Today, I have a guest post at the blog of Jory Micha. Jory is a vibrant young woman advocating for women in church leadership. My post is part of a series she is doing on purity culture. Stop by, say hi, and be blessed!
Modest is hottest. It’s a phrase that was coined a few years ago to convince Christian women that dressing modestly is sexy and attractive. Because that’s what women care about, right? The male gaze. Knowing that they’re considered pretty and desirable despite ankle-length pants and neck-high collars.
I hate this phrase and everything it communicates. Hate it, hate it, hate it.
It’s not because I like to walk around in short dresses and cleavage-baring shirts. In fact, you’d be hard pressed to find a skirt in my closet, let alone one that falls above the knee. I love pants, and I’d rather not spend my day constantly adjusting a low-cut shirt to ensure that my “girls” are properly concealed. But every time someone says, “Modest is hottest,” my shoulders go up around my ears. A friend said it on Facebook last summer, and I responded with, “True. I wore jeans outside the other day and nearly had a heat stroke.” (Perhaps not my finest moment.)
“Modest is hottest” is a phrase that needs to disappear. Immediately. It needs to be completely erased from the Christian lexicon—because it plays right into the secular objectification and hyper-sexualization of women.
Let me explain.
I know I have a series I’m supposed to be finishing up, but…sometimes…you just happen across something that begs a response. One of these days, someone is going to accuse me of grinding axes. Well, they can, because I do have an ax to grind. It’s called NO MORE OPPRESSING THE SAINTS WITH UNBIBLICAL TEACHING! That’s an ax I will grind until it becomes a toothpick.
So by now, you’re probably wondering what has my dander up. It’s this article by Pastor Rick Hermann entitled “The Theology of Yoga Pants.” It was published last spring, but I think it still deserves a response. Primarily, because 30 more articles just like it will appear in the blogosphere this year (as they do every year) the moment the average national temperature reaches 72 degrees. Continue reading