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Modesty vs. Model Appearance

A young friend of mine recently shared on Facebook a post that addressed how strict clothing rules for young girls particularly those in a Christian school are ‘set up’ for a huge learning curb and frankly at a deficit once those young women reach college. (The article written by Jory Micah goes on to correlate policing girls' and women's clothing to rape culture in the church and society.) Although I may not agree with every word in the article, I am glad to have read it. I see the validity that is presented. Having grown up in a modest home and attending a public school, I believe I faced the back and forth of expectations between a Christian environment and a secular one early on in life…

As I read comments and opinions on the article and my friend's Facebook post I began to wonder: Why do we feel as a society there has to be such a stark difference between a modest appearance and the look of a model. 
Actually, the first connection I make when I hear ‘model’ is model Christian or model behavior not model as in a person our societal culture deems attractive.

I believe there will always be a discussion happening on what is conservative enough vs. what is grounds for dismissal and/or punishment in a Christian environment. A conversation on what is okay and what should not be allowed whether we are discussing the attire and appearance of young women or the actions of a person. 
(Sidebar: why are we so often discussing what women should or shouldn’t be wearing?)

The discussion I believe that is not happening enough is the psychological damage occurring on a daily basis inside our minds - specifically the thoughts young to middle age women have on their appearance. Society does a very good job of sharing their opinions on proper attire for adolescents, college age, and even preteens specifically related to girls.

An area we seem to glide over is that huge gap of young adults to middle aged women which, may I point out, are who the preteens, teenagers, and college age women look up to for guidance. 
Professionals, homemakers, family builders, singles…. 

From a young woman who is managing a growing family to a young professional working hard to elevate her career as she transitions from an entry level position to a mid-level role…. 

The beautiful woman who had children young and now despite not being remotely close to retirement age she has raised her children who are standing, wobbly at times, on their own two feet building their own careers and lives leaving this woman unsure of what her role is in her own life outside of those children who have been her basis for so long…

The young adult woman who never sought a big time career and always imagined being a mother, but she has yet to find ‘the one’ God has for her and doubts her own worth and purpose.

There is also that happily married woman who knows so many of her friends are trying desperately to have children as she simply hopes (and tries not to feel guilty) that she can put off that ‘next step’ of life until debtors can be paid in full and she can feel like she breathe again...

The young girl who grew up in a Christian primary school but after a year of a ‘Christian’ college she was done because of so many harsh realities…

Each of these women and an endless amount of others are striving every day to make sense of modesty and model appearance in their own lives.

We all allow society’s opinions to weigh on us too easily and too mightily. We strive for a life others have demonstrated is worth having never fully realizing that may not be the life God has for us.

May we all remember we are the daughters of the One, True King.


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