I will repeatedly say, to anyone who has vague suspicions, that I don’t count as a Christian. I mean, you’d be stretching the definition a long way. Sure, Jesus had some great ideas, but does that really mean I have to take the whole Bible as some divinely-inspired document? Can’t I just view it as a brilliant cross-section of cultural norms that applied at the time and might serve as some inspiration to those who really dig that culture?
So. Established. I am pretty darn heterodox and satisfied to be that way.
You’d never know it from my taste in clothing.
I gave up short-shorts aged thirteen, miniskirts before I was thirty (only with leggings for years, realized I was too old for that look). I’m small-chested and I don’t generally go to the beach to show off anyhow, so what’s the point of a bikini? Give me a one-piece and some shorts. I won’t wear leggings without a long top or a short dress to cover my rump.
Now, “small-chested” means I can get away with an awful lot that other women can’t. I can wear lower-cut shirts. I don’t risk falling out of tops or dresses that are made to give a girl cleavage; it’s also not nearly as interesting compared to, say, if my mother were to do that. I get cold easily — modesty is practical. Seven or eight months of the year it’s practically compulsory.
What I’d like is good advice on modest dress without the attendant lecture about morality.
I do not make moral judgments based on the amount of fabric covering a person. Do I sometimes find it tacky to go too short? Do I wonder “where are your pants?” Yes. Because that’s my taste. And because that’s my taste, I keep my mouth shut.
I don’t object to Kristen and Bethany from GirlDefined on grounds of taste. I think their tastes are just fine. I object to them because they’re kinda — really — judgy about the things they don’t understand. I wish I could spend a week with them just showing them that a feminist is a woman like any other, but I’ll leave it to actual Christians to do that. I wish I could get their fashion advice without the preaching.
There are some great YouTubers — Muslim, Christian, I believe a few are Orthodox Jewish? — who give very similar advice without the harsh judgment of who you are inside. More of an “if you wanna be modest, here’s some guidelines”. Yes, some are speaking from a religious perspective, and that is not a problem. I know who it’s targeting. The lines these YouTubers don’t cross are the ones that attack a woman’s worth. There’s a particular British modesty vlogger who speaks openly to her sisters in Christ and I can admire that because she then proceeds to encourage from a practical POV as well as a spiritual one.
Notice I said encourage. The last thing you want to do, if you want people to see it your way, is beat them into doing so, browbeating or otherwise. I rebutted the GirlDefined video in the same spirit as I felt it was created. I would not get that harsh with someone who simply said “I don’t understand”. Be open to learning, you’ll find teachers.
So I will be browsing the vlogs and maybe recommending one or two on Facebook in a “love her style and her attitude” way. I refuse to endorse anyone who’s going to hurt someone else in an effort to spread any perspective.
If you have a more modest style than not, please feel free to get in touch. Just understand that I already have beliefs that make me happy.