Yoga Pants and Modesty and Having Daughters

Apparently yoga pants have broken the Internet again. The Christian part of it, anyway.

teensfriendswimAll of the defenses and rebuttals to the most recent “I don’t wear yoga pants,” blog have been far more interesting than the blog itself. On one side we have: “Women should cover up every single curve, because modest is hottest!” The other side is all: “The purity culture shames women into thinking it’s their job to protect men from lusting. So I have the right to wear whatever I want.” Both extremes are… extreme.

(And there are many who land in the middle, with really good points, so I’m not throwing their babies out with the bathwater.)

I 100% agree that it’s not a woman’s job to keep men from lusting. I mean, I’m pretty sure if we all wore burkas or mom-jeans, guys would still find a way to lust if they were set on it.

But swinging the pendulum the other way, like we think we should be able to show up at work in a bikini or go out to dinner in the nude or whatever, is missing the point too.

So if it’s not our job to “protect” men from their sin, why should we cover up some of our womanly assets?

The answer to that question is basically the same reason I never post naked pictures of my babies on social media. Am I trying to protect some pedophile from sinning? Absolutely not. I am protecting my babies, because no one has a right to look at them that way.

And I kind of feel the same about the whole yoga pants/modesty/purity culture debate, because I have a daughter that’s rocketing towards preteen.

I don’t think I’ve ever said the word “modesty” to her, and probably never will. Our conversations are more like, “Lady, you need to put some shorts under your 2-sizes-too-small dress, because everyone doesn’t need to see your panties.” Or, “Girly, that shirt hangs awkward. Either put a tank top underneath or pick something different.”

Why? Because l want to protect some dude from lusting? No. Because SHE is valuable and beautiful. And no lecherous eyes have a right to her.

Society tells my girl she is a sex object. I don’t care how enlightened and feministic we think we are, this message still rings out so strong to women. As she gets older, media is going to consistently yell in her face that the more skin she shows, the more desirable she is. I want to hand her something better.

She doesn’t have to be half naked to be gorgeous. She is beautiful in her track pants and a tee. Or her striped skirt paired with a flowered top. Or her plain school uniform.

Since when did dressing in micro-minis and mid-drift tops become women-empowering, anyway? Why are we so afraid to tell girls that they’re more than how sexy they can look?

I want my daughter to know that respecting herself is beautiful.

If that means I continue to encourage her toward something akin to “modesty,” I’m ok. Because she is too precious to be on open display.

She is worth it.


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