Dressing modeslty in highschool


#1

I am a young lady in highschool and trying to my best to dress modestly. But sometimes I feel that my (male) classmates are still looking at my body despite my attempts.

I wear long pants and long sleeved shirts that reach up to my collar bone. Rarely (once a semester, if that) do I wear shorts or a short sleeved shirt. Even then the shorts reach my knees and the shirts cover my shoulders. Though, I must admit, a lot of this has to do with where I live being chilly and my school always being quite cold (but even if it was warmer I would still have limits!). I have an athletic build and during athletics I do wear shorter shorts but nothing that is necessarily immodest…overall, I make sure I am crisp and cleansed but I wear no makeup and my clothing style is very simple.

I just am at a loss for what to do! I’ve considered wearing long skirts for extra modesty but I feel that would only draw more attention. It just makes my stomach turn to look at their eyes and faces when they’re caught up in looking at me and other girls, no matter how we dress!

Any suggestions?


#2

You can only do so much. If men look at you while wearing clothes like that then there is no level of modesty short of dressing in a burqa that will get them to stop staring at you. Many men are conditioned to stare at women in general by the general culture of immodesty. You are already doing much more than the vast majority of women out there. What you are doing now should be commended and celebrated because it is rare to see a women care so much about maintaining modesty. There honestly is not a lot more you can do to stop men from looking at you. High school will be easy for you. College will be much worse. If you are having trouble dealing with high school men staring at you despite modest dressing, college would be very difficult for you.


#3

Flamingo - It sounds like you are doing everything possible to conduct yourself in a modest way. If guys still are 'checking you out' then it probably is just something you have to deal with unfortunately. Young guys can be like that and it isn't your fault.

I actually don't think it will get worse in college. In college you have more freedom to choose who you are around outside of class and can avoid guys who you feel are constantly staring at you or other girls. In high school (at least in my experience) you didn't have that sort of option, everyone pretty much saw everyone every day.

Sounds like you are setting a good example. Keep it up and don't get discouraged.


#4

[quote="Flamingo, post:1, topic:193258"]
I am a young lady in highschool and trying to my best to dress modestly. But sometimes I feel that my (male) classmates are still looking at my body despite my attempts.

I wear long pants and long sleeved shirts that reach up to my collar bone. Rarely (once a semester, if that) do I wear shorts or a short sleeved shirt. Even then the shorts reach my knees and the shirts cover my shoulders. Though, I must admit, a lot of this has to do with where I live being chilly and my school always being quite cold (but even if it was warmer I would still have limits!). I have an athletic build and during athletics I do wear shorter shorts but nothing that is necessarily immodest...overall, I make sure I am crisp and cleansed but I wear no makeup and my clothing style is very simple.

I just am at a loss for what to do! I've considered wearing long skirts for extra modesty but I feel that would only draw more attention. It just makes my stomach turn to look at their eyes and faces when they're caught up in looking at me and other girls, no matter how we dress!

Any suggestions?

[/quote]

If you're an attractive woman men will look regardless of what you're wearing (unless you're wearing a full body burka that covers everything including your face). If you really don't want to get looks you can wear the burka or put on 50 pounds :p

Why does it bother you so much that they look? You're not dressing immodestly to invite these looks, why not just be flattered by it as evidence that you're good looking and desirable?

Should you marry or date, your husband or boyfriend will look at you that way and think the kinds of thoughts these boys are thinking. Is that also going to make your stomach turn?


#5

Flying fish I respectfully disagree. I don’t think she should be flaterred by their lustful looks. I do agree that she may be beautiful, and it may just happen that she attracts attention by her beauty, but if they are typical teenage boys there may be more to their looks than a harmless glance at her beauty.

Flamingo I would say that as long as you are doing what you can, it is not helping your spiritual life to worry about the other boys. You cannot control their actions. You are doing all that you can, so any sins of lust will be theirs alone. Try to ignore them and keep doing a great job.


#6

Actually I was also thinking similarly. I think one can take being modest too far and it can be just as unhealthy as being immodest or promiscuous in our actions. There should be a healthy balance. The OP would have to be more specific about what she means that guys “looking” at her or the other girls makes her sick. Teenagers should be “looking”, refining what they like in the opposite sex and remaining chaste in the process. To try and banish any one from ever looking at you as an attractive person, I think that just sounds skewed and unhealthy.


