Modesty is for Chumps

“What do you think?” I twirled around in my new jogging outfit, showing off the short shorts and the built in band sports bra that shows through the open sides. It fits perfectly and is the best/cutest work out gear I’ve worn since my track uniform my freshman year of high school. I know that being cute doesn’t really matter when you’re getting ready for a 5k but being comfortable does matter and if there is one thing I know about Utah it is that by the end of April it is HOT. If I’m going to run a 5k in 90 degree weather I want to not be trapped in a prison of cotton and sweat. The breathable material and open sides are perfect for that. 

My mom made a face. “Are you comfortable being in public wearing that?”

I dropped my arms to my side just a little bit disappointed. I thought she would love it. She liked it when I pulled it out of the bag. “You hate it.”

“No. I just want to be sure that you’re okay being seen like… that.”

There’s a full length mirror in the next room. I walked over. I twisted and turned in front of it, checking how it fit from every angle I could see. I didn’t see anything wrong with the clothes. There was an awful lot of pale skin on the sides but its only the first week that it has been warm, I’ll get tanner and I’m not too concerned about looking gorgeous while I run. “Yes,” I stepped back into the room where my mom sat. “Yes I am.” 

I had shown my mom because I needed another opinion on the outfit and she was the only person who was around. Since she had refused to give me a real opinion I had to make the choice myself. My choice was yes. Yes I like this. I like the way it looks and I like that it is comfortable so I’m going to wear it. That’s how I make most clothing decisions.

Does it fit me? 

Am I comfortable? 

Do I like the way it looks?

Then yes I am going to wear it.

Unfortunately a lot more things fit that criteria than most people, especially living in this state, would like. Crop-tops, semi-sheer flowing tank tops, shorts that are a little bit short, and most recently those tank-tops that you wear the band crop-top underneath, have all made the cut. I’m not being immodest, I’m not dressing a certain way to get attention (in fact, when I’m out in public I’d rather be ignored), I am just wearing something that I am comfortable in and would like to be allowed to do so without being told that I need to cover up or dress “more appropriately.” 

I am covered. If you’re worried about me getting raped I can tell you  2 things; 1) that the way a person dresses has nothing to do with whether or not they get raped and 2) that I’m armed and dangerous. So don’t worry, I’m fine.The modesty police can just cool it’s jets.

I have come to the conclusion over the last several years that modesty is for chumps. There are extremely vocal people in my town who have taken the job of enforcing modesty standards upon themselves. Their argument is always that somehow the way I am dressed changes the men around me’s opinion of me. That somehow allowing people to see my body, my shoulders, legs, or whatever else, hurts my future husband. it doesn’t. I want girls to know this. I am not an extension of male sexuality. I try not to dress in a way that I think would make the people around me feel uncomfortable and I certainly don’t flaunt myself I am just more comfortable with being less covered than other people are and that is okay. You should dress a way that makes you comfortable and let other people dress the way that they are comfortable because seriously I cease to be able to function at 88.5 degrees so if you expect me to leave my house in the summer months you had better let me dress a way that I think I can function. 

I guess the point is don’t be the modesty police. If you are comfortable and like what you’re wearing then you should be able to wear that without having to worry about everyone else’s sense of modesty.

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