Honoring God and respecting the men in our lives is impossible if we try to keep up with an increasingly sexualized culture. But understanding God's definition of modesty today can complicate even the simplest shopping trip. The Bible speaks of women avoiding adornment and braided hair, but how is this relevant to today's fashion?
Just because a hot fashion trend is featured in the pages of People magazine does not mean that anyone else should dare to bare. Here are a few tongue-in-cheek looks to which we're happy to bid adieu . . .
1. Booty shorts
The original purpose of shorts—an abridged version of the ever-popular "pants"—was for people to experience greater comfort, via increased air circulation, on warmer days.
What doesn't need air, in most civil societies, is a woman's bottom. Anything south of a woman's "back" and a few inches north of her "knees" falls into the personal area known as "private." Yet a quick glance around the company picnic or a shopping mall indicates that many modern women have not gotten the memo.
In the 1970s, the earliest "booty shorts" were minimal denim cut-offs worn by Daisy Duke on the popular TV show Dukes of Hazard. I'm willing to give Daisy the benefit of the doubt by blaming her sheltered lifestyle and wily fraying fringe (no doubt the culprits). Yet today women—young and old—are choosing to bare their booties by purchasing shorts that cover no more than a Kleenex might.
Rule of thumb: Most of us don't want to see the crease between your bottom and your legs. Leave us guessing. It's better that way.
2. Peekaboo tops
Peekaboo, most often played with babies, is a game of surprise. It hinges on the thrill when a baby recognizes a hidden face that has, graciously, returned. Peekaboo, at its root, is about relationship.
Revealing peekaboo tops hint at modesty, with necklines often reaching as high as a woman's collarbone, but the suggestion is actually a ruse. These tops feature a creative "cut out" section, which serves to "frame" a woman's shoulders or bare back or, if we're really lucky, her cleavage.
Rule of thumb: Peekaboo is about the surprise of relationship. Let's keep it that way and leave it to infants—a legit segment of society for whom women's breasts actually are about healthy life-giving relationship.
3. Words-on-the-bum pants
Many women today—mostly younger ones—are using their backend real estate to communicate with others the way one might do by renting billboard space along the highway.
Margot Starbuck, award-winning writer and speaker, is a graduate of Westmont College and Princeton Theological Seminary. A TCW regular contributor and columnist, Margot speaks regularly on discipleship, justice, and living love in the world God loves. Connect with Margot on Facebook, Twitter, or at MargotStarbuck.com.