In my last year of High School, I chose to attend my High School Ball wearing an immodest dress. And you know what? I did not feel bad about it once while I was shopping for that “perfect” dress. It was not till I got to the event that I saw my surroundings and felt apologetic about the “beautiful” dress I was wearing.
I regretted every hem, every sparkle, every pleat, everything! about the dress and the choice I made. There was nothing beautiful about the dress. Not only was I in the world, but I was of the world. I take full responsibility for my decision. We only look back to learn from our mistakes and be better tomorrow. Right? Well, this is me using that past learning to shepherd my two young daughters and every other young lady to a better modest future.
If you have not noticed, it is a standard culture, the “norm” for a young teen to wear immodest clothing to the ball. It is perceived normal because we see it everyday on television, friends and in retail stores. I recently went shopping with my niece for her ball gown and I probably saw one or two modest gowns. It was quite sad.
It takes me seconds to find a sleeveless dress and hours, I mean hours… to find a dress with sleeves and its length reaching my knees! “I sometimes wish every girl had access to a sewing machine and training in how to use it. She could then make her own attractive clothing.” These were the words of a wise man encouraging young girls to respect and love themselves by being modest.
About 70 – 80% of girls who attend a High School Ball are immodest. In fact, there was no one, not one girl at my high school ball that came modest. I reasoned with myself it was okay to wear a sleeveless dress because that is what you wear to a ball. I fell into the spacious trap of fake beauty and phony self worth. What was perceived to be normal became more acceptable to me as a young woman.
I thought I was geared up and able to withstand any storm of temptation. But instead I was gradually being pushed over, slowly being bent by the everyday wind of teenage insecurity, social status and wanting to belong. A lot of this vein wishful thinking in the teenage mind is achieved by wearing clothes that society reveals as “popular, fashionable and beautiful”. Aren’t they the perfect words to lure in our precious daughters. These three words are so common and so loved in the teenage vocabulary. Literally! And that’s okay, but it is their (teenagers) definition of what it means to be popular, fashionable and beautiful that worries me.
To my sweet daughters and young teen sisters, it is not normal, it is not your standard culture and it is not expected of you to attend your ball with an immodest gown. The thirst for popularity and to look red carpet beautiful is competitive and prominent. I know, I was once in your shoes too. Believe me when I say, there is no beauty in wearing a revealing dress, but a broken heart and shattered confidence.
Clothing has shifted from being a necessity to cover our backs to an expression of wealth, social status, individuality and belonging. I know everything looks glamorous, very high fashioned and everything on fleek! I know insecurities are loud, sometimes you may think you don’t measure up or that you don’t fit in. But I promise you, you are more than that. You’re a daughter of God and a great future beyond your imagination awaits you.
If your friends are wearing immodest sought-after outfits, that’s their choice not yours. Lets be honest, there will be some coveting, but don’t let it tempt you to lower your standards. Listen to your inner self – the real you. Wear clothing to reflect your attitude, values and self confidence. You will be more respected than the young ladies who choose otherwise. You will feel more confident and more accepting of who you are. So many times I wish I had chosen a ball gown that reflected me as a young woman and daughter of God. Instead I chose to follow the expectations of society. I missed an opportunity to lead and be a shining light to others. Don’t make the same mistake.
People may think this is hypocritical of me, but when one repents and corrects his/her actions, their wrongs are no longer remembered and no more a hypocrite. Right? Otherwise everyone would be hypocrites. I learnt a valuable lesson on my ball night and I vowed that I will never wear such inappropriate clothing. Don’t miss that crucial opportunity to be a shining light to the world. Be strong and be alert.
Now, to my dear mommys, don’t let your precious girl fall into this “beautiful made” trap. Don’t let society teach and dictate to our daughters what they should wear, how and who they should be. Society has created an immodest culture that is prevailing and regarded normal, Again, It is not normal. What is considered normal is everything and anything that entices us to follow God and do good. It may be a little hard because your daughter will pull at your arms and legs and lead you to that immodest dress. The dress becomes even more appealing because it will save you some pocket money. Perhaps you can pull her arms and legs towards the modest section. And if the dress is a little above your price range, buy it for her anyway! Why not spend a little more money on something that encourages your daughter to wear her standards on her sleeves. OR you can both make it a yearly project and sew it!
As young girls and women, we all have a purpose, We all have worth and we are all very much loved. Mothers and Daughters, lets stand together for what should be regarded as normal. Let the world see our footprints of modesty. Respect our bodies and who we are as women. Stand firm, even if you have to stand alone.