Media Musings & Meditations

Observations and discussion about technology, culture and spirituality. As new technology developments and trends envelope the Internet and our "wired" culture we all need time to reflect and process the implications on our society, our relationships and our spiritual practices.

Friday, April 07, 2006

Mind over Body

I have been thinking about an exciting, dynamic topic - modesty. Okay, so maybe it's not an exciting topic in our society, but maybe it should be. I think the idea of modestly has been lost to our culture. Just think about it. We have young girls trying to dress like their idols in movies and videos baring as much skin as possible. We have pop music and movie performers dressed in little more than their underwear (Madonna-ware). We have celebrity models that do wear underwear in public and on TV (Victoria's Secret, is no longer a secret) and we've even had TV game shows where people would remove their clothes in a front of a crowd on a dare (Dog Eat Dog). You hear dumb comments like, “if you've got it flaunt it.” You see a national obsession with toning up muscles in your stomach that no one in the past even saw. We've lost our modesty.

I would venture to guess that many in younger generations don't even know the concept. “What's the hang up?” “Why are you so up-tight about seeing people's bodies?” What a shift in our culture. Since when did we start talking like the European art community rather than a country built on Judeo-Christian morals, values and justice. I'm not suggesting a return to the 1800's where every inch of your body had to be covered. But I think somewhere along the line, as media people were pushing the envelope and crossing the boundaries we forgot to say, “that's enough!”

And I fear it has signaled a psychological or sociological change in the way our culture views personhood. Is my value as a person determined by my appearance or physical attributes, received via genetics or surgery? And what of my privacy and control over myself, am I so willing to relinquish the reigns and throw my personal and private things out on display where they can be judged and ridiculed if I don't measure up? The only things not on stage are my inner feelings, and society is willing to tell whether those matter if I'll let them.

I think modesty is about regaining control over who you are and what you value. It's about balancing your identity between body and mind, physical and intellect. It's about making your own decisions about what you will share of yourself and with whom. Regardless of culture, we can choose to reclaim control over ourselves and keep the concept of modesty alive by communicating it to others.

4 Comments:

Blogger Lissa said...

Totally agree!

10:17 AM  
Anonymous Julie said...

Of course, another problem with immodesty is the lust factor. It seems so often girls don't think they can attract a guy unless they look "hot." What's wrong with just looking pretty or cute or classy or friendly? Guys (and maybe nicer ones!) are attracted to those attributes, too. But many girls seem to think it has to be more than that, and they dress in way-too-revealing clothes trying to attract "Mr. Right" while only causing "Mr. Wrong" (and possibly Mr. Right, too!) to sin. But they don't seem to care about that. Maybe they just think "if a guy's like that, it's HIS problem." Way to be thoughtful and caring, chickie-baby.

No one asked me, but I'd love to tell these girls that if young men are lusting after them, then men their father's age and grandfather's age are probably lusting after them, too, and are thinking thoughts about you and himself that he shouldn't be. "Picture that for a moment. Now do you STILL want to wear that outfit?"

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Jeff's mom said...

Don't EVEN get me started on this subject! Suffice it to say, like Lissa, I totally agree.
Alison

3:25 PM  
Anonymous julie further said...

I am sorry to report that a very spiritual college guy I know, one that has enthusiasm and great love for the Lord and a great desire to serve Him, commented on his blog (among other things) that he and his guy friend were hunting down this girl for a third friend at an event they were at all at who had said to them, "Man, you gotta go find this hot chick for me that I saw earlier!" (in another location). (This guy not only mentioned the story on his blog but he also mentioned the story again in front of Kelly, me, and other college men and women. I was so sad! I don't think godly men should be talking like this; I REALLY don't think they should be talking like this in front of college (or other) WOMEN. It just feeds into that mentality that girls have that they have to look "hot" to get guys' attention. (And girls who don't look hot might as well just give up.) Wah. And just that morning I had seen an HU girl wearing the TIGHTEST of thin stretchy tops you can imagine. It didn't show cleavage or belly, so it passed HU standards, technically--BUT IT SHOWED JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE ON TOP. (And this girl was thin but quite endowed!) I honestly couldn't imagine a girl/woman of any modestly walking out of the house that way. It just further emphasizes my point, I think, about these girls thinking that if a guy lusts, it isn't HER fault. I really felt very sad after seeing her clothing and then hearing that guy's comment to all of us.

11:32 PM  

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