I remember walking through the mall in my teen years, rocking a pair of skin-tight Brazilian jeans (they were so the thing back then)—a pair I wore specifically because I believed they accentuated my assets, i.e., made my bottom look bigger.
So here I am, in my baby-blue Brazilian, skin-squeezin’ jeans and a spaghetti strap top and I’m pretty sure I was clackin’ around in heels, and this group of dudes begin yelling lewd comments at me across the mall for everyone in the vicinity to hear.
I got so upset, cussed at ‘em, flipped ‘em off, the whole nine. But never once did I recall the fact that I wore those jeans for the sake of appearing more desirable. I wanted the attention, but I guess I expected it to come across in a more respectful manner.
Thing is, I quite plainly, was dressed in a way that shouted sex object, yet I didn’t want to be treated like a sex object. I wanted to be pleasing to the sight of some men, as long as their pleasure was displayed in a manner I approved of.
I now understand that most single or unmarried men (or even married ones!) don’t look at women who are dressed super sexy and think: I better be low-key about all the lustful thoughts she’s inciting. The way they see it is you’re asking for the attention, so they’re gonna give it to you. And more specifically, they’re thinking along the lines of; this chick is asking to be f***ed.
Forgive the vulgarity, but I’m just being real. Have you ever heard men talk to each other when no women are around? Well, I have. A lot. I edit weddings. The videographer, who is a man, goes into the groom’s hotel room or wherever he’s getting ready and records him and his groomsmen as they get dressed. The stuff they say about the bride and about women is so disgusting and degrading that I often have to mute the audio entirely and sometimes wish I could leave in those parts so the bride sees how much her groom respects her in front of his boys. The things I hear make my blood boil and skin crawl. But the truth of the matter is that all of these brides lived with the guy beforehand. In other words, they already were sleeping with him. So frankly, men simply don’t respect a woman who sleeps with them before marriage. Period. He can act like he does, but there’s someone he boasting to about your body and sexcapades.
Have you experienced this kind of lewd attention before? Were you wearing super short-shorts, a midriff top, showing off cleavage or your belly? Lots of skin, lots of skin-tight-leave-hardly-any-room-for-the-imagination attire will incite and inflame a man’s lust. There’s no way to get around it unless he closes his eyes or avoids you or tries super-duper hard to only look at your face, even though his peripherals can see everything else. Even married men. Very few will try to look away, while others will be picturing you naked on top of them.
Now, if you’re truly fine with this, that’s your prerogative. However, if it makes you uncomfortable and you’d like a lot more respect, then take it from me, think twice about what you put on. And no, I’m not being legalistic. I’m not gonna sit here and list a bunch of non-Kosher clothes to wear because at the end of the day, most of us women aren’t stupid. We know what sexy looks like and some of us like how it feels. So the clothes you have that you deem sexy are the red flag raisers you should reconsider. And covering up doesn’t equate frumpy and dumpy. You can keep it covered and keep it classy. You can be modest and still like what you’re wearing.
And if you’re a Christian like me, then remember: you don’t just choose modesty because it’s a New Testament command (see 1 Timothy 2:9-10, 1 Peter 3:1-4), but we do so for a love for God and others. We want to please God. Sensuality, lustfulness, selfishness, all of that displeases Him. If we truly grasp all that God the Father did for us when He sent His Son to this earth to love and die for us, we won’t have a problem covering up some or reconsidering our wardrobe to ensure it’s honorable to Him. He wants us to “not only look out for our own interests, but for the interests of others as well.” That means if you choosing your clothing more wisely will help some fellow Christian brothers not to stumble, then you’ve just pleased God with that unselfish and considerate decision.
At the end of the day, I’m not modest for legalism or man’s sake, but for Christ’s sake, and for a love for Him and others. I also want to be a good example for women, because I love you, too. 🙂
Did this resonate with you? Feel free to share your thoughts in a comment.