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4 Reasons Modesty Empowers Women and Nudity Doesn’t

By: Kristen Clark

After posing half naked in a recent photo shoot, Emma Watson (the star in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast movie) couldn’t understand why people were calling her a hypocrite.

As an outspoken self-proclaimed feminist, some people viewed Emma’s photoshoot as quite the contradiction.

They were wondering how a woman could stand for “women’s equality and female respect,” while at the same time taking part in the sexual objectification of women.

In response to the pushback that Emma Watson received for posing half naked, Gloria Steinem (a famous liberal feminist) rushed to her side in defense.

Gloria Steinem unashamedly told the media, “Feminist can wear whatever the *** they want. They should be able to walk down the street nude and be safe.”

And that, right there, is the illogicality of feminism.

Women demand respect. We demand dignity. But then we pose half naked for the cameras and wonder why we’re being objectified.

Sadly though, as obvious as this contradiction may seem to some, it’s brushed off by our culture as “no big deal.” Feminism continues to promise women that stripping down will somehow empower us. Feminism promises us that sexual liberation will somehow bring about the respect that we desire.

As women, we’re told that undressing is empowering for our gender.

Sadly though, the results have proven to be anything but empowering.

A study called The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness stated, “Women are less happy nowadays despite 40 years of feminism. Despite having more opportunities than ever before, they have a lower sense of well-being and life satisfaction.”

Rather than jumping on board with our culture’s push to undress, I’m proposing a new method for empowering women. Modesty. 

4 Reasons Modesty Empowers Women and Nudity Doesn’t

1. Modesty places value on a woman’s body (nudity doesn’t).

Women were created by God to be physically beautiful. To have soft curves and a lovely figure. However, God didn’t design the intimate parts of this beautiful body to be consumed by any passerby (Prov. 5:18-19). When we, as women, uncover and reveal our intimate body parts, we cheapen what God has made valuable.

A large diamond is considered precious and valuable because it’s rare and uncommon. Modesty works the same way. By covering our intimate parts, we boldly state that our bodies are precious, valuable, and not available for common consumption.

2. Modesty promotes female dignity (nudity makes her an object).

Nudity and immodesty have completely backfired on women. Rather than gaining more respect and dignity in the eyes of men, we have become objects to consume. By undressing, we have trained many modern men to view us as nothing more than eye candy. We have thrown our dignity down the drain at the false promise of becoming more empowered.

Putting our clothes back on is the first step to regaining some ground. Actions speak louder than words. By dressing modestly we silently proclaim that we are not purchasable objects. We are dignified women who value our bodies, and expect the same from others.

As Jessica Rey stated, “modesty isn’t about hiding ourselves, it’s about revealing our dignity.”

3. Modesty demands respect (nudity does the opposite).

Women desire respect just like men do. Sadly, nothing has destroyed respect for women more than the porn industry. I looked up synonyms for respect, and I found words like esteem, regard, high opinion, admiration, reverence, and honor. Porn encourages none of those for women. Why? Because porn/nudity turns women into “objects” and objects are disposable and replaceable.

Women who dress with modesty and decency naturally demand more respect. When we respect our own bodies, we encourage the respect, honor, and admiration from those around us.

4. Modesty draws attention to the face (nudity feasts on the body).

It’s not uncommon to be out in public and see a random guy doing a “once over” on a girl. When we, as women, undress and reveal sections of our intimate body parts, we shouldn’t be surprised when strangers feast on our body. By dressing immodestly we invite everyone, including creepers, to enjoy what isn’t theirs.

The attention we receive (good or bad) is based on our physical allure, not on who we are as a person. By dressing modestly we instantly put the creepers in their place. We send the message that our face is where the focus needs to be. We encourage people to get to know “us” not our curves.

Nudity destroys dignity. Modesty promotes respect. 

And just for the record, modesty doesn’t mean a woman is ashamed of her body…it means she is valuing what God has already given value to.

I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.

  • Do you agree or disagree with the idea that dressing modestly empowers women? Why?
  • In what ways have you seen nudity negatively affect the female gender?

If you’re interested in learning more about God’s design for modesty, I encourage you to grab of a copy of our e-book, Project Modesty: How to Honor God With Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process.

Photo Credit: Here 

Girl in modest outfit

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  • Althea

    Thank you very much for being brave and honest when it comes to modesty. I agree 100% that modest women should not think themselves as less confident. God Bless this ministry.

  • Little Csaszar

    This is one of the best posts ever. This should be read by every girls small group because it is such a vital and logical message. It’s more clear and understandable than the common “because God said so”. I think this could be a useful post and easily understood by those who are new to the faith or who boarderline with the subject of modesty. Thank you so so much. Keep up the good work! 🙂

  • Excellent, excellent job. This is so concise. Thank you so much. I will definitely be referring people back to this post.

