Bikini or Head Scarf? How about old fashioned Modesty?
Krista Bremer writes for (shudder) oprah.com. Yes hell is freezing over yet again. Krista is a Christian married to a Muslim and they have a nine year old daughter. Krista and her husband are letting their daughter decide to choose whose religion and/or culture to embrace:
“We named her Aliya, which means “exalted” in Arabic, and agreed we would raise her to choose what she identified with most from our dramatically different backgrounds.
I secretly felt smug about this agreement — confident that she would favor my comfortable American lifestyle over his modest Muslim upbringing.”
Well Aiya, it seems, is identifying with the faith of her father. She wants to wear the headscarf. Mom is having a hard time. But Mom is learning that, perhaps, modesty is more freeing for women than the less is best fashion mentality of today. Read the full article here.
FYI: There are days that I wish that I could cover up in the burqa. Oh vanity, vanity. Yup that’s me. Even at my age. At least I am in good company. Teresa of Avila was likewise afflicted, and she is a Saint.
Although I found the article interesting, I think that it makes a false choice. Bikini or headscarf. Really? We can only choose from extremes. How about just dressing modestly. Snark alert: how about dressing period!
What does it mean to dress modestly?
The Church holds a deep respect for the uniqueness of each person. The Church also teaches that modesty is a fruit of the Holy Spirit and that “Teaching modesty to children and adolescents means awakening in them respect for the human person (Catechism of the Catholic Church #25234).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church further defines modesty as:
Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It is ordered to chastity to whose sensitivity it bears witness. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons and their solidarity. (2521)
Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love. It encourages patience and moderation in loving relationships; it requires that the conditions for the definitive giving and commitment of man and woman to one another be fulfilled. Modesty is decency. It inspires one’s choice of clothing. It keeps silence or reserve where there is evident risk of unhealthy curiosity. It is discreet. (2522).
It seems that the concept of modesty has long been forgotten. I am continually shocked at how parents let their daughters dress. Very little is left to the imagination. Very little is left of their dignity.
Back when I was a Director for Religious Education at another parish, I issued a dress code for confirmation. I learned that this was necessary after my first year. A girl lectured at confirmation wearing a low cut blouse and a skirt that was a belt. It was not a pretty sight.
Well you would have thought ,when I established a dress code, that I was invoking sharia law. A parent actually shouted out: why don’t you have them wear burqas?
I was speechless. Yup me speechless.
The lack of modesty in our culture really has concerned me. Believe it or not, Europeans do not dress quite as scantily as Americans.
The manner of dress, or lack thereof, is particularly revealing at mass. Many people, male and female, dress as if they were going to the beach.
I often ask, how would you dress to meet the President? The Queen of England? We go to Mass to meet and receive the King of Kings. So how should you dress?
So. What do you think? What is modesty? How should you dress? Discussion please. Just observe the rules.
Update: It is worse than I thought.
Immodesty is a crisis in our culture today. I issued a dress code for Vacation Bible School for adults and children!
The above comment was left on the rules page. Scary isn’t it? What do you think? Please leave comments on this post (see below)