Monday, March 9, 2015

Evolving, Generational Understanding of Modesty: I am Glad Views are Changing

Some time ago, I was reading an online thread in response to a post about modesty, and one commenter shared an experience where the young men at a church activity were not concerned about how she was dressed but, instead, it was their mothers who objected and made this young woman feel attacked and rejected.  She stressed that she was dressed modestly by any normal standard - but her breasts were larger than the other girls', and she couldn't hide her figure.  I was saddened that someone dressed properly, even by a standard that is more conservative than what I would advocate would be judged and made to feel bad in a situation like that - but what I found interesting is that it wasn't the young men who were concerned; it was their mothers.

This experience happened decades ago, but it reinforces one thing that is encouraging:

Youth tend to be more open and less dogmatic than adults.

I think we all know that, but the encouraging thing to me is that our youth right now (and I am including young adults in that category) simply see the world differently than their parents and grandparents and are moving into "adult" roles in the Church at an earlier age than previously - especially the young women. I really like that movement, because I believe it will change the way we talk about things like modesty.

One simple yet important example of that is missionary attire for young women. My oldest daughter served a mission in 2013-2014.  She sent pictures regularly, and her mission had a mission blog where pictures were posted regularly. What the young women were wearing in those pictures was modest, by the best definition of that word - but much of what they were wearing would not have been allowed back when I served my mission. The colors, the way the clothes fit, the styles - almost everything about their clothing was different than when I served, and that is a very, very good thing. Seriously, my daughter was able to wear a stylish pencil skirt and blouse combination that didn't hide her figure in any way, and she was seen as modest - as she is. My daughter didn't have to worry about the reactions of "the mothers", even while she was serving a mission.

If such attire now is approved for missionaries, it won't be taken away when they return. Most of them won't allow that, and the young men who serve missions with them will be used to seeing them dressed that way.

It seems like a little thing, but when it comes to culture, it's not as little as it seems.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Could we get them to wear more attractive shoes?