Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Neon and Standards

In sunny St. Paul today it got up to 92 degrees, and tomorrow is supposed to be even hotter. Thanks August...

tank: h&m, necklace: thrifted, shorts: j. crew, flats: j. crew

It is amazing how the word "modesty" can have so many diverse meanings to so many people, loaded with passion and emotion, anger, disgust, solace and joy. It is also amazing how time, age, experiences and acquaintances can drastically change one's view and definition of a word. I am one such person who has had a change of heart so to speak. 

I was the stereotypical high schooler who thought she knew EVERYTHING. "Man, God has just gifted me with the special knowledge and wisdom to know exactly what modesty means, and anyone who really cares about modesty and their faith will have the exact same way of practicing this 'virtue'." WOW, how naive and ignorant can a person be?!

I just watched the movie "There Be Dragons" which is about St. Josemaria Escriva and the persecution of the Church in Spain. There was a line he said that really spoke to me. Josemaria's brother was asking how a true Catholic would proceed in the persecution of the Church, would he fight back or be a martyr? Josemaria responded that God has given each man reason, intellect and freedom to be able to make moral decisions based on his knowledge, and that he will be responsible for those decisions. How beautiful! There is no cookie cutter way for a woman to live out and practice modesty. She can practice her reason and free will to live out her modesty in the best and most true way she can.

So how do I practice modesty? It will undoubtedly vary from other women, but I have a couple rules I usually like to follow.

1. No butts, guts or coconuts. 'Nuf said.

2. I like to wear straps that are at least 1-inch wide, that way all undergarments are concealed and I know my top or dress will not fall down.

3. If a shirt is so tight that one can see the contours of my not-so-flat abs, no thanks.

4. I don't wear knit pants/shorts/leggings/skirts/spandex. Too clingy.

5. I have found that I like shorts that have a 7in. inseam. They are just most comfortable for me. However, I do own a couple 5in. inseam shorts, they just ride up a little when I sit down.

6. It's hard to have a rule about skirts/dress lengths because lots of things need to be factored in: the flare of the skirt, the fabric of the skirt, if leggings/tights are being worn underneath, and what shoes are being warn. A sure test, however, is if my skirt is shorter than the biking shorts I wear underneath it, it's got to go.

These many factors are going to vary greatly between women because of cultural standards, the way you were raised, personal comfortability, your height (or lack thereof), etc.

Perhaps most important of all, though, is the way a woman carries herself- in speech, conduct, and thought. While the body must not be neglected, neither can the soul.

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