Modesty in 2018
Modesty is not a new concept for me as someone that (for the most part) doesn’t conform to trends in the fashion world but rather am inspired by seeing the clothing in front of me. I’ve never been the girl with her cleavage hanging out in her dress, except that one day at work when I experienced an unfortunate wardrobe malfunction and all my shirt buttons popped open *face palm*… I’m not crazy about micro-mini skirts either. During my nightlife years, I found myself in a unique situation. In an environment where the most common choice of attire is skin bearing – I was always the one without a dance partner. I would wonder if it was how I looked, my choice of dress, my hair colour? Why was I not approachable?
It was only after asking a few male friends their two cents that it became clear that modesty in a bar environment was a sign of status. For a lack of a better way to say it: I was unapproachable because I looked like a challenge. A woman that carried herself well, the mother hen of the group keeping tabs on the group at all times and my neckline wasn’t plunging like my counterparts. I was clearly not the type to be easily swayed or taken advantage of. Is it possible to give off such a strong message by not exposing a lot of skin?
Over the years around awards show time, I have made jokes about celebrities non-existent dresses. The invisible dress, you know the ones I mean that are basically body hosiery with sequins and sparkle over key parts… As stunning as the bodies are that grace them, it makes me wonder who will be the first to simply walk out there naked. To some, modesty is an outdated idea but to others it provides a sense of empowerment. Whether you are empowered by showing off your curves or choosing to hide them.
“…it would feel deeply defeatist to concede women would chose to cover their bodies in response to men’s inability to respect them. Most women who work in fashion are acutely aware that women tend to dress for themselves, not for men, and it would be a shame to assume that #MeToo has caused that to change. I do wonder, however, if women are starting to question the fourth-wave feminist line that dressing in an overtly sexual way is inherently feminist. It’s an idea touted by the likes of Emily Ratajkowski and Kim Kardashian—that putting yourself and your body out there is to take public ownership of your sexuality and is, by extension, empowering. That may be true, but it’s a lot easier to say when you are Emily Ratajkowski or Kim Kardashian, whose bodies seem to be physical feats of nature.”
– “The Return of Modesty: How Covering Up Became The New Showing Off” by Grace O’Neill, Harper’s Bazaar
I was flipping through a gallery of photographs a celebrity blogger had compiled of the “Worst Dressed Celebs” recently and it had me puzzled. Usually I am on board with their opinion, sometimes you see an eccentric individual such as Lady Gaga strut out in something that makes you tilt your head with confusion. Others however, I was rather frustrated that they were on the list at all. Is there something less attractive about a woman wanting to wear a boatneck dress? I was appalled when I read about Meghan Markle being criticized for wearing that same neckline repeatedly. Before I go any further I have to simply say, her wardrobe is flawless, the epitome of perfection. That is all.
When it comes to my personal style, any time I think I want to look a little more, shall I say, sexy… I try to wear something more revealing. Let me tell you straight up that I never make it out of the house with it on! My confidence level is increased when I don’t try as hard and I wear things that fit my curves rather than loads of spandex, plunging necklines and constantly adjusting spanx so I can pretend my stomach is smaller than it rightfully is.
I was attending a birthday gathering in the party hub area recently and I found myself watching the early twenty year olds as they walked by. Not a single one was wearing a little bar dress (as per the norm when I was going out dancing) but rather flat sandals, jean shorts and a tank top. That’s it, that’s all. Nothing exciting, a lot even had turtleneck body suits on with their shorts. Despite the overwhelming media promoting minimal clothing, these girls were for the most part covered up. Question is, will the fashion industry return to having a greater respect for modesty some day? Or has it already begun?