I stumbled on this blog recently -- it's a blog about love, with photos, quotes, and general reflections. It featured this quote:
"Women wish to be loved without a why or a wherefore; not because they are pretty, or good, or well-bred, or graceful, or intelligent, but because they are themselves." -- Henri Frederic Amiel
I couldn't agree more!
And of course, being me, I thought immediately of what part modesty might play in this. I don't have anything terribly profound to say about it, except that it seems that if you dress and act in a more modest way, doing so might force another person to learn more about who you really are (and therefore, if they love you, they will love you for that) rather than just about your outward appearance. If you are generally modest then perhaps you will generally attract people who will care to take the time to know you.
I remember that when I was a teenager, I went through a phase of wanting to dress not modestly but in a cloaking, hiding sort of way, in a masculine-type of wardrobe, because I absolutely hated the way that girls were just supposed to put themselves on display, as if we were shiny objects on a store shelf -- beautiful, perfect, and completely static. I couldn't put aside my knowledge of myself as a whole person, and it made me so very angry that suddenly as I became a woman I was supposed to forget all about it, and just stand still and advertise. And be judged, not on the knowledge and personality that I had been developing for the past 15 or 16 years, but on these physical parts of myself that I didn't have much control over anyway. And of course I didn't think I was beautiful at all, which made it easier to scowl and steal my dad's old shirts.
Now when I look back on pictures of myself then, I am surprised by how sweet and young and girlish I looked -- who knew? Over time, my views about dressing became more moderate, and I am now comfortable in more feminine styles, and my skin is thick enough now that I can deal with the physical scrutiny that we can face every time we go in public. But I think that adolescent anger I felt had a lot to do with what Amiel says -- in my own way back then, with my frowny face and big black boots, I wanted to be loved for who I really was, not for how well I could put it on display.