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I’ll Keep My Clothes On, Thank You

By: Bethany Beal

I vividly remember my one and only interview with a local modeling agency. The director pulled out the personal information sheet and slid it across the desk. I scanned through the pages and my hands started to sweat. What was I going to tell this guy? I was supposed to mark down which categories of modeling were most interesting to me.

Club wear? Lingerie? Swimwear? None of those options were going to cut it. I was hoping for something with a bit more…coverage.

I awkwardly explained to the director my personal convictions for clothing standards.

I could see the look of mockery in his eyes. According to him I should have felt honored to strip down to nothing and pose for the camera. He explained that “Most girls would die for an opportunity like this and I was throwing it away for the sake of my convictions.”

I handed back the personal info sheet and he said, “Once you become comfortable with your own body and skin, then come back and we can talk about modeling.” I thought his statement was ridiculous and told him, “I’m perfectly comfortable with my body. I just have no desire to show it off to creeps like you.” Okay, I didn’t really say that last line…I just thought it.

My very short lived experience with the modeling agency opened my eyes to what girls in my generation are dealing with.

It used to be that Playboy and pornography sites were looked upon with shame by women all across the world. It was considered a disgrace that women were flaunting their bare bodies for men to lust after.

Fast forward the clock a few decades and the average modeling agency is only interested in girls who are willing to show it all.

Somehow posing naked in front of a camera is no longer viewed as degrading, but empowering and artful.

Author Wendy Shalit explains the modern view this way: “Modesty today is always taken to be shame, although they are two distinct words and two different concepts. The prevailing view is that if you think sexuality should be private or special, then you must be ashamed of it. You’re a prude. Conversely, if you are ‘comfortable with your sexuality’, then you should be ‘cool’ with lifting your shirt for strangers. If you’re like me, you may wonder how this harem mentality is liberating for women.”

Sadly, our culture gives us no reason to cover up our most intimate body parts.

As a whole, our country is quickly following in the footsteps of Europe where nudity is normal on beaches and on television. If we as Christian girls are not careful, we will end up the way Carolyn McCulley describes, “the proverbial frog-in-a-pot-of-boiling-water scenario.” What used to shock us will soon become normal.

I want you to think through these two questions:

  1. Have you bought into the cultures lies about your purity and modesty?

  2. What do you think about the sexual freedom our culture is promoting?

As Christians, we must have a completely different perspective than our lost world. This quote by an unknown author describes the situation perfectly:

“We can begin to see how ironic it is that women who have decided to dress modestly are often said to be the ones ‘uncomfortable with their bodies’ or ‘ashamed of their sexuality.’ However, to say that a modest woman is uncomfortable with her body is like saying that I am uncomfortable with my expensive fine chinaware because I refuse to use it to feed the dogs with. Just as my fine china is too precious to put to common use, so the treasure of the human body should be too valuable to use in any but the appropriate context.”

Like the modeling agency director told me, “Come back when I am comfortable with my body,” I say in response to him, “I refuse to feed my body to the dogs.” I know that God has a greater purpose for my body and my sexuality. He fashioned my every curve and made me a woman to be beautiful and enjoyed by one man – not thousands.

The culture is continually pressuring us to uncover more and more.

With summer just around the corner we need to get our minds focused on truth. We need to remember the value that God places on our delicate, feminine, attractive bodies.

Kristen explains this topic further in her blog post: 4 Ways our Raunch Culture is Lying to You

She says, “The most common and noticeable way our raunch culture has affected girls is in the way they dress. Instead of protecting and saving your most intimate parts for your husband, the fashion industry has taught you to “flaunt what you’ve got.”

Well said Kristen! Click on the link above to get the rest of her blog post.

I would highly encourage you to establish your convictions on purity and modesty before the summer gets here. Once summer hits the temptations to “uncover” will be in full swing. Without a solid understanding of purity and modesty, it will be nearly impossible to stand strong.

Let’s talk about it…

What are your thoughts on modesty and purity?

How do you fight the pervasive influence of our raunch culture?

How do you avoid “uncovering” when the summer time hits and immodest clothing floods the stores?

Photo credit: www.flickr.com | [email protected]/7643048122

I'll Keep My Clothes On, Thank You

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