What about modesty?

A conversation that comes up often regarding women and clothing is modesty.  

The dictionary definition is behavior, manner, or appearance intended to avoid impropriety or indecency.

 Easy enough to define the word, but who gets to define what is considered immodest for a country or community or an individual? 

The church? If so, which church? 

Women? Men? Politicians? 

Do we take an average of each person’s definition and use that as an acceptable representative?  

I am going to assert that modesty is a very personal thing, and should thus be defined by an individual person for themselves and no one else.  

For my area, I commonly hear that showing one’s back is modest, but showing one’s midriff is not.  And yet, to arbitrarily apply an approval stamp to one area of skin and then not another makes no sense to me. 

In addition, the normalizing of human bodies has been shown to decrease over-sexualization or hyper fixation.  We all have parts. Most of those parts have a couple of different uses, at the least. I also believe that parts can be seen or even admired and that both the viewer and the owner of said parts can be okay, without loss of control or value. 

It is time to stop shaming women and girls because they are a certain gender with certain parts.  My sons can handle a narrow shoulder strap in the classroom.  As a matter of fact they can handle the sight of nudity, as all humans should be able to do. When you think about it, people who are attracted to the same sex have consistently seen naked folks in a locker room or similar scenario and handle it just fine.  Maybe heterosexuals should look to the homosexual community for some good pointers on how easily this is done.

I believe the body is beautiful and amazing.  Through my studies and work in the medical field, to my experience and love of the arts I find the body something to admire and marvel at.  Something to celebrate. It is in itself part of my expression of style. 

And with that, I cover as much or as little of it as I feel like,  both regarding comfort and expression.  I have raised my children to have the same freedom, and allowed them to see bodies both covered and naked in all shapes ages and sizes.  

I also would never want my definition to be forced on someone else,and if they aren’t comfortable in a bikini, then by all means they shouldn’t wear one.  

This just doesn’t seem so radical to me.  It seems straight forward and uncomplicated. 

Diversity and acceptance and well...you do you.  

Bella is wearing a fun bikini mix and match top and bottom from Target.

Photography by Wilde and Wilder

Stephanie Saclolo