04 Jun You Are What You Wear
By Dianne Wood
Dianne is the mother of eight, and holds a degree in Mathematics and Science. She has kindly given permission to re-write this article that she had written for a local newspaper.
We all know the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes. He believed he was wearing the finest clothing in the kingdom. He was at the forefront of fashion. He would be the envy of all who saw him. All his friends and advisors told him he “looked great.” There was only one problem–he was naked, and only one small child had the courage to speak out and say what the rest knew. We all need to become little children in our society today when it comes to modesty. Modesty is an important character trait we should all be teaching to our children.
Our clothes, speak volumes about us. Complete strangers may be able to surmise our gender, age, ethnicity, economic status, education, vocation, personality, and even character based upon what we wear. Employers, teachers, parents, and peers will all take notice of our attire. First impressions count.
Modesty is a natural tendency to guard what is most personal and demands a delicate education. Contrary to popular belief, modesty is not the result of social conditioning, it is not repression or taboo and we do not have to be liberated from it. By teaching our children not to steal we are not in any way restricting their freedom or traumatizing them. We are helping them to learn right from wrong. In the same way a child needs to be educated in modesty.
The word modesty literally means to have a proper estimation of one’s own self. This means to not think too highly or too lowly of yourself, but to really have peace in knowing who you are. This is why modesty is all but lost in society today, because people are very confused about who they are. Those who have rejected dress codes have done so because they have rejected any boundaries, any standards of measure in regard to sexuality.
Modesty is a spontaneous tendency to hide personal intimacy from the curiosity of others. Modesty is decency and discretion. Intimacy characterizes a person while the loss of intimacy is the loss of self-dominion, self-mastery, and freedom. All around us we can see violations of our intimacy: movies, TV shows, commercials, billboards and bus shelter advertisements are often immodest.
We must teach children the reason for modesty and the appropriate time and place to communicate personal intimacy. A frivolous person easily gives up his intimacy because he does not understand its worth. But a person with a richer personality has a stronger sense and appreciation of intimacy.
We often assume that our character defects are a deep hidden secret from the world. But this is not so. Our body reveals our inner person to the world. It is difficult for the body to deceive and they are finding that many diseases common today are actually caused by stress and how we handle it. A person can lie or do evil, but there is a difference between the natural face of a person living the truth or living a deception. All mothers can spot a child who is lying. The body reveals attitudes and interior sentiments just as the face reveals the person.
It is up to women to lead this cause in our society by returning to elegance in their fashion. We lead young girls by example by wearing outfits that are not too small or too tight. Women have to be an example to the children around them in their dress, posture, and gestures. When a woman loses her modesty she loses her own personal mystery. A man needs to look at a woman and discover there is something more to her then her body, that she is a person, and she has a personality. Modesty is the character trait we all need to have. Until we all become like the little child who spoke up to the Emperor we will continue to pollute our society.