Modesty ideals dependent on individual

Opinions Columnist | English Freshman

No matter what one’s personal idea of modesty is, individuals should feel free to wear as little or as much as they want without attracting the criticism of others.

Modesty is not something that should be policed. People should be free to expose or cover as much of themselves as they like without garnering rude remarks or being shamed.

If someone’s idea of being modest includes covering up the important bits but still wearing tank tops and shorts that are barely there, then that is okay. If someone thinks dressing modestly is wearing short sleeved T-shirts and knee-length shorts, then that is okay too. The difference between one person’s idea of modesty and another’s can vary wildly based on personal religious or moral beliefs. No matter what one thinks is acceptable to bare, everyone deserves to have their personal choices respected when it comes to modesty.

It is common in today’s society for certain people to be judged based on what they wear. No matter if they are being judged for wearing too much, too little or for wearing clothes that are too dated or too cheap, everyone eventually gets judged based on personal style decisions. In the end, it does not matter what one wears. No matter what it is, an individual will inevitably be judged for their choice of clothing.

Not only is hasty judgment of people based on appearance wrong and incredibly rude, but calling someone out because their idea of modesty may not match one’s personal ideals is like saying someone cannot eat Cheerios for breakfast because another person prefers Lucky Charms. People should be able to make personal decisions free from the judgment of others. People can eat whatever breakfast cereal they want, in any clothes they want. Somebody’s choice of clothing has nothing to do with anyone else, and people need to stop criticizing others as if it does.

The media influence ideas of modesty. If, say, a female celebrity wears something incredibly revealing, certain media outlets are liable to call her unsavory names and pick on her simply because she wore something they did not like. The same is true for women whom the media think cover up too much. They may get called out simply because their idea of modesty does not line up with the more revealing fashions that have been popular in recent years. Sometimes it seems as if women just cannot win when it comes to the media. Either they dress too modestly and are “prudish” or “old-fashioned” or else they dress to revealingly and are labeled “loose.” This public shaming of individual fashion choices in turn influences the thoughts of the public, and the bad habits of the media bleed into civilian lives.

Just in my circle of friends, everyone has different ideas of what is modest and what is not. One friend prefers to wear tank tops and short shorts, another T-shirts and Nike shorts and still another, capri pants. There is no right answer. Modesty is something that can only be determined by an individual.

People should be allowed to wear what they want, when they want, where they want. It is not up to one person to decide what is modest for another. Modesty is something that belongs solely to the individual, and no one else has the right to take
that away.