This is such a great article. It not only addresses the problems of much of the messaging about modesty in our culture, but provides some great ideas on how to make things better. Good ideas that anyone can do.
- Reflect on your own attitudes and behavior. Do you tend to think about, invest in, and lead with your physical appearance, your external possession, or visible accomplishments?
- Offer an expanded definition of modesty. If you are involved in discussions where modesty is being reduced to what females are wearing, speak up! Suggest exploring the meaning of “propriety and decency” of thoughts, feelings, words, behavior, and appearance for men and women.
- Lead conversations about how the principle of modesty applies to males. Explore how to better teach and apply modesty to young men with your family, friends, and faith community to balance out the discussion.
- Reach out to the youth. Make sure that everyone knows that they are loved and welcome at church and church activities (no matter what they are wearing).
- Notice when you are judging someone else’s level of modesty. Use this as an opportunity to reflect on yourself.
- Emphasize that modesty is about how you want to present yourself. When teaching the youth help them reflect on what kind of appearance feels congruent to them. What message do they want to send to others?
- Avoid using language that implies responsiblity for another person’s thoughts, feelings, and behavior. Help the young women understand that appearance sends a message about who they are, based on their culture, and that it has influence on others, but they are never responsible for another person’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.
- Teach the cultural context of modesty. Help them understand that our current specific modesty guidelines are not fixed, but are inspired recommendations based on what specific clothing and appearance means in our era and culture. Share examples of other cultures that give different meaning to clothing that the United States. For example, in Polynesian cultures men wear lava lava, large pieces of cloth tied as a skirt. And in some traditional African tribal communities it is common for women to not wear a top.
- Speak up against body shaming. When you read, see, or hear people shaming a woman for her appearance or clothing choice, do not jump on the bandwagon. Be a voice of reason and of compassion in all conversations about other women.
- Focus on the doctrine behind the principle of modesty. It is important for us to understand the why behind the application. 1 Corinthians 6:20 says that our bodies and our spirits are gifts from God and he wants us to use them to glorify Him.
Read this awesome article here at LDSMAG.com…