I consider my cousin to be the most beautiful woman I know. Everything about her twenty-one-year-old figure, skin, lips, eyes, cheek bones--you name it, is sculpted to perfection. Not only is she perfectly gorgeous, but more importantly, she is a kind, self confident, and happy person.
In short, I love and admire her very much. That is why I was extremely excited when she decided to extend her trip to Israel and come stay with me for a few days. During this time, we shared many special conversations. One of these conversations sticks out of my mind more than any other.
As a modern Orthodox Jewish institution, my school requires that all of the women who attend my school or walk around the campus wear modest clothing with a high neckline and skirts that fall below the knee. Since she was staying in my dorm, my cousin was asked to follow the same dress code.
It happened as we were walking down a flight of stairs towards the train station. She suddenly said, "I love skirts! I feel so much more free in them than pants! I feel so much less self conscious! It's so much easier to concentrate when you aren't worrying about how everyone is judging your body in your clothing."
Hearing this from my cousin was surprising, because she rarely wears this style of clothing. I just thought she never payed attention to the constant stares she got.
For me, this experience really encompassed the essence of what makes modesty the real path towards female empowerment.