These three words symbolize a truth that is not always respected or even valued in our culture today. We have all seen it, you know what I am talking about...mistaking really short skirts for a wide belt or shorts that are so super-duper short that they look like tight panties. Seriously, more is less! In working with teenagers, I have a rule with the young ladies called "The 3 B's." At any Youth Group/church outing or social event, the "3 B's" must be covered...butt, breasts, and belly. They always laugh at it and sometimes it makes several of the young gentlemen turn slightly red, but seriously these are things that our young women need to be reminded of and taught about.
We as women have A LOT of power. I am not talking about in some crazy feminist way where we are taking over the world. But, we hold so much power in what we can ask and command of men. The way we dress is a way which really is telling the world how we view our body/sexuality and self-worth. The way you dress could say, "Come here boys, check out what I got," or it could say "I respect and love myself enough to where I don't have to show it all."
I am not suggesting that women wear turtlenecks and long skirts 365 days a year, but let the way you dress be modest, elegant, and classy all rolled into one. Lose the tight booty shorts. Dump those skirts that have huge slits. Pitch the low-cut tops that let everything fall out.
God made women mysteriously in the world as co-workers in creation with man. The physical body plays a beautiful and unique role in the creating of a new human person through the marital act. Woman is made for the sacred; she is Heaven's instrument on earth. However, in our culture, sometimes our beauty is clouded and dimmed by the de-meaning of a woman's value by merely physical features. Women need to re-caputre their dignity and mystery by recognizing that less is really more.
We are so blessed to have so many wonderful witnesses in our Catholic tradition that challenge and affirm the true beauty, modesty, and dignity of women. The Blessed Mother, our mother and Jesus' mother. Our Lady is the perfect example of what it means to be a real woman and is here to pray for each of us and help us claim back what society has taken.
Pope John Paul II. People who say the Catholic Church doesn't love, support, or affirm women is absolutely crazy. And this Pope is an example of the Church's respect for women. Pope John Paul II wrote the most beautiful letter called "On the Dignity and Vocation of Women" in 1988. In this document, he paves the way for a "new feminism" based on the dignity of women as women and human persons (I challenge all women in the Lord to take a look at this truly amazing work!)
There are some amazingly awesome books I have read that I highly encourage young women to read and explore to help re-claim the idea that "modest is hottest!"
- "The Thrill of the Chaste" by Dawn Eden
- "Mulieris Dignitatem" (On the Dignity and Vocation of Women) by Pope John Paul II
- "Sex God" by Rob Bell
- "Theology of the Body for Beginners" by Christopher West
These are some of my favorites that inspire me and constantly remind me of what my first job as a woman of God is...and that's holiness. So the next time you are walking through H & M or Forever 21 looking for something cute to buy, remember...modest is hottest :-)