    It was hard to know where to start when someone recently told me when I promoted modesty, “You’re shaming women for looking beautiful!” I know that modesty does the exact OPPOSITE, but I wasn’t sure where to begin that discussion. Now I have a template! Thank you!

  • Halee

    I TOTALLY agree. Such a great post!!!!! Needs to be shared over and over and over on social media these days!!!!

  • Karen Yango

    Great post! I completely agree that modesty is more empowering than nuditity. I find that a lot of young women dress inappropriately or expose their bodies not because it does anything for them, but to attract men. In that sense, nudity and showing our bodies is still a way for our bodies to be objectified. I find that dressing modestly not only pleases God, but it demands a level of respect that I would not have otherwise. As as a Christian, dressing modestly is also important so that I can protect the thoughts of my fellow brothers in Christ.

  • Giselle

    I’ve been into modesty just recently. Not like I used to be un-modest before, I just wasn’t aware of how important it was to praise and honor God through my clothing, my manners, my behavior towards men. And instead of putting me into guilty and/or shame, it was liberating. I don’t like the word ’empowerment’ that much, but I surely feel more feminine, and more comfortable with body than I used to be. Being modest might not get me many likes on instagram, or stares from guys, but brings consistency to my life testimony and reinforces my identifiy in Christ.

  • Cait

    Thanks girls for this post! I believe that modesty shows that we respect our bodies enough to cover them up and not make a showy display of them for all to see. Thanks for all y’all do you both are living for Jesus and serving him with your blog and its so awesome to see. Much love in Christ, – Cait

  • Brianne

    Awesome post, thank you so much!!!

  • Rachel M.

    Awesome post! Great job! You girls are bravely speaking truth in a dark world. Thank you for shining your light.

    Also, this is sort of off topic, but what are your thoughts on the new Beauty and the Beast movie? Should Christians see it or not because there is a gay scene in there? I just want to know your perspective. God bless you and this ministry!

  • Tiana

    Such a great post! I completely agree that modesty empowers women. You made great points. Thanks!!

  • So true. This is such a great article!

  • Totally agree modesty empowers us! It helps us to be seen as people instead of objects.

  • Michelle Beal

    Great post and totally agree, every young woman needs this lesson. We not only show respect for our bodies, but we show respect to others to whom we come in contact with, and ultimately respect to the very God who created us.

  • Susannah

    !00% agree, and this is so important. Even Christians (my sister included) can be so sceptical, partly because we want to ware whatever we wan’t just like Gloria Steinem said. This is such a good way to explain modestly to people, because most of my friends don’t like the answer – “it’s kind to our brothers in Christ”. This gives US a reason to dress modestly not because of anyone else but to place value on ourselves. Thanks you so much

  • Brooke M.

    Hey, I was wondering what your thoughts on the new Beauty and the Beast movie were? This was a great post and definitely very true. Feminism doesn’t even make sense!
    Thanks for all your great posts! They are all so inspiring. <3

  • Lizzy

    There are no words to describe how much I love this post. It is very enlightening and I now have good, solid reasons to dress modestly. Thank you!!

  • tfrohlich

    I could not agree more! Thank you for being bold and sharing your heart on modesty.

  • Gaby

    Yep. Yep. Yep. I’ve seen/heard about many girls who claim they’re Christian and their wardrobe and behavior say otherwise. I grew up dressing modestly and knowing what is and is not appropriate to wear, regardless of the situation. I’ve had many friends compliment me and have looks of amazement on their faces whenever I wear a dress. They’re not dresses you would see on every other girl because they’re wearing “hoochi-mama” dresses. And all I can think is, “You can dress like this too. You don’t have to dress provocatively.”

  • Jess

    I agree but I do think that God made men to be attracted physically to women’s curves as they are more physical than emotional. I do understand that we are not supposed to wear revealing clothes but showing a little curve is good as no one wants to look like one shape e.g like a sack. I know people won’t agree with me here but it’s my opinion

  • CE Watson

    We try to teach our girls that they are more than the sum total of their body measurements. But if they are dressing immodest – and if they are behaving immodest – the guy never gets beyond what he sees. The other tragedy here is that when women/teens – especially those who profess to be Christians – dress, talk, and act like what they see the unsaved do, it sends such conflicting messages to our guys. How can our guys mature into Sentinel to protect his future wife and family if they are only being offered the same thing the world is offering them. This matter of modesty and purity is so far beyond the obvious physical! Mrs. Doc Watson

    • Katie

      Ummm, maybe we should expect decent human respect from EVERYONE. It’s not like morals go out the window when people are tempted. That’s on them. Quit shifting blame.