#7

I had a similar problem in high school. Have you thought of actually trying to befriend some of these boys? My experience is that when boys see you as a good, friendly person, or even as a sister, it's harder for them to look at you in an uncharitable way.

If you reveal your personality to them, you also become more of a person to them. It's more difficult to objectify a person than it is to ogle the shy, mysterious girl. I don't know if you're shy, but at least that was my experience. Just be careful, it might backfire! They could think you're flirting. :)


#8

Flamingo, honey, God made men that way. They can’t help but look and admire a beautiful woman (including young women like yourself.) That’s something that God created into all (or most) men.

Do you remember the story of Isaac and Rebekah in the Bible? Isaac was blown away by Rebekah’s beauty. That’s OK. There are other stories in the Bible mentioning the beauty of women in a good way–obviously the writers were LOOKING!

There is no sin in a man looking. It only becomes sin when it turns to lust. And you cannot say for certain if a man is lusting after you–to make this assumption about men just because they are looking at you is sinful on your part.

A man is created by God to search for and find a perfect mate. Men do what God made them to do–they look. It’s OK. It’s not disgusting at all.

Someday the man that you are to marry (if that is God’s plan for you) will look at you and keep looking.

In case you’re wondering, I’m a 52 year-old woman who has raised two beautiful daughters. My husband is a figure skater, and he not only looks at beautiful women (in skimpy clothing), but he touches (in order to skate). It’s OK. It is possible for men to look at women without lusting after them.


#9

I’m a senior in high school and a guy. So i can say this not as an old wise person but someone who is fresh from the trenches of HS. :stuck_out_tongue:

I can tell that you are striving much harder than most, and quite frankly I admire that. Lots of girls even the “nice girls” don’t really even seem to think about modestly. I don’t think long skirts are the solution because that will attract extra attention which is not really the point of modesty. I would also point out that you are obviously pretty so you will have guys “checking you out” I wish at this point i could say something positive about the males of our generation…but I’m afraid I can’t. I guess it’s all the sexual stuff in the media and a general laziness and lack of self discipline and respect. If i guy is making you feel uncomfortable don’t be afraid to let him know you don’t like that he is staring. It’ll probably shock him and hopeful embarks him a bit. (because no guy likes it when a pretty girl disapproves of him) High school guys really are all insecure no mater what they might make you think. expect respect from them.

God bless you and keep you strong. I wish i knew more like you.


#10

if you wear long pants, sleeved shirts and no makeup - you hardly can do more for modesty ! what about your footwear ? some guys feel a special interest for that section ! do you wear heeled shoes and/or sheer hose ? try flats and opaque trouser socks ! good luck !


#11

I feel that I should clarify myself -

I’m not aiming to label their looks towards me as lustful. I do not wish to go into much detail because I don’t want to sound full of myself by any means. :confused:
But for example someone posted a picture on Facebook that I was in. People (boys) commented on that picture in very…blunt…ways that made references to my body that were not pure at all!

There’s a HUGE difference in a boy saying,
"You look really pretty today."
to,
“Too bad you’re a hardcore Christian because otherwise I’d love to … to/with you”
^ Fill in various statements that are definitly not chaste in any way there.

I’ve heard the comments and because of that there’s definitely a huge difference in the way that they look, you know? I’m not trying to assume anything but regardless of that, there are still comments that are being said that are just as bad if not worse than the looks and thoughts.

And Cathy2, I always wear (closed toe) tennis-like shoes, if that makes sense? Never heels or flats.

I also feel like I should clarify that I don’t dress boring by any means! I dress well and even get compliments on my modest, yet still stylish way of dress! I’m not sloppy in what I wear but nor do I spend large chunks of time thinking about it. I dress appropriatly and crisply and that’s about it.


#12

[quote="Flamingo, post:11, topic:193258"]
I feel that I should clarify myself -

I'm not aiming to label their looks towards me as lustful. I do not wish to go into much detail because I don't want to sound full of myself by any means. :confused:
But for example someone posted a picture on Facebook that I was in. People (boys) commented on that picture in very....blunt...ways that made references to my body that were not pure at all!

There's a HUGE difference in a boy saying,
"You look really pretty today."
to,
"Too bad you're a hardcore Christian because otherwise I'd love to ........... to/with you"
^ Fill in various statements that are definitly not chaste in any way there.

