September 11, 2013
Msgr. Charles Pope wrote a blog post about beachwear last week and included the video I’m embedding here. He inspired my post today.
It’s fair to say that most girls and women, even faithful church goers, are clueless about the message they are sending to men (and women) by the manner of their dress. Immodest non-coverage of the body is not just at the beach. It’s everywhere. Fashions are deliberately scanty, tight fitting and low cut to show off the body. I’m convinced that the dresses and tops women wear these days are intended to display the results of breast enhancement surgery, a very popular operation which nobody knows the effects of as people move into their 50s and above. If ever there was an unnecessary surgery, that is it. And will it help us get to heaven? More likely to hell.
The good Lord gave us the sixth and ninth commandments not to deprive us of fun for our uncontrolled concupiscent nature. As in every law He gave us, it is to protect us from our own stupidity. If we don’t understand why, we must pray and seek the answers. He is very happy to give them to us. The sixth and ninth commandments exist to protect the family unit and to promote, if you want to get to the bottom line on this, charity and justice between the sexes. That is, a right relationship with each other which entails valuing the other person as a human being created precious by God.
From all I’ve read, and from my own life experience, many women don’t realize that scanty clothing invites men to see them as objects, not precious human beings. Some women think that dressing like this gives them power over men of all ages who are visually stimulated easily to impurity. They couldn’t be more wrong. The greatest power a woman has is to call men to a higher degree of virtue, to direct men to the good, the true, and beautiful by her actions and dress. By dressing immodestly they are tacitly saying that they are powerless and the only way to take power over a man is by flaunting their bodies. That may work for a fleeting moment, but it’s an obstacle to a genuine relationship and an insult to both men and women for many reasons.
If we are created equal in the eyes of God and cherished equally by Him, why can’t women and men meet each other as human beings who must help one another to heaven? For sure, women inviting men to view themselves as an object perpetuates non-personhood, an idea that becomes deed in its most destructive expression through abortion and euthanasia.
The fashion industry hooks into every little insecurity an earthbound woman has with false promises of attractiveness that really aim at degradation of both men and women. Finding modest clothing that, in a sense, veils the body (not burkas, OK?) in an artful way is difficult to find on the racks at clothing stores. They, after all, are in the business of making money off the sheeple that follow whatever the latest popular icons say is the way to look. They are also de facto promoting lust. The situation is not hopeless, though. A number of entrepreneurial women have started their own design companies to produce attractive yet modest clothing. You can find many examples on the internet. Just search for “modest clothing” and all kinds of becoming items are there, some more modest than others.
So why do I say “modesty is power”? Because a modestly dressed woman can stand before God and the world without shame and be taken for a human being with skills, talents, and abilities to act for the common good if she so wills. Try that in the ordinary fashions of today. The video below, while relating the history of the bikini, mentions the results of studies done on men and what happens in their brains when viewing modestly and immodestly clad women. I would have liked Miss Rey to have worn a little jacket over the sleeveless dress, but overall she makes a good impression. If you just want to hear the results of the Princeton University study, skip to 4:16.
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R. Now and forever!
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