Work It

Coachella, festival wear, When I was in high school, I was constantly getting in trouble for wearing a shirt with "too many buttons" or "a bit too tight across the chest." It often resulted in the teachers taking me away from my studies. In my impressionable teen mind, I reasoned that my body (slightly more buxom than the other girls, who could get away with four buttons instead of three) was cause for shame. Adults were putting more importance on me adhering to their arbitrary rules than my actual education. It spoke volumes. I was embarrassed by my curves and have wrestled with seeing my body in a positive light ever since. After years of struggle, it feels good to be confident.

I was always taught that modesty is something you wear. It's the absence of temptation, and the presence of thoughtfulness. I'm going to be honest though, I've seen more immodesty from women wearing more clothes than I am here. Modesty culture is an enigma. Rachel Held Evans has some interesting thoughts in her article, "Modesty: I don't think it means what you think it means." She says:

While popular culture tends to disempower women by telling them they must dress to get men to look at them, the modesty culture tends to disempower women by telling them they must dress to keep men from looking at them. In both cases, the impetus is placed on the woman to accommodate her clothing or her body to the (varied and culturally relative) expectations of men.
It comes down to "cultivating humility." I've come to really love that term. For me, I know my body isn't everybody's idea of a "perfect 10." I choose to be confident in it though because I didn't have any role models who looked like me. I love the idea of being confident in my skin and I hope it's an infectious passion. I refuse to objectify myself or other women. I'll wear what I want when I want.


ETA: It's funny, after reading through the post, I realized that I shared some similar, slightly less polished sentiments on the topic of modesty almost exactly two years ago. Guess something about the springtime and the warmer weather brings out these old insecurities? A penny for your thoughts? It's a touchy topic so I'm interested in hearing other opinions. Let's chat in the comment section below. 

xo,
e.m.

*photos: Danielle Conyers. Follow her on Instagram!

14 comments

  1. Girl! Girl! Girl! Man... This is everything. Mind if I link this for my TILT post tomorrow. I just love the way you speak on things. It's brilliant. You look beautiful by the way. And my niece who is standing over my shoulder, agrees. XO

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    1. Aww thank you so much!! And no, I don't mind at all :)

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  2. I LOVE this article! I grew up in the same culture and it is hard to get those drilled in thoughts of modesty out of your head. My body is not a size 2 model type, I have curves, but I should be embracing them and accentuating them...not trying to hide and be ashamed of them! Thank you for the encouragement in this area.

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  3. I can't tell you how much I loved reading this article. I have struggled with accepting my body all my life and I think I will always struggle with it but I love how many women are embracing their curves and it has seriously helped me in the process of learning to love mine. Reading your blog and seeing how adventurous you are with your clothes has helped me so much with that, it has allowed me to be more true to who I am by what I wear without thinking about what people will think. Loved this article and love your blog!

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