Modesty and Topless Women Coexisting? Un Dia Loco!

7 Oct

  First of all, let’s get something straight: I’m a dude. For better or for worse, purity of the eyes, mind, and heart is a battle for me, as I understand it is for any other man with a pulse. That being said, I obviously appreciate it when men and women take modesty seriously.

  So as a chaperone of a youth group trip to the beach in Spain, it’s important to give the students direction about how they are to dress. Above all, we want to give every student an experience of the Christian life, free of temptation—both temptation to lust over someone else, but also the temptation to lead others into temptation, if that makes sense.  Imagine the implication when you tell a young lady that her swimsuit isn’t “modest”. “Are you calling me a slut?” “No, it’s just that we want to be modest.” “Are you saying I’m immodest?” Riddle me that, Riddler!

   I try to avoid this controversy altogether by trying to separate the two issues as best as possible. On the one hand, I believe in modesty and that it should both affect our wardrobe and how we look at each other. On the other hand, it can be very tricky to articulate what modesty means practically speaking. From what I can tell, modesty is a condition of the heart. So to tell anyone that they lack modesty is in a sense to judge their heart, which, last I checked, is God’s job.

  So I don’t do that. What I do, however, is set guidelines for dress. For instance, when we traveled to Spain my fiancé and I decided to tell the girls to leave the bikinis at home. My fiancé has two-piece swimsuits of her own, and while she recognized that they aren’t necessarily evil per se, they also probably aren’t helpful in the context of a youth group function. I also talked to the boys about how they look at (check out) women. Modesty is a two way street and men need to learn that ogling women and being a “player” are not acceptable approaches to a well lived life.

  Well, many girls weren’t pleased, especially the ones who had never heard of one-piece swim suits. We somehow convinced them to wear tank tops as additional covering. And, as much as did our best to convince them otherwise, many still felt “judged”.

  Imagine the scene as we happen upon some topless Spanish women sunbathing on the beach in Valencia. It’s at these times I wonder what God’s purposes for this amusing moment of Providence. Was this to be a bit of a Spanish cure for our American (read: Puritanical) prudishness? Or rather was the modesty (obedience) of our youth to serve as a witness to these shameless Senioritas?

  Maybe a little bit of both, but definitely a lesson in European culture.

  -Isaac Huss

2 Responses to “Modesty and Topless Women Coexisting? Un Dia Loco!”

  1. Dan October 9, 2011 at 10:48 pm #

    The world really has no laws of modest that we Christians have. It should be no surprise they go topless on beaches. Its whatever feels good does kinda attitude.

    • IH October 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

      Dan, thanks for the comment. Lots of people in the world revere and exhibit the virtue of modesty. But I agree with you that many seem to be leaving it by the wayside. Even so, I’m not sure I’ll ever cease to be surprised by seeing a topless woman!

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