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January 02, 2006

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Mark La Roi

"One friend said that she loves to finally have a reason to be selfless and lay aside all of her "me" cares. This instinct is vital for the raising of children. To do your child justice you will have to constantly lay aside your own pleasures and pursuits and put on the mantel of adulthood."

Absolutely true! It's so unsettling to see women wearing tight, revealing clothing while pregnant. It seems like a statement of "I'm not really pregnant, see? I can still wear this stuff!" Instead of changing to really show off the pride of motherhood.

Wendy Shalit

Great point, Alexandra.

What do you make of the trend of exposing your bare tummy, even (especially?) if you are pregnant?

During the summer I noticed an alarming number of pregnant women in fancy "jogging" ensembles with their tummies simply popping out--I mean intentionally. One woman on our plane back from LA was particularly memorable, since her outfit was fuzzy pink and her naked tummy looked near 9 months pregnant.

I was filled with anxiety that she would go into labor and spoil her whole "look."

Seriously, I realize the message is supposed to be, "I am still a sex object even though I'm 9 months pregnant!" but judging from the glances of the other passengers, most people weren't thinking that. (More like, "Yikes!")

hmmm

Didn't Demi Moore start that trend?

Still, even that was a pose for a magazine cover, I doubt she walks down the street that way.

sunnyday

"It's as if all maternity fashions were designed with Britney Spears in mind." -- Hahaha, I couldn't help but laugh at this one. Seriously, maybe a lot of those who design maternity wear have never been pregnant and are thus not addressing pregnant women's real needs. Besides, the "hot mama" image is being taken way too seriously, and what you have because of this are moms (pregnant or not) trying to look "hot".

Alexandra, thanks for your post. I, for one, really appreciate all the insight into maternity and motherhood.

I remember that pregnant Demi magazine cover. Being a first, it was quite visually arresting although I can't say that I liked it. It's like a "fake natural attitude" as regards pregnancy, as in "let us celebrate this joyous transformation of the female body and get natural about exposing it." Um, pregnant or not, the human body is not for public consumption.

Alexandra Foley

Regarding the "Demi" phenomenon of pregnant celebrities posing with bared tummies: on the one hand I like the fact that the message is that you are still sexy when you are pregnant. I think this is true and, more importantly, my husband seems to think so. But in the end it is just another manifestation of immodesty taken to a new level. As for the "look" of wearing your exposed belly as an accessory: this is just sad. Like we see all the time with immodesty it is just an attempt to unveil something that is normally veiled. The taboo tummy now comes out for all to ooh and ahh. I'll leave mine inside my shirt, thank you.

ALLIE

I have a comment but it is a little off topic. How do people feel about breast feeding in public? Is this also immodest? Just wondering. I personally wouldn't want a room full of strangers-especially men looking at my breasts. But I wonder sometimes if that is really based on modesty issues? Comments please.
And on a style note:
There are some really cute jeans made for pregnant women that sit right under the belly, you can wear these with very flattering empire waisted tops. And some celebrities did get it right for instance Catherine Zeta Jones and Reese Witherspoon. These ladies looked chic and stylish without flashing their tummies.
ALLIE

Sunnyday

I think breastfeeding is just like anything else that is done in the privacy of one's room, or in the absence of a room then somewhere away from other people. I mean, for me it's such a personal thing. It's not the same as feeding your toddler with baby food using a teaspoon, or giving your infant a bottle of milk, right? Others may feel differently, I'm not really sure. However, there are maternity tops that are designed in such a way as to enable mothers to nurse (I assume in cases of "emergency") while still keeping their bosom from view. I actually admire the designer who thought of this =)

Alexandra Foley

I was wondering if the topic of breastfeeding in public would come up and I am glad that it did. In general, I am torn. I know a woman who will tell people who are offended by her breastfeeding that she will no longer breastfeed in public when they start telling ever woman who is immodestly exposing her breasts, for no other reason than fashion, to kindly cover up. Her point being you (men, presumably) don't mind it when it is sexual but when I am feeding my needy baby you get all bent out of shape because it is destroying your perverted notion that breast are just for your pleasure.

I can relate to this in the sense that people should be more modest on the whole and that feeding a baby is a necessary thing but I also think that women can be a little "in your face" about nursing in public. There have certainly been occasions that I have done it but I try to be as covert as possible. Isn't that really the best you can do in some situations e.g. airplanes? I also have to confess that I am not particularly good at breastfeeding covertly (for some women this seems to be easy, for me it is always a challenge) and so I am extra cautious to cover up or go somewhere else. What do others say?

Wendy Shalit

Alexandra,

You took the words out of my mouth. This has always baffled me--I mean people who make a big issue out of women breastfeeding in public, not the women themselves.

I know this might surprise people because as a modesty blog, we might be expected to take the opposite position.

But I think it's a more complicated subject that something you can be simply "for" or "against."

Personally, I would only nurse in private, but the women I have seen breastfeeding in public have done so quite discreetly. It's one thing if you're against all public exposure of breasts, then at least you're consistent.

But I've long felt that there's something odd about people who don't think twice about seeing exposed breasts left and right, but the moment you attach a baby to that breast--and even if you cover up--it's suddenly a big problem.

Isn't there something illogical about this?

This is just a theory of mine, but I think it's all part of wanting to detach sex from its consequences. If you're viewing women primarily as sex objects, then it's taboo to be reminded of the link between sexuality and motherhood.

Alexandra Foley

I definitely think your theory is correct, Wendy. Clearly being "freaked" by breastfeeding is part of our cultural illness that desires to make sex just for kicks and not a beautiful part of procreating. Procreating and kicks, too
:-)

Ashlie

I have to say that this is the first time I have stumbled onto your blog, due to a link on a friends site, but I found it quite refreshing to read.

I am 6 months pregnant with my first right now, and I feel like I gripe about maternity clothes every time I desperately try to find something. My question to my husband each time is, "Why do maternity clothes have even deeper V necks than any other shirt... I mean I know women's cleavage gets bigger, but does that mean the hole needs to?"

Thanks for your perspective!

Liat Bensimon


I wanted to inform you that I created a Modest Exercise Skirt (i.e., EXERSKIRT) that allows one to be comfortable while exercising, without compromising their modesty.

To view it, please visit www.miraclothes.com

Liat Bensimon

By way of introduction, my name is Liat Bensimon, and I am from Miami, FL. In my quest to combine my desire to participate in athletic events and remain modest, I created a patent-pending Modest Exercise Skirt (i.e. EXERSKIRT). This skirt has "gym shorts" attached to it and allows for the full range of mobility, all while adhering to the laws of Modesty.

I feel that my skirt would be perfect for the modest women in the Modest community, for both exercise and for casual attire, since they care about modesty, yet are engaged in the every day world.

In the meantime, you can view more information on my website at www.miraclothes.com, or email me at liat@miraclothes.com

Thanks, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Liat Bensimon Mira Clothes, LLC "Fashionable & Modest Exercise Clothing" www.miraclothes.com Liat@miraclothes.com

elaine

I really love Shade CLothing for modest clothing! I always find something to either layer and make current things modest or to wear alone and great maternity tops as well!

Feel free to use PS CODE PS155 to get 10% off your first order and 5% off each additional order! Coupon never expires! Works on new and clearance items.

www.shadeclothing.com/~ps~ps155

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