Yesterday, Meridian Magazine published my article on the unintentional consequences of narrowly defining modesty and hyperfocusing only on “what girls wear.” I have written many blog posts in the past several years that have been well received, but this one has spread like wildfire. Since it was published, yesterday the article has over 90 comments and has been shared 21,000 times on Facebook! It looks like I’m not the only one who is concerned about the modesty obsession all too common phenomenon in Mormon culture and the pattern of hyperfocusing on what teen girls are wearing.
Here are a few of my concerns:
When we reduce the concept of modesty to what females wear, we are reinforcing the very thing that modesty is supposed to help avoid: the sexual objectification of women’s bodies.
Overemphasizing modesty gives others implicit permission to judge and measure a woman’s dedication to the gospel, or “worthiness,” based on physical appearance.