A Formal Definition: Lack of vanity or pretension. Moderation. Propriety.
For your consideration: Has our culture abandoned modesty?
Limits to this discussion: For today, let’s focus on physical appearance.
The word modesty struck me on a recent beach vacation. I saw so much flesh. (As in very tiny bathing suits.) But I also saw some people, obviously hailing from a different culture than mine, who were beautifully but modestly attired. I also saw a lot of “Instagramming,” as people struck pose after provocative pose for the camera.
I found myself asking:
Where’s the line on how much skin to show?
How much time is it okay to spend before a mirror or a camera?
I don’t know.
I doubt the answer is the same for every single one of us. Sadly, though, our culture nearly forbids us to even open the issue for discussion. Yet those are two significant questions, as they lead to other important considerations.
Modesty issues affect and reflect our inner selves.
- How do we feel about our appearance?
- How important is our appearance?
- How much time and money should we spend on how we look?
Our choices about modesty also affect those around us. An old saying claims that “my right to swing my fist ends just short of the tip of your nose.”
- What sort of thoughts or distractions are we provoking in other people?
- What are we teaching our children about the importance of appearance?
- What are we missing in the needs of other people when we focus on their looks (or our looks) first?
It’s not our job to decide what other people ought to wear or how they ought to use their cameras. I don’t think we need to go around looking dull or drab. But it’s time to ask hard questions about our choices, even if the answers mean we’ll live a little counter to the culture.
Let’s be rebels. Let’s be willing to be different.
So let the conversation begin! What are your thoughts about modesty?