The word “modesty” so often conjures up images that are unattractive and old fashioned maybe even victimizing. Many regard the concept of modesty as one of fanaticism, control, or simple-minded backwardness. I myself wonder how such ideas year after year continue to enter the minds of women when in fact such notions are more commonly connected with the often-revealing, fast fashion of today? Modesty, as seen by society, is often wrongly portrayed as an obligation to coverup and to control and hide one’s body. However, control comes in many forms. Modesty allows women to take back the respect that has been stripped from them over the last century with the pressure to reveal and sexualize their bodies to fit into the social norm and keep up with the current trends. The total victimization of our daughters, mothers and sisters has been ever so gradually accepted without question. We must move beyond allowing ourselves to be controlled by what is dictated as “fashion.”
When I was in my early twenties, I remember looking up at a large billboard above the road in Miami where I lived for several years. The advertisement was for beer and the image was a woman, with practically no clothing on, holding the beer. Yes, I’m sure that got many people’s attention. However, what went through my mind was how it doesn’t make sense. Women have fought and are still fighting all over the world to be respected and treated equally but if we continue to be swayed into dressing in such a sexual manner, we will never achieve these goals. Our beautiful, feminine qualities will never be admired or recognized. When a girl develops into a woman, she naturally wants to be attractive. Unfortunately, in the mind of a teenager, the longing to appear trendy, to fit in and to look like she’s desirable so often overtakes the essential need to be respected and seen for who she truly is. This mentality regularly pulls all through life and it often surprises me to see women in their forties, fifties, and sixties still running on this hamster wheel of continuing to attract the type of attention that is only going to cause them harm.
When I started up my clothing business years ago, I approached another company also selling modest feminine fashion and I asked them for advice. I was told not to push modesty because it is exclusive but to focus on women empowerment. I was troubled by this as modesty, to me, is the most beautiful form of empowerment. I believe “women empowerment” is often twisted and turned into something that takes us far away from being empowered… from loving what we are. I wanted to invoke others to love modesty and femininity and embracing all that beauty and how it empowers women to a far greater extent.
So, why do I love modesty? It’s because I love what is truly beautiful. I love what is good. I love what leads to what is beautiful and good. When I compare a woman who respects herself and dresses in such a way as to show that, I see a woman who will be loved for who she is and not for what she can give. When I look at a woman who tries to follow the latest trends even if it means sacrificing her dignity, I see a woman who lacks confidence in who she is and who does not truly appreciate her own worth. It’s quite simple really. I could go on and on about it. I could write a book about it and there are many beautiful books out there on the subject, I could write about modesty in character… but I will save that for another post.
So, this was the beginning of my journey. I didn’t quite get it at first. It took time. It took good examples from others… Since this is my first post, I’d like to tell you that my company embraces many values and modesty is one of them. As a busy mother with five children who are my greatest priority, now home-schooling four of them and running an international business, I have found it difficult to get to this first post. Imagine that! I do intend to write more about modesty and also about embracing femininity, slow fashion, and ethical fashion. I’d love for you to get to know me as I continue this journey. I’d love for you to send in any questions you may have regarding these topics so that I can address them. I am also hopeful to have some writers join me here covering similar topics. It may be a little slow in coming but it is coming.
I’ve recently suffered a great loss in the death of my most incredible Grand-mere who left this world on Christmas Eve. When I traveled overseas to spend time with her a couple months ago, I felt an overwhelming sense of… stop, slow down, take the time to be present with those who mean the world to you. Since then, I have done a lot of that. I won’t be rushed by social media algorithms or by posting everyday to keep attention. I will simply be here and always do my best to put out what is beautiful.
Image above @rebecca_lord_art