Femininity & Modesty
This is a personal testimony. I am looking back at myself, only a couple of years ago; certainly, there is a lot to tell, but today I would like to focus on the role modesty played in my life.
I was born to a single mother. My father never appeared or even called, let alone helped financially, so Mother had to work extra hours in order to give me a decent living. So I never missed anything – anything but the really important things, like attention and guidance, which would help me choose the right path in life.
Modesty wasn't popular in the school I attended. There were no uniforms, and, although there was some kind of a dress code, it was never strictly followed, and as I came, I could see tight jeans, mini-skirts, and tiny tops. I could see flesh, flesh, flesh. And these were the girls who were more popular and got more attention. What was the lesson I learned? Well, isn't it obvious? A girl has to show all she has in order to become popular and get attention. At that moment, I didn't think much of the true nature of the attention girls like these receive, and it didn't occur to me that by putting emphasis on their bodies, they actually said – "There is nothing more in me than this. I am my body".
It wasn't all about clothes, either; it was about conduct. Speaking loudly, flirting, cursing, walking provocatively – it was all very common. I did the same. I wore tight clothes, showed off my legs, shoulders, and midriff. I flirted, I was provocative – and I received attention and looks as I walked down the streets. Needless to say, I owned very few skirts those days, and those I had were far above the knee.
The way you dress reflects the way you think. Dressing in a certain manner will almost undoubtedly have an impact on your life. It breaks my heart to say this, but when I was still very young, I got involved in a meaningless, promiscuous relationship that was based solely on physical attraction and lust. No surprises here – if a young girl doesn't bring out her mind and soul, but shows off her flesh, she will only get the men who want her body. They will swarm around her, like flies around a jar of honey, and none of them will be interested in what she thinks or has to say.
I am not going to elaborate right now about the promiscuity I was involved in. Unsurprisingly, it ended in heartbreak. So, what happened next?
Suddenly, almost instinctively, I wrapped myself in long, loose and dark clothes – shabby, shapeless skirts and jumpers. They were mostly old and ill-fitting, but I didn't want to wear anything else. It was like trying to protect myself from anything that might hurt me again by covering every inch of my body. No one looked at me at the street anymore. My heart was bruised and bleeding for many months.
It was a time of intense, painful personal growth and change. And among many other things, I realized something very important - the feeling of protection I experienced upon covering everything that used to be revealed wasn't an illusion. Covering my body protected me from those who wanted only my body. I sent a different message to the world now.
Of course, at that point I was dressed modestly, but very unattractively. The next step, after initial healing and understanding what had happened to me, was acquiring a flattering, cheerful, feminine, and modest wardrobe. From that moment on, I intended to dress in a way that was attractive – not attracting. I wanted to dress in a manner that would say, "I respect my body and my physical attractiveness, but the most important thing about me is my soul, and it's not something I am going to reveal to just anyone."
Today, I experience a wonderful sense of being on the right track. I received an outstanding blessing, a feeling someone took me by the hand and led me from darkness to light. Modesty in both conduct and manner of dressing, as I found out, sends a message of respect to everyone around me – and as a logical outcome, I get respect in return.
If there is one thing I would like to say to other young ladies, it is this: you are lovely young women. You are more, much more than your bodies. Respect yourself and others. Showing off your bodies will only get you the wrong type of attention from the wrong men. A lovely, long, flowing skirt and a pretty, modest blouse will not only bring out your beauty – they will protect you from being used and abused.
Love in a Mist by Sophie Anderson
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