Tag archives: Modesty

Trending Massively: The Counter-Cultural Movement for Modest Fashions

by Chris Gacek

December 2, 2014

Perhaps it is just me, but recently I seem to have run across a good number of stories about religiously-inclined or conservative women promoting “modest fashions” with new businesses and websites. Of course, this has happened before, but there seems to be something different going on this time.

I noticed this recent manifestation when reading an article in the daily newspaper, The Times of Israel, which observed that of the many style websites and Jewish websites “Fabologieis unique in being a lifestyle website that blends chic Jewish living with high fashion.”

The article discusses the company, Fabologie, and its founder, Adi Heyman and describes her as being “as unashamed to flaunt long hemlines and sleeves as she is to post missives linking trends to the weekly Torah portion.” A recent story (and video) on Refinery29.com is entitled “Meet Brooklyn’s Hasidic Hipsters” and discusses two Hasidic clothes designers living in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Not surprisingly, some of their best customers are Muslim women.

While looking around the Fabologie site, I found this article, “Seize the Dough,” that addresses baking my favorite bread, challah. Apparently, an international challah-baking event took place in late October to bring Jews together religiously and culturally. The interesting development here is how this appears to be another instance of how the Internet allows communities to develop quickly and host world-wide events at relatively little cost. (See the theory of the Internet and the “long tail.”)

In 2013 down in Louisiana, Sadie Robertson, a teenage grand-daughter of Phil Robertson, the patriarch of the TV show Duck Dynasty, set out to create a line of dresses to be marketed mostly to teenagers wishing to dress conservatively but fashionably. Robertson teamed up with highly-regarded designer Sherri Hill to produce her dress line called “Live Original.”

So, why shouldn’t Christians in the South and orthodox Jews in Brooklyn be able to get together to escape the tyranny of fashion mandates they find morally unacceptable? Given the huge populations of religious women who would value this market, it is surprising this hasn’t happened more quickly. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before we hear about collaboration along these lines, fashion shows in NY (Brooklyn, of course), and televised awards shows from Nashville and Tel Aviv. Why not?

Former Model Leads Campaign against Cosmopolitan

by Krystle Gabele

January 16, 2012

While I was in the line at the grocery store recently, I happened to glance over at the magazine rack when I noticed the recent copy of Cosmopolitan Magazine. The model on the cover looked young, and in fact, she did not look old enough to be on the cover. It was Dakota Fanning, who is only 17 years of age, and the headings around the cover provided the usual standard of sex advice.

I was disgusted by this display. I turned around only to see a little girl pick up a copy of the magazine only to run back to her mother and say how pretty the model was. The mother of the girl also looked disgusted by the magazine and told the little girl to put back the magazine.

Fox News has focused on this recently, and they were shocked by this recent image as well. In fact, Rachelle Friberg, a media expert who was interviewed by Fox, said:

Cosmopolitan is going overboard by putting an underage girl on its cover surrounded by such article titles. It is one thing to educate young women about sex and their bodies, but putting a young, underage girl on the cover of a magazine that had long been known to push the limits is sending the wrong message.

Cosmopolitan, of course, defended its decision to have Fanning as the magazines cover model. Of course, their decision generated controversy, and there is no doubt that teenagers, who are fans of Fanning are lining up to buy the issue and being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda of promoting immodest behaviors and promiscuity.

Today, I was glad to read that a former model is calling out Cosmopolitan for its practices and is calling for the magazine to be marketed as an adult-only publication, which would require the magazine to be sold in packaging that would not show the cover. Nicole Weider is leading this effort and has a petition urging the FTC to help protect our youth from vulgarity. The petition has almost 21,000 signatures, and there is no doubt that will garner more signatures from those who agree the magazine has gone too far.

Does Cosmopolitan realize the impact that these behaviors have on young women? In 2010, the American Psychological Association released, Report of the APA Task Force on the Sexualization of Girls. This report highlighted how publications, like Cosmopolitan, have a negative impact on young womens mental health.

One of the dominant themes about sexuality reported across these studies and across magazines is that presenting oneself as sexually desirable and thereby gaining the attention of men is and should be the focal goal for women.

The evidence from this research is not shocking. Its sad that publications, such as Cosmopolitan feel the need to consistently market women as sex symbols. The editors of Cosmopolitan dont even offer the perspectives of those who want to abstain from sex until marriage, which is even more depressing.

Family Research Council has released a report, Why Wait: The Benefits of Abstinence Until Marriage, that provided evidence that those who abstain from premarital sex tend to have happier and healthier marriages. The report also highlighted the emotional impact that premarital sex has on young women.

A 2005 study of youth in grades 7-11 found that engaging in premarital sex often leads to depression. Compared to girls who abstain, girls who engage in premarital sex are two to three times more likely to be depressed one year later.eens who engage in premarital sex are also likely to experience regret, guilt, lowered self-respect, fear of commitment and fears about pregnancy and STDs.In addition, they are more likely to commit suicide.

With research like this, Ms. Weiders petition is needed to protect young women from being exposed to Cosmopolitans agenda. Yes, it has been said that sex sells, but the real selling point is what a woman offers in terms of grace and intelligence.

On Modesty, Anarchy, and Culture

by Rob Schwarzwalder

September 29, 2011

Exposing one’s undergarments traditionally has been viewed as poor form, at best, and more often than not, just plain immodest.

While it’s true there is no accounting for taste (polyester leisure suits for men and gigantic shoulder pads for women are among happily-jettisoned fashions), subjecting one’s fellows to the sight of one’s underpants is, quite literally, too much. Thus, the town of Albany, Georgia has instituted a ban on “anyone from wearing pants or skirts more than three inches below the top of the hips, exposing the skin or undergarments. First-time offenders face a $25 fine. On further offenses, the fine can rise to $200.”

As a conservative, I dislike the idea of government taking upon itself the right to measure pant length or hip exposure. Yet such intrusions are inevitable if people lack the common sense - and common decency - to dress with at least some semblance of normality and decorum. People only stand for so much before they call for legal fences to protect them against bad neighbors.

That should serve as a broader warning for a society enmeshed in narcissism, immorality, and the general abandonment of truth. Moral erosion leads to anarchy. Anarchy threatens lives, which results in a popular call for the restoration of order. And, thus, fascism emerges in the guise of strident leadership proclaiming “bread and peace” (Bolshevism) or “one people, one empire, one leader” (Nazism) or “socialism builds and capitalism destroys” (Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez).

In his book Twelve Types, G.K. Chesterton wrote that “politeness … is everywhere understood and nowhere defined.” Such definition really is unnecessary, since the rites of courtesy are only the formalization of intuitive conscience, of the moral stirrings that cause us to help an elderly woman up a staircase or open a door for a mother with a stroller. Or keep one’s pants pulled up over his briefs.

Our Founders argued that if we lack self-restraint and basic virtue, we were unfit for self-government. “Neither the wisest constitution nor the wisest laws will secure the liberty and happiness of a people whose manners are universally corrupt,” wrote Samuel Adams. In the era of such diverse but somehow connected phenomena as Lady Gaga, eroticized childhood, abortion on demand, and bizarre cosmetic surgery, is such universal corruption far behind? Only if Christians are willing to stand against it, and work to restore a society where honor, courage, kindness, and enterprise are fostered and not demeaned.

How oft, in nations gone corrupt,

And by their own devices brought down to servitude,

That man chooses bondage before liberty.

Bondage with ease before strenuous liberty. John Milton