Is your body… Appropriate?

“Today I listened to a discussion of modesty that made me feel uncomfortable. It was one we’ve heard 1000 times to encourage “appropriate dress” for women: Guys of all ages often say that girls and women have NO IDEA how much their choice of attire affects them. They say if we did know, we’d cover ourselves up a bit more. Here’s the thing with this line of thinking: First, if we keep reinforcing this statement, we’re teaching the myth that men are powerless to the sight of female bodies and can’t be held responsible for their own thoughts and actions. We believe boys and men deserve more credit than that. They’ve got more control and agency than that. It is impossible to shelter males from a world of “immodest” females, and we believe teaching boys and men that the female body is more than just something to be looked at is vital. Second, when we teach women to cover up to protect from their “inappropriate” or “too-tempting” bodies, we are once again teaching them that their power is in their bodies and their displayed “sexuality” or shoulders, knees, etc. We’re still reinforcing to men and women that women’s bodies – whether deemed “modest” or “immodest” – exist for the male view. We are teaching girls that exposed shoulders or knees are inherently sexual, which they are not. That’s a lose-lose situation. We are putting the responsibility for men’s thoughts on girls and women, who are made to feel guilty or sinful if they are “immodest,” which is a different line for everyone. If you’re pro-modesty (by whatever definition that means to you), then live it and teach it as a means for empowerment and benefit for many reasons above being a protection for men. Read our valuable research in this post to get somewhere much more powerful than the shallow waters of ‘modest is hottest.'”
-Beauty Redefined

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