Dear Rhonda & Dr. Cheri: Modesty isn’t only about clothing
Dear Rhonda and Dr. Cheri,
I’m a lot older than my wife, who is 39. We have two teenage daughters.
Everything I say causes the girls to accuse me of being old-fashioned, “Daaaaad, no one thinks like that now.”
Our girls dress in revealing clothes, to the point that I can see half their bodies. Everything is too tight, too short, too transparent, and too much. They should be embarrassed.
My wife dresses in a classy way and has a classy demeanor. She doesn’t show everything off to everyone. She’s humble about her talents and beauty.
My wife said they’ll grow out of this stage. She says most Millennial teens are the same way.
She’s also a Millennial and I’m a Baby Boomer, who wasn’t a hippie. Am I just an “old-fashioned” white guy?
Being a “white guy,” doesn’t have anything to do with modesty.
Also, the most recent definition of the Millennial time frame, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, includes Americans born between 1982 and 2000. Technically, your wife isn’t a true Millennial. Today’s youth don’t like being lumped in with the negative connotations of Millennials.
However, it doesn’t matter what generation you come from, modesty still means the same in appearance and character.
A few definitions of modesty include much more than modest dressing.
Modesty: Being reserved, moderate, having humility and self-effacement. Being unpretentious and living with simplicity are also common descriptions.
One of our favorite definitions of modesty is having propriety in dress, speech, and conduct.
Many people — young and mature — struggle with the lack of modesty and inappropriate clothing and behavior. It seems to go hand in hand.
Since the attire revolution of the 1960s, there’s been a scarcity of modest dressing and manners.
Having decency, politeness and respectability are all associated with civility and modesty. The acceptance of immodesty on all levels, contrasts with our definition of civility: Care, consideration, and having courtesy.
It’s worth noting that it is rare to see the private parts of boys and men through their clothing.
Sometimes, women’s clothing shows all of a woman’s body. It doesn’t necessarily mean that women are trying to be sexually attractive, however. But it can be sexually attractive and distracting.
The Supreme Court’s definition of modesty (for women) is: “The essence of a woman’s modesty is her sex.” This definition doesn’t seem to provide enough clarity.
We do hope the pendulum will swing to a moderate degree regarding appearance. We do encourage an increase of civility in the way many people conduct and display their behavior.
Your concerns are valid. Kudos.
Rhonda and Dr. Cheri
Rhonda Orr is the president and founder of the Prescott-based Rhonda’s STOP BULLYING Foundation. Dr. Cheri L. McDonald, PhD, LMFT, is a crime-victim specialist. Send your anonymous questions to Rhonda@rhondastopbullying.org. Join our 100th podcast celebration on Tuesday, Dec. 18, at BullyingLifeandStuff.com.