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May 22, 2011



Great blog! And I particularly appreciated your acknowledgement that "preteens and teens are sexual beings, that's not all they are. Their sexuality is only one component of their person-hood, and one that they certainly have not yet mastered." It is so important that we take responsibility for setting good examples and providing thorough education and conversation. It is foolish to try to shelter girls entirely, but that doesn't mean that just standing idly by is the appropriate step either. Conversations about sexuality (at an reasonable age) ought to be focused on learning to understand it, manage it and balance it with individual beliefs and values; and more importantly, making the exploration and understanding of those values and beliefs paramount. Sexual exploration will happen and is natural, but done with a foundation of deepening self-knowledge and growing self-assurance it will result in safer behavior, fewer broken hearts, and more meaningful lessons learned.

Andrea Ramsey99

Love this! Thank you for shedding light on this controversial subject.


I have to wonder how many other women feel exposed the way you did when they go out in revealing clothing, but do it anyway because they feel like they have to. We think of exposing one's body as a sign of confidence, but it's really the opposite. It shows you have so little faith in your personality that you have to use your body to get attention.

Cady Driver

Great point, Christina (and great blog, Melissa!)....I remember when I was younger and going through my strange fashion phase....I remember seeing women who dressed classy and modestly and wanting to be secure enough to dress like them. Secure enough in the sense that they didn't care if they attracted attention, they were just comfortable in their own skins and didn't feel the NEED to be constantly turning men's heads.

I wanted to be that way, but I struggled with wanting to attract attention and then being uncomfortable with the attention....lol....just like you, Melissa.

My question is, why do young girls NEED to attract men when they aren't of marrying age? And even when women ARE of marrying age, shouldn't the attraction run deeper than skin? The type of man that you would attract with your push up bra probably isn't the hard working, good father, faithful and honest type.


I am trying to teach my daughter that she can be fashionable nut in a tasteful way. Attracting attention to her style rather than her body. I recently found a new clothing collection at
the focus being modest and fashionable at the same time.


I have looked high and low for appropriate clothing for my daughter that was not selling sex... it was difficult to find. Either the clothes were too risque or they looked like you were entering a convent. It is not realistic to expect our daughters to feel "cool" in those. Talk about lowered self esteem! I recently found a website that offers modest but fashionable clothing for teens michaela-noel.com very impressed with their product.

Robin Goodfellow

Cady Driver,


You're more likely to attract a gay man, with bra specifically.

Misinterpretation of what you said aside, I still disagree. Your statement suggests that a man with a libido can't be a "hard working, good father, faithful and honest type".

Are you saying that I would prefer to marry a woman I view as homely, vs a woman I find myself sexually attracted to?

I'm not saying I'd look to marry a woman who looked like she came off the cover of Maxim though... I'd prefer Chatelaine ;)

^Seriously, if there's a market for it, you could combat "Cosmo" with a trendy version of Chatelaine for a younger audience.


Even if the clothes are meant to attract men, what happens after that? What is the message behind advertising if not to try the product the first and become yet another brand among the many?

Even if they got a boyfriend this way,through the use of the promise of sex alone,how can anyone expect to have sex all the time? not even prostitutes and porn stars have sex all the time so to give the wrong message through clothing is pretty much deceptive to a man sense of intuition and recognition of the subtle and not so subtle directions at hand.

Nurit Weizman

Melissa, I love this blog! We need articles like this more than ever--articles which speak up about the discomfort we have ALL felt and the society that seeks to take advantage of it.

'Your statement suggests that a man with a libido can't be a "hard working, good father, faithful and honest type"'

Robin, this is a common mistake I see in discussions of modesty. What Cady was saying is that a potential good, hardworking, and faithful husband is more likely to look out for a woman who focuses more on her internal assets than her physical ones. This does NOT mean to imply that these kind of men are "so saintly" that they simply don't have a sexual drive--why would it have to mean that? Instead, it means that the drive he has is going to be invested into a relationship of depth, love, and commitment. Which, to be honest, will be much more sexually fulfilling because it's coming from a profound connection to another human being.

"Are you saying that I would prefer to marry a woman I view as homely, vs a woman I find myself sexually attracted to?"

Again, no one here is implying that marriage and sexual attraction are mutually exclusive (just the opposite). Because that implication would suggest that modesty is about nullifying your sexuality, which is absolutely not the case. Modesty is about keeping sexuality at it's finest, at it's most pleasurable--when it's experienced by a couple who look at eachother and see a soul, not just a body. To further understand the differece between prudery and modesty, check out Wendy Shalit's book, A Return to Modesty, as I often suggest people do on this blog.

Robin Goodfellow


Would it surprise you to know that I have actually read A Return to Modesty, as well as Girls Gone Mild? (Have it signed, actually lol)

I made those statements as questions because I wanted them to be discounted (by someone like yourself). I'm aware that sex-drive and such is important to the ladies who post here, but it's not something I or other men are able to assume because questioning it much further can be immodest itself.

It's mainly that there are limited means to state that modesty is not a "cop out" for physical attraction. And I agree it's about the soul beneath the person as well. When I consider courting a lady, the purity of their heart matters just as much as (if not more than) the beauty of their body. True love can't occur with misaligned hearts.

Lisa Nash

Honestly, I remember being a preteen and for me when I was skirting and crossing the boundaries of modesty it was all about power for me. When you are a young girl in this society, you have very little (if any) power. Becoming sexualized affords you some power, and while that power has caveats hanging all over it, when you are 12 you are not thinking about the pitfalls of using sexuality for power -- you are thinking about being in charge of something... anything. At least I was. Maybe my experience isn't so common, but you really just want to turn heads, to see if you can. I think girls that age don't think it through because they are so new to it. And to be honest I think that we as adult women are often playing with this same dynamic of power. It can be a tempting game to play, even if we choose not to in the end.


I love your blog! As a teenage girl myself, I know how hard it is to be fashionable but modest at the same time. Most of the times it doesn't work out. i was wondering if you remembered the name of the article you read and if you could post a link of it. I'm writing a paper on modesty and I would love to cite that article...again thank you so much for your blog!


When I was in middle/high school. I very much so wanted the clothes the popular girls wore. In my late teens the more skin I showed the better I thought I looked. I wanted to turn the head too even though it too was uncomfortable. Now rounding 30 soon and married there is nothing I love more than the pile of clothes I own that my husband has deem not out of the house clothes. Shorts I got on sale that are too short the maxi dress that shows my shoulders and doesnt stay up. I love that he doesnt want every guy in town seeing me half naked. When I am covered I feel classy. Classy ladies dont show their body parts. That is what we should teach our young girls classy is sexy and sexy is covered. Love is when a boy wants your clothes on completely to protect you from being an object.

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