Did you know there is a Christian dress code? Evidently there is. Modesty is a hot topic in the homeschool movement and in conservative Christian churches. Some people have been taught or have assumed the responsibility of telling others, specifically women, how they should be dressing. In fact, this is a hot topic I’ve previously discussed:
Some rules that come to mind (from various sources as I think over my years in the homeschool movement and legalistic pastors):
- nothing should be showing above knees
- be careful with v-neck shirts
- be careful with necklaces which lay on women’s chest
- be careful with purse straps so that the strap does not go across chest and draw attention to breasts
- top necklines must be no lower than 4 finger widths below collarbone
- bras or bra straps must never bee seen
- be careful with panty lines – they should never be seen
- no form-fitting pants (Spandex-type material)
- dresses must have 2-inch minimum sleeves (no spaghetti straps)
- no back or strapless dresses
- swimsuits must go to knee, must cover shoulders
The idea with modesty that we’ve been taught is that guys are visually attracted to women’s bodies and what we wear can cause men to “stumble.” We have been told we need to be careful to not cause men to stumble by our choice of attire. You see, it’s our fault if they stumble because we have big boobs or nice looking booty.
I have read in some Patriarchal circles, the father must approve his daughter’s clothes before she can wear them in public. Sometimes the daughter will model her outfit in front of her father, turn around, so he can inspect the outfit from front to back and make sure no female body parts are too obvious to the visible eye. I just don’t know what to do with this kind of thing. It makes me feel uncomfortable. In one church I attended, the pastor required that the bride’s wedding dress be approved by him before he would agree to marry the couple.
Last year when I wrote an article on swimsuits, I ran across a website which focuses on modesty. I found it again. Not only is modesty the primary focus, it appears that the site may earn money because it features ads, a modesty clothing store, etc. There is a review section and that startled me then and now it has come back to haunt me. My friend, Emily, tweeted yesterday about a situation regarding this particular website.
Here’s the scoop. The website is called “Is This Modest?” Here’s the bio from the site:
On this website, he yanks photos off the internet without permission (based on Twitter conversations I read) and visually tears the photos apart letting his readers know whether the young (underage minors) lady’s attire passes his modesty test. DING, DING, DING, DING – JA’s creepo meter just went off big-time.
Check out Emily’s tweet in which she informs a Twitter friend that the Christian Modesty Police blogger, the 36-yr old man, has lifted her picture for use on his site in order to tear it apart for his personal modesty test review.
Here’s one of his reviews of a senior photo:
I have no idea what she’s wearing under the blanket, but the heels aren’t high. The top is a bit concerning. First, it’s rather tight. Second, the fact that the outer layer is so opened up means that it looks like we’re getting a peak at her underthings—and they aren’t very high.
Ick. Just ick.
Dear Mr. Christian Modesty Police,
As the mother of two gorgeous daughters, I am appalled that you:
- took pictures of young ladies off the internet to use on your site without asking permission. That is not good netiquette and certainly not the kind of behavior we would expect from a Christian.
- dressed down young ladies to determine if they passed your modesty test
Did you consider how the young ladies might feel knowing you have basically undressed them publicly? Do you care about the young lady’s feelings whatsoever?
Do you allow your wife to make decisions on what clothes she wears? Do you tell your daughters what is appropriate or inappropriate attire? Would you want someone to take photos of your daughter to use as they see fit? Is your pastor aware that you are doing this? Are you allowed to give your pastor’s wife the modesty test?
Dude, you are a MAN. This is not your responsibility to be looking at our young girls to see if their tops are hugging their breasts or if their skirts or pants are too tight for their rear ends. This is highly inappropriate.
Please stop gazing at pictures of young ladies in this way. Pull down the review section of your blog. As a guy, it is inappropriate for you to be doing modesty reviews. Turn the site over to women. Good grief. I need to just hit publish so I don’t get myself in trouble.