  • Mitchell

    It is not what “works” but what is “right.” Very good article.

  • Cecilia

    When I became a Christian I started to dress more modestly and I was surprised to discover how much more free and feminine I felt!

  • Lauren

    I totally agree with this! Feminism nowadays isn’t just about “empowering” women, but it’s basically saying that it’s totally acceptable to dress inappropriately and they can’t get called out for it–it’s truly gross on what our society today praises. Then strong willed feminists think it’s the most horrible thing that men look and sexualize them. I understand that sexualizing is wrong, but women need to know that men do look! 1 Corinthians 8:9 tells us not to be a stumbling block for our brothers and sisters, but yet some women continue to show themselves but tell men to “look away.” Very hypocritical! Feminism has grown into some monster today. It’s also horrible because these feminist women don’t define what I believe but they try to speak for others, and trample on the values of conservative women. Remember my fellow sisters, PROMOTE modesty! It’s the REAL beauty! <3

    • Katie

      There is so much wrong with tour comment.

      I don’t expect a guy not to look if I’m showing off. What I expect him to do is keep his hands to himself.

  • Rachel

    Feminism is about equality and respect. I can understand that, for many people, over-sexualization or nudity is seen as “devaluing,” but the real issue is the disparity between the genders when it comes to nudity. Men are free to photograph themselves in over-sexualized poses and varying states of undress, and their reputation does not suffer for it. Women do not have this luxury. Even an outstanding young woman like Emma, who is not only a talented actor but also a campaigner for human rights and education, is not immune from this double standard.
    Basically, however you feel about nudity in general, it’s unfair to judge women harshly for something that men do just as often without any societal consequences.

    • Ana Castro Yanez

      Both men and women should be held accountable. Hollywood sexualizes men too and women swoon over them and no one bats an eye. It’s wrong both ways. There shouldn’t be a double standard.

  • Janet Vu

    Interesting article! For me, I prefer to be modest and covered up. However, I have no quarrel about others choosing differently and I’m a bit loss at how nudity equates to being less deserving of respect, though. Or how it makes a woman worth less. Everyone has the same body parts; what’s so gross about it, and who does it hurt? Actions of physically hurting or verbally devaluing others seems much more reprimandable imo. Feminism means that women are treated equally to me, which means no double standards. They should get the same respect for doing the same things as men and not get backlash for doing what is normal for men.

  • toenail

    piss off :))))))

  • Katie

    You people are ridiculous.

  • Amanda

    First off: I am not a proponent of nudity. However, I feel like some of it is encouraged with a well-meaning intention: female photographers trying to get female subjects to feel comfortable with their body and to help other women see that their own body isn’t as “abnormal” as we all tend to feel. Females encouraging nudity seems like a misguided way to help decrease female insecurity. As much as I feel inspired by seeing a plus-sized model pose for a website in order to show other big girls that there’s nothing to be ashamed of if you have extra weight, I still feel equally as discouraged when I’m berated with images of -0 sized models. No matter how many “real” bodies are displayed, there will always be just as many or more unrealistically “perfect” models. And that’s where things get really damaging. Religion aside, girls don’t need to be exposed to other girls’ bodies. We don’t need to feel pressure of having other girls’ figures stuck in our heads as standards of comparison. Forget male objectification (sickos attack modestly-dressed girls just as much – if not more), what we really need to acknowledge of the spirit of envy being perpetuated by the fashion and nude modeling industry.

    • theburritohasmyheart

      I get what you’re saying but why does empowerment in our bodies have to equal nudity?!

  • Sophia

    i agree that we need to be more modest because if we let everyone see our bodies, our friends will mostly care about that part of us. If we keep ourselves wholly for God then we don’t have to worry about others abusing us. Because that is where rape and sexual abuse comes in. Because we let vanity get the best of us we put our bodies and souls in danger. I am a middle school student and i see it everyday. On Fridays they call it “slap a** Friday”, and the boys will try to slap girl’s butts and obviously they go for the girls that are most unmodestly dressed. If we dressed properly in the first place we could have avoided all this in the first place. That is my opinion, God bless you all

    • Katie

      If I wear a shirt that says, ‘Murder Me,’ does it make it wholly my fault if I’m murdered? No. It’s the fault of the person who killed me.

      My friend was s3xually assaulted by her boyfriend multiple times even when she was fully clothed. Clothing has nothing to do with s3xual assault. To think otherwise is perpetuating this idea that it is the victim’s fault for his or her assault.

      Also, I’m sure burkas are working great in the middle east for keeping girls from assault. Totally.

      • Deepika

        I agree with Katie, sexual assault is NEVER the victim’s fault

        • Brittany

          Amen….modesty is good, but it’s always the mans fault for r4pe…you can’t give excuses for that.

