Thursday, May 23, 2013

I saw this on Facebook

I saw this posted and shared on Facebook a couple of times.  I let it go at first, but after seeing it again and again, I decided to voice my opinion to the world.  Then I decided to share it here, because I wanted Andrea to read it.

The Modesty Line

So here's my response to this.

So, I don’t want to be offensive or anything, but I totally disagree with this article. I think at some point, we need to stop worrying about supposedly “sexualizing” our little kids, and just obey. To me, it has nothing to do about anything sexual. I let my little kids run around the house in all sorts of states of undress but I make sure they’re wearing sleeves and one piece bathing suits out in public. I do teach them about being immodest and modest, and yes I have had embarrassing experiences where they’ve pointed out to others their lack of modesty. I’ve had similar experiences with people smoking as well. Should I not teach them smoking is bad? I want my kids in good habits young so it’s not even a question when they’re teenagers. I don’t even care about them being used to it for when they go through the temple and start wearing garments. Garments lengths and styles have changed ALOT over the course of the years and really isn’t my main issue. The main point for me is that prophets have asked us to dress modestly and outlined clearly in The Strength of Youth what that standard is. It’s easy to obey or easy to not obey. I am so imperfect at so many things, this is one thing, like tithing, that is a no brainer for me. As Elder L. Tom Perry said this last conference, “We must not pick and choose which commandments we think are important to keep but acknowledge all of God’s commandments. We must stand firm and steadfast, having perfect confidence in the Lord’s consistency and perfect trust in His promises.” Anyway, that’s just my opinion. And as a side note, when teaching modesty I hope I correctly teach the message of wise judgement, not judging others. I doubt there is any validity to teaching modesty=increased focus on peer’s clothing. However, studies have shown that the younger a kid attends preschool or daycare, the sooner they are aware of peer’s clothing and what is “cool” and what is not (as in brands). Which has nothing to do with what a parent teaches, just their exposure to a peer group.

And here's the author's response to my comment:

Smoking is clearly bad for your health. Wearing something sleeveless… not so much.

On the note of making a good habit of what you wear when you are young, for me the fact that my child is wearing clothing is a good habit.

I think it just depends on what you feel you want the end result to be. It’s different for everyone, even though we all belong to the same faith.

For some, they want there to never be a question of what the standards are and they want to follow exactly what has been spelled out. If something was always the rule, then your teenagers can’t question it. Done.

I get that. I really do. It makes sense for a lot of people. And I am fine if that’s the way you want to go.

But for me, and many others, our children and teenagers are capable of being modest while wearing tank tops and shorter shorts, irregardless of what FTSOY lays out as approved/not approved.

As for what is outlined in the For The Strength of Youth, I think our leaders felt like they did need to draw a line to enforce what they felt should be the standard. Many members of our church need lines drawn for them. Look at mission rule handbooks.

While many feel that this spelled out standard of modesty is something that should be unquestionable obeyed, many members in our church do not agree with it.

I do not feel that we should be drawing a sweeping line in the sand for all to adhere to. What happened to the spirit of the law?

I cannot in good conscience teach my children that something sleeveless is bad. I just don’t feel like it’s immodest, regardless of age. I feel like the FSOTY drawing lines for us to then “just obey” is not the way to go.

Clearly, I’m more of a “spirit of the law” kind of gal.

I’m hoping to teach my children the spirit of the law and let them govern themselves knowing that their clothing choices are about them and how they feel in it. I feel that how they feel about themselves and being able to recognize the spirit is far more important than a spelled out dress code that is enforced by guilt and shame.

And here's what my sister Kayli said on the matter:

So I just skimmed the article, but I got the gist. To me, the thing is, I would have been fine if she had just said, "I feel that it's okay for littler children to have a bit different standard of dress that is appropriate." Fine- I personally don't agree- but obviously people feel differently about these things. But instead, she goes on and on about sexualizing and peer shaming blah blah blah, which to my thinking is only teaching that if we rationalize something, we can do what we want. Then her daughters are more ready to do that in junior high, when there's one fashion that for this or that reason is okay in this instance, and then when they're in high school, and then when they're married. Quit making excuses. I feel like she overkilled the issue, and it almost makes it seem like she's talking herself out of her own niggling feelings of guilt.

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