DISCLAIMER: I absolutely abhor body shamers. G-d forbid I should judge anyone on how they are dressed. I love color and diversity in this world–it is the reason why Planet Earth is so beautiful to live in– because each one of us is unique in his/her own way. I am simply presenting my side of the story, because we don’t always get to hear the opinion of someone with my life choices. I am simply adding my voice into the mix. This post is to promote discussion, it is absolutely okay if you disagree with me. In fact, please feel free to do so politely down in the comments. I just ask–please don’t skin me alive. Get it? Skin? no? oh…ok.
So I have dressed modestly all of my life. For as long as I can remember, I’ve covered my knees, elbows, collarbone and naval. Not to mention that I’ve never worn pants. Nor anything sheer or overly tight. Yah. Overtime, I started dressing more modestly not because my family was doing it, but more because this was my particular choice in life, and I very much wanted to dress this way. However, as I became more familiar with the world, and I learned to understand the whispers bordering the edges of our lives, I started to realize that some misguided people equate ‘modesty’ with ‘frumpiness’ or ‘oppressed’. And because I am vehemently against both of those utterly unfortunate situations, I simply wanted to know why anyone would ever think such a thing.
Let me first tackle frumpy—
I for one, am thoroughly into fashion. I view clothing as a work of art, and various fashion styles as the different schools of thought that express that art. For my own personal sense of fashion, I tend to look for contrast in my clothing choices— whether it is a pair of mismatching stud earrings, an overlapping of different fabric textures, or perhaps an edgier piece with something more bohemian. Whatever it is, I love to express my creativity through my clothes.
Another point: no one can tell me that the modest styles from 1950 and before were not glamorous in their overt use of fabric. You cannot compare even if you tried, a dash of red lipstick and a 50’s knee length A-line dress to today’s uniform of Levi’s Jeans and skater skirts. No matter how hard you try, you cannot frump up a 1930’s cloche hat, and 3/4 length cap sleeved outfit. It simply isn’t possible for the one logical reason that when one has more fabric to work with, one can create more intricate and unique designs—and thus—better art.
Let us move on to ‘oppressed’.
One of the reasons why I dress modestly is because I want to control the outcome of my body. I want to be in control of who views my body, and who comes in contact with my body. However, it would be entirely difficult to do so if my body kept constantly being on display for the entire world to see. Furthermore, I don’t know about you, but I like being treated as a person—with thoughts and feelings— and not just a body. And while this may be very hard for some people to admit, when one leaves the house in a teeny weeny mini skirt, the first thing the public thinks is “legs”. Even if said person is a chemist and fluent in 7 languages, the fact remains that you are a pair of legs that knows seven languages. When that much skin is glaring at you in the face, one cannot possibly expect other people to have an equilibrium of thought for both your body and intelligence. Logically, it cannot work. Because in this world, there is such a thing as emphasis, and when you overtly emphasize your body as opposed to anything else, you diminish all other elements in your body’s presence.
*DISCLAIMER #2: G-d forbid that I should shame anyone for dressing a certain way. We are very blessed to live in a world that promotes freedom of self, including the freedom to dress the way we like; I am merely presenting an objective study on today’s attire, since I am really sick and tired of hearing how oppressed I should feel, since I don’t wear crop tops and short shorts.
Therefore, because I usually like people to pay attention to my brain, and not anything else per se, I simply emphasize a different part of myself. And that is fine. Just like if a different person wanted to emphasize a different part of themselves—like their body— that is their choice. Thank goodness we have free choice in this matter. I am simply presenting my side of the story.
One last point—
People do indeed keep asking me, over and over and over again, if I feel oppressed—since I “have” to wear all that clothing, do I even feel like a person, having to hide behind “all that fabric”? (not even so much btw, what am I wearing already, three quarter sleeves instead of short sleeves)? Well I have a question for you— for all you crop top wearing, short-short bearing human beings out there (rock on y’all, I support all of your individual styles that make this world so diverse)— but don’t you feel oppressed?
Do you not feel subhuman when the force of the Western World keeps pushing you to take off more clothes, show more skin, be more of a body and less of a person? I am merely curious here and not judgmental, I honestly just want to know—but how is it empowering to wear nothing but a “bra”lette and sheer blouse? How does that make you free? Because I don’t know about the rest of y’all, but when I see that style on celebrities, or even on normal people— I see a woman wearing lingerie. How is this freedom or empowerment when our bodies are plastered onto buildings, everything pointing to the most private parts of ourselves? After we have worked so hard to get the same rights as all other human beings on this planet—when we have such a long way to go—why are we still being exploited as just a pair of legs? Why does this world keep selling us the idea that we are nothing more than a body? And if so, why do we still believe it?
Skirt–Calvin Klein (like uber on sale)
Shoes– Borne Concept
Necklace– Forever XII
PS– Thank you RZ for the pics!!
What is modesty to you? Do You agree with me? Disagree?
Leave a comment below!