          Likewise you can’t say abortion is okay because of r4pe. Give the baby for adoption and saves a Life!!!

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  • Em

    Unfortunately, many people give “feminism” a bad name. And why does the label need to exist? I’m pretty sure we don’t go around labeling ourselves about everything we believe in or not- all it does is serve to divide opposing sides even further, and encourage stereo-types and blanket statements. I personally tend to dress more on the modest side, but everyone has different definitions of this and personal comfort levels. I don’t think the message of feminism or this cover photo is to solely promote women taking their clothes off. It’s about supporting women and recognizing they have the CHOICE to do so if they want to. For themselves. Not for anyone else’s standards but their own. We are all, as humans, so judge-mental and need to remember who the true judge is…

  • Steven W. Reed

    SOOOOO Happy you are speaking about such an IMPORTANT TOPIC…..And ESPECIALLY TO THE CHURCHES!!!…… I have been trying to teach my almost 14 year old niece about modesty, she is really starting to get it. I was shocked to see what her Middle School expects these very young girls to wear for Volleyball…and they wear them. Why aren’t parents up in arms? My niece didn’t want to join the team because of the skimpy shorts. And I mean skimpy. I’m still single and a Christian, and have not gone to a beach in the warm weather in 2 decades just so I wouldn’t be tempted to stare at the barely there suits women love to wear. I find it amazing that girls are so quick to show off their bodies in this manner while the guys are a lot more covered. WAKE UP WOMEN!!!! Thanks for the work you are doing here. May God continue to get your words through to the masses.

    • nicehandnick

      Can you teach our president, the self appointed christian about Modesty? And teach him to pray? He said he’s never prayed because he’s never did anything wrong. Is that how you become a christian?

  • PulchritudinousCat 2003

    I absolutely LOVE this. I love to dress modestly for all of these reasons and more but…the things is I can be pretty girly and feminine (all good things here) but I don’t really know how to dress modestly without skirts and dresses. Don’t get me wrong skirts and dresses are beautiful and I wear them on occasion but, I’m not much of a “appearance” kind of girly. I like makeup and all but not much for pink, flowers and rainbows, if you get what I’m saying. Plus, I reaaaallly like jeans and more of a edgy casual. So it can be pretty difficult. If you can, or if you see this, do you have any tips? Like is it okay to be feminine in actions but not so “girly” with clothes? Are pants and jeans okay?

    • theburritohasmyheart

      You need to watch their modesty video, it’s on youtube. I tottaly get what you’re saying, I am the exact same way. They show different kinds of pants that are modest in that vid. Hope this helps!

  • Sally

    I saw a segment from an Oprah Winfrey show in the 80’s and I noticed that in the audience not one woman wad showing cleavage. Most were dressed in modest suits. Fast forward to any audience today and it’s cleavage everywhere. When I gave my life to Christ 39 years ago, many things changed. I no longer desired to do many of the things I once did. One of those things was provocative dressing. I just knew it had to change. So many years later, my husband always tells me how He appreciated my modesty, that I preserve myself for His eyes only. I live that. I remember several years ago being at church and sometimes s young person would bend over and their things were very exposed! I understand being young and wanting to be like everyone else. But we really need to encourage modesty to our daughter’s.

  • Smoky LaMar

    Yes and amen. The notion that calling for modesty is “body shaming” is nothing more than a worldly attitude due to worldly values. Such have no place in the life of a Christian.

  • Bella

    I loved this! Thank you so much!!

  • Genevieve Gem

    “Nudity empowers some, modesty empowers some. It is not your place to tell her which one it is” it’s about respecting people rights for expression. Nudity does not = objectification. For some it is empowering, an expression of art and liberation. I am appalled that women would bash other women for turning something such as the objectification through pictures of women something that has occurred for ages and has been mainly managed by men, into something postitive , something that promotes body positivity and self love. The point of pictures like Emma Watson is to regain control over her self expression it’s saying “I am free to express myself as I wish I am not a sexual object, but rather a women in control of my own sensuality / sexuality” Can people still objectify her? Absolutely, however, people can also objectify a women fully covered, turning her into a mysterious sexual fantasy in their head. The thought of her can still be sexualized. Clothes do not exclude you from some one seeing you as an object. It’s breaking the norm that states that you need to be “clothed”to be respected. Its a bold statement against rape culture where victims are blamed with comments such as ” you shouldn’t have worn that dress/ skirt etc., maybe if you wore something less provocative that wouldn’t have happened” it’s many different statements, different for each person. To me this articles sounds extremely close minded and judgemental, and I sense so much insecurity from whoever wrote it. Be confident in your ideals, but open to the Idea that your perspective isn’t the only right one. Stand together lift one another up, respect each other, love each other, that’s what feminism is about ✌️


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