggered because all of the sudden I realized that I had been doing modest wrong. Also, I had been doing it for the wrong reasons.

What is modesty I ask you? Well, what I have been taught previously is that modesty is covering up our bodies to protect other people from impure thoughts and because to expose out nakedness is both shameful and of course illegal.
Allow me to clear up that definition a little.

Modesty –
The quality of being relatively moderate, limited, or small in amount, rate, or level.
humility - moderation - decency – demureness

Humility… Moderation… Decency… Demureness…
What do you think it means to dress with these words? Do you think it means simply to cover up with as many layers as you can? Once you’re no longer naked and your shoulders of under wraps you are good to go? Does it extend solely to what we have in our closets? Don’t these words deserve so much more?

Each morning I wake up and I devote a solid hour or so to “getting ready for the day”. When I am ready I hide in my room. Throughout the day I am looking in the mirror, double checking my make-up, obsessing over what clothes I don’t have, what clothes I want, and when I will have the body that deserves those clothes. I don’t go to certain activities because I feel uncomfortable with my body. I haven’t swum in front of people in almost two years. I would rather say no to a date than figure out what to wear on one. When I do go on a date I spend almost the entire day obsessing over what I am wearing. I starve myself all morning, binge on foods at night. I compare myself to other women, satisfied when I am prettier, destroyed when I am not. I’ve spent my life wishing I was taller, shorter, thinner, stronger, my hair was longer, my eyes were bigger, my neck was longer, my hands were smaller. Every time someone compliments me I groan inside because that means I have to act grateful for something I believe to be complete and utter bull crap.  

Does that sound like a modest life? Does that sound like humility? Moderation? Decency? Or Demureness? It sounds more like Ego, Pride, Fear, Compensation, and Hatred.

Yet I wear long skirts, I always make sure my shoulders are covered, and I have always thought that that was enough.

But it's not and it won't be until I change my attitude. 

All that supposed "beauty" that is being pawned to us everywhere we look is a farce. It can all be taken away. When it is will you be paralyzed by fear or will you be able to move on to bigger and better things?

Stop being ashamed of the body. The body is a beautiful and wonderful thing. All of them. What we should be ashamed of is the amount of time we put into covering that body up. How much time do we devote to meditation, work, contemplation, and study? Turn that around and ask how much we then dedicate to our appearance? Not just the getting ready portion, I mean how many times a day do we look in the mirror, or slouch down, or cross our arms over our stomachs?

The woman in the article was able to let go of so much baggage and was able to live free.   Think of all the time she was able to open herself to? All the opportunities she no longer had to be afraid of? Think of how empowered she was!

I don’t know about you guys but I think we all could use a bit of a modesty challenge in our lives. I only hope and pray I have to courage to do so.


Food For Thought:
If every woman stopped messing with her hair and face men would have no choice but to fall in love with true beauty.