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.