Thursday, May 29, 2014

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On Modesty and Shaming

I am annoyed by reports of a Utah School doctoring yearbook photos to show less skin.

My reasons:

1. The school district admittedly applied the rule unevenly.
2. The original pictures were fine, for the most part.
3. I dare say not one boy's photo was doctored.
4. Cleavage is one thing, but shoulders?  That is taking it too far.

I realize my stance my be unpopular, but it often is, and I am ok with that. But I feel like we cross the line in asking our girls to be modest... and push the barriers into shaming girls for just being girls.  While I practiced modesty with my daughter from her pre-teen years through now, adulthood (18th birthday coming up), I don't believe in telling girls that some guy seeing a glimpse of an ankle or a (gasp) arm, is going to cause some guy to stumble in his faith. Meanwhile guys get to run around completely shirtless, and girls are expected to have no reaction?  I am sick of the double standard. 

In encouraging (not demanding) my daughter to be modest, we layered whenever an outfit revealed too much.  "Go add your lacy underskirt to outfit". "That skirt or shorts would be OK with leggings". "That top needs a cami".  "For goodness sakes, where is your belt?".  These were common sentences
in our home.  We strove for comfortable, classic, classy, and neat.  We don't believe in displaying the bra strap or the underwear line, or the stomach... that is all.  And when she disagreed, we just said, "first impression is everything, you should dress with class, like you are somebody".  We never, ever tried to make her feel like any body part of hers was undesirable  or too desirable... we knew that it causes body image issues.  We never wanted her to feel shame.

Heck, I've even purchased clothing from modesty websites because the cami's are longer  and those floor length denim skirts are cu-uuuuute! We've also sewn straps onto prom dresses, and spent more money to get one with cap sleeves for Sr. prom. So, I'm all for modesty, but not at the cost of a girl's self esteem.  I know I should not judge, but I am just really kinda sick of the chatter about girls being responsible for what is in a boy's heart.  I have a son, very honest, and respectful to girls, and he has said that showing too much turns him off, not on. I say we should make guys and girls be equally as modest if we are going to do it at all.  If girls can't show their arms, guys can't show their arms.  If girls can't wear shorts, guys can't wear shorts. If girls have to cover their heads, give that guy a Burka.  But for goodness sakes, get off the backs of these girls... if you keep accusing them of being sinful, they will feel the compulsion to prove you right.

...And I have a quick and easy solution for the yearbook committee.  Have everyone take their senior pictures in a cap and gown... that's how they did it when we were in school.


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