For decades our culture has stopped valuing modesty, instead valuing women for all the wrong reasons. Yet, as parents, we try to teach our children to dress and act appropriately despite what we see and hear around us. How difficult is it to teach our children, teenagers and young adults the value of self-worth and respect, when our culture isn’t teaching it?
I don’t have children yet, but I do fear, when the time comes, what this will be like for them.
We live in a “sex-crazed” society; sexual messages are everywhere, and are reviewed by children. What was once known as unacceptable or risqué is now accepted and we see it everyday. There is no wonder, some boys and men experience difficulty fighting their temptations, or sudden urges to look, speak and act, when sex is around us, all the time. It is very important to understand, men have a responsibility to control, but .. women have responsibility, too. Women have to start taking responsibility for their wardrobes or lack there of. What you choose to wear, and how you wear it, reflects who you are, more so, it will impact the type of men you attract. This can impact their behaviours and attitudes they have towards YOU, and sex. You have to think about the kind of man you want in your life. If you choose to dress seductively, you are sending a message implying you are “impure,” and attracting a man who is fine with that. If you choose to dress more modest, you will attract a man who is attracted to who you are as a person.
To be modest, doesn’t have to mean, you cover yourself from head to toe. Although, in some religious beliefs, perhaps this does. Modesty can mean different things, to different people. Someone who is modest, doesn’t solicit them self by how they dress. In order to teach this to young girls, you have to decide what you consider to be modest. This has become more difficult because society’s standards have changed. When I was in school, exposing bra straps were considered embarrassing. Shopping for bras, when I was a young girl, were plain, and considered “no big deal,” as far as style and colour choices are concerned. Today, stores have “sexified” undergarments and have also added thongs and Brazilian cut panties for young girls. Girls, today, purposely show their bra straps, and thongs, not to mention wearing pantyhose as pants.
So how do we decide what is modest, and what isn’t? How do we change what has already happened? This is a decision up to you, as parents, to set this standard. This is a decision you have to make with your spouse. You can not make a decision and have it be effective, if you include your daughter. Discuss what clothing you find acceptable and NOT acceptable in public. Talk about specific ages to wear heels, and make up. Parents, familiarize yourself with the latest trends, fad’s and slang. Hidden sexual messages are all over clothes and accessories today, and slang is used everyday. Unfortunately, most of these things slip under the parental radar, not because you don’t care, because the “meanings” have changed. Communicate with your daughter, your daughter’s friends, and do your research. Simple fact, if you don’t know, chances are, your daughter does, Ask! Most importantly, stay connected with your daughter, this includes telling your daughter how beautiful and proud you are of her. Help them understand why this is important, and teach them along the way, so they can make good decisions on their own.
Women already have a hard time being valued, respected and treated, don’t add more fuel to the fire, by wearing something that gives others the opportunity to devalue who you are. We live in the twenty-first century, its time to stop blaming media for everything, men for “gawking,” and embrace modesty.