Fashioning a Response to Immodest Clothing
uncommon for parents who fight the culture on a daily basis to
assume they're alone -- that no one else shares their
But the responses I received when I wrote
a column last month about my near-futile efforts to find modest
clothing for my 13-year-old daughter, Kristin, proves otherwise.
Many parents are fighting the same fight --and quite a few were
kind enough to write me encouraging notes. The details of our
frustrating shopping trip, which yielded only two acceptable items
out of the dozens that Kristin tried on, evidently touched a
So with back-to-school season underway, let me share a few
I could go on, but you get the idea. I have a folder filed
with similar responses. They come from everywhere -- from fathers,
mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers. So let me assure the
parents reading this: You aren't alone! Thousands of
families are going through the same thing. So don't give up.
really hit the mark. I am the proud father of a beautiful,
blue-eyed 12-year-old tween. We also have body-honoring standards
of dress in our family. One of our most stressful times is clothes
shopping. … Clothes made specifically to 'adultize' our
little ones do not pass muster in our house."
we were the only ones having a problem with current fashion. Please
tell Kristin to keep on being strong for morality among her peers.
You both are needed as a witness in this world of near
"I have just
had a very similar experience (in the UK!) with my lovely
13-year-old daughter, who is also desperately battling the
conflicting messages she's getting from magazines, TV and her own
peers. She knows what's right, but she's desperate to be seen as
'cool.' We read the article together, and it really helped her to
know there are other girls like her out there -- and also other
mums like me!"
"My wife and
I have two beautiful teenage daughters. Every time she takes them
bathing-suit shopping, she comes home exasperated. The girls try
their new suits on for me, I complain that they're too immodest,
they complain that these were the most modest ones they
And don't despair -- there are modest alternatives. Some readers
Lands' End and , both of which feature one-piece suits and
"tankinis." In my book, , I list two others: ("an alternative to the promiscuous fashions
that are prevalent in clothing stores today") and ("clothing your father would approve of").
There are many others. As one reader said, "If you Google 'modest
swimsuits,' you'll find literally thousands of options."
Still, even with an array of options, it can be tough to take a
stand in favor of modest clothing. But it can be done. Just ask
some of the friends Kristin has brought to our house.
Occasionally, a girl visits wearing something inappropriate -- a
midriff-baring shirt, a short skirt, a low neckline. I smile and
say, "God made you a person of value. You're somebody special who
deserves to be respected. So when you're in my home, I want you to
dress in a way that reflects the treasure you are. So let's go
upstairs. You can pick out anything you like to cover up while
you're here." There may be a gasp -- often, nobody's ever told them
that their body is a treasure to be respected. But then they get
it. And you know what? A bond is created, and they appreciate what
Women and girls who decide to dress modestly often have another
surprise in store -- men and boys treat them differently. In the
book "Dressing with Dignity," former model explains why:
"I believe it is because, subconsciously, men can read women's body
language. If they see a woman who dresses with dignity and carries
herself with grace and femininity, they pick up on that. They take
it as a sign to approach her with the respect, reverence and honor
a woman ought to have."
Exactly. And if a girl dresses like a streetwalker, they pick up
the opposite message. Is that the signal we want our daughters to
I'll close with something Muhammad Ali's daughter says her father
"Where do you find diamonds? Deep down in the ground, covered and
protected. Where do you find pearls? Deep down at the bottom of the
ocean, covered up and protected in a beautiful shell. … Your
body is sacred. You're far more precious than diamonds and pearls,
and you should be covered, too."
So hang in there. You'll be glad you did.
First appeared on World Net Daily.