The Modesty Thing

Can you feel it? The onset of warm weather, birds twittering in treetops of sparkling leaves–can you feel spring? I’m looking forward to playing outside, free of a jacket. I’m looking forward to swinging, climbing into my favorite tree, and of course, my warm-weather outfits. 

Oh, the warm-weather outfits. I’d like to think that I can wear whatever I want in the springtime–or any time, for that matter–but no. Spring is the time when everyone comes out to give their bit on what I’m wearing–shorts too short, shirt too low–the list goes on. The main reason people give to me, trying to dictate what I wear, is that I might be causing men to “stumble.” 

First, let me say that there’s a huge double standard associated with this statement. A woman walks by in a bikini, and she’s bombarded with comments telling her to cover up and “save herself for the right man.” Then a man walks by in his tight little Speedo, or swim shorts pulled halfway down his crotch, and nobody says a thing. Do you see that double standard? It’s assuming that women are things for male pleasure, and that men are sexual monsters who can’t control themselves. That is seriously messed up and untrue. 

Even more so, though, I choose to believe that people–both male and female–can wear whatever the hell they want. It’s not my responsibility to keep that man from “stumbling,” as they call it. I’d like to not be treated as a liability, thank you very much. If a man looks at me wearing shorts and gets turned on, why is it my problem? He’s in control of his thoughts and actions, not me. 

Also, I could go on a wonderful rant about how sex is both demonized and idolized. (Think about what society is asking: be “pure” and to “not put out” but also to be “sexy” and “available.” Think about it. How am I possibly supposed to do both?) But I think I’ll save that rant for later. 

So, everyone, here’s a nice little modesty guide I’ve created to help you choose your summer clothing:

  • Tops: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Shorts/Skirts: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Bathing suits: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Dresses: Do you like it? Do you feel nice wearing it? Wear it.
  • Everything else: See above. 

Of course, it’s not a bad thing if you choose to cover your body more–just make sure you’re doing it because you want to. You have the final say. Not your family, not your friends–you. Rock your body however you want to. It’s yours, and it’s beautiful. 

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