Friday, February 13, 2015

Worthy of Respect

Over here in Europe, it's been a little difficult for me to stay on top of American events and/or national gossip, but I do my best. I have heard a lot recently about the question of modest leggings. If you haven't heard, one (married) woman wrote on her own personal blog that she chose not to wear leggings as pants anymore because she thought it was immodest. For whatever reason, this sparked national headlines. As annoyed as I was by all this, I was planning not to say anything until I heard about a Christian comedian making fun of that woman for trying to be more Christlike. That was the last straw.

I have two points to make about all this. The first is to my fellow Christians, especially the ones making fun of that woman for her decision, and the second, but probably more important, is to all middle school and high school girls of any faith all throughout America.

Christians: To mock, deride, or degrade this lady's decision to be more modest is unacceptable. Biblically unacceptable. There have already been plenty of discussions about the modesty verses in the Bible, but those aren't the most applicable verses. I urge you all to read 1 Corinthians 8, but if you don't have time to read the entire chapter, then I'll just leave here the most important verse in that chapter. 1 Corinthians 8:13: "Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall." Fill in the words eat with wear and the word meat with anything you like - the point is the same. We are to be considerate of other Christians who may not be comfortable with everything we are, and not be indifferent to them. Christianity is not peer pressure - which brings me to the second point...

Girls in America: I think you might be the hardest hit by this controversy. As if we don't get enough peer pressure from all our classmates. It's not just about what we wear, but how we act, how we speak, and anything else we can possibly be judged on. Unfortunately, as this controversy shows, peer pressure doesn't end in middle school and high school.

I'm certainly not trying to shame girls who wear leggings as pants, especially in middle school. What I am saying is that if you don't want to, that's okay. It's perfectly okay to not be comfortable wearing leggings as pants, or skinny jeans, or skin-tight shirts. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! Other girls love to pile on the pressure - the endless, "It's really okays," the skeptical looks and eye-rolling, the quiet giggles behind hands, all meant to make it clear that their way is the correct way and yours is a silly deviation. It isn't. 

Sweet girls, here is the truth: you are not the only ones. I can assure you that at least one or two of those girls wearing whatever you're not comfortable wearing are also uncomfortable with it. No matter how much other girls want to make it seem like you're the only one, you are not. I promise. Stand up for what you believe; don't just be yourself, be the best version of yourself.

I cannot believe that adults, particularly women, can have so little regard for how embarrassing it is to be singled out and mocked for something you value. They are setting a terrible example to you, sweet girls. All I can say is, stand strong; you are not alone, and no, not everyone else is doing it, no matter how many times you hear other girls or adults telling you otherwise. Follow your conscience, and stay in your comfort level of clothing, acting, and speech; contrary to what the world says, you are not worthy of mockery for doing so. You are worthy of respect.

To all who want to laugh at me for being old-fashioned or a "nun," let me say this: you can say whatever you want to. I don't care. I've heard it all before in middle and high school. I was one of those girls that wasn't always comfortable with what everyone else was doing, and I received earfuls about it on a regular basis. Say whatever you want - it's never stopped me before, and it won't stop me now.

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