I've heard the comments and because of that there's definitely a huge difference in the way that they look, you know? I'm not trying to assume anything but regardless of that, there are still comments that are being said that are just as bad if not worse than the looks and thoughts.

And Cathy2, I always wear (closed toe) tennis-like shoes, if that makes sense? Never heels or flats.

I also feel like I should clarify that I don't dress boring by any means! I dress well and even get compliments on my modest, yet still stylish way of dress! I'm not sloppy in what I wear but nor do I spend large chunks of time thinking about it. I dress appropriatly and crisply and that's about it.

[/quote]

Ugh! :mad: I am so sorry you're having to experience this disgusting behavior on the part of your classmates. I don't know the rules where you go to school, but if they're saying those kinds of things about you on facebook you may be able to get your school to intervene. I believe it is their responsibility to protect their students from sexual harassment by other students. If not, perhaps your parents could help? Comments like that are simply not okay, and shouldn't be without consequences.
As far as dress goes, though, it probably doesn't matter at all to those guys what you dress like. As others have said, you are doing your best not to invite those kinds of thoughts and comments, and that's really all you can do, except to pray for them.
Oh, and kudos to you for dressing both stylishly and modestly! It's really good for other people to see that you don't have to wear a shapeless jumper to adhere to Christian standards of modesty. :thumbsup:


#13

Then it sounds like more of a bunch of guys trying to “out crude” each other and I highly doubt there is any way you could dress differently that would make them stop. Its more about them and trying to impress their friends, than it does about you and what you are doing to invite their comments. I would even venture to guess you could wear a burka and they would still say something crude because some guys (and girls) have no boundaries of what is inappropriate. There is too much entertainment in being crude on a site such as Facebook for them to stop.


#14

Hi Flamingo,

Yay, I commend you for having the desire to remain chaste, pure, and modest in our immoral world! :slight_smile:

As others have said here, being attractive to the opposite sex is a positive thing (I would add, positive if you have the vocation to marriage) so that you can attract your mate, but must be used at the right time in the right way, always modestly and purely. You are doing your part – keep doing it!

While the behavior of your male counterparts is your NOT your fault – it’s theirs alone – I have a few suggestions that might help make you feel more comfortable while promting them to behave more respectfully. These are things that I’ve observed through my own trial-and-error clothing choices over the past few years, as I am always looking to present myself stylishly and modestly. The first suggestion is to try a skirt. While you may not want to wear a full-length skirt for the concern that it could draw too much attention, you might consider trying a skirt that falls at least a few inches below your knee or half-way down your shin (so that your knees are fully covered when you sit). You may be wondering why I’m suggesting this, and the reason is that I’ve found when I wear a modest skirt, I am treated better (as for the why this is? I have no idea!). Another thing that I do while wearing jeans (the few times I wear jeans nowadays, LOL) is to wear a long shirt or sweater that goes at least down to mid-thigh. This gives me relief knowing that my backside and crotch aren’t being highlighted by the inherent lines of jeans. I don’t know how you style your hair, but my third suggestion is to wear something on your head, like a headband or attractive barrett, or a scarf around your neck, to call attention upward, toward your face, and away from other parts of your body. Also, wearing a flowing scarf around your neck makes any outfit more graceful and can detract from one looking at your chest. And I’ve noticed that wearing a headband with a skirt is even better, because (at least in my experience) this stokes the gentlemanly instinct (and respect) in males.

Hope this helps! God bless!

Pax,
Palomas


#15

Hi Flamingo,

I know this is probably not what you are expecting/want to hear but here is my opinion.

The more modestly you dress, the more you are turning these guys on. To finally see a girl who cares about being pure can be a massive turn on in this day and age when it is so rare. You have a very beautiful character and that is something very refreshing. And since these are teenage guys, the only way they know to talk to a girl is with crude language. They are testing you to see if deep down this angel is human (which in their minds equates to 'does this hot chick have any sexual feeling at all?) And then, it becomes a competition among men.

Keep your morals, the good thing is with age, men learn to keep their comments to themselves

CM


#16

Hi Flamingo,

First of all, as lots of people have said, it's so wonderful to read a post by a teenager who's concerned with modesty! I don't think it's something that I even thought about until years after high school (unfortunately).

I don't think there's much more you can do regarding how you dress, but you might want to try Palomas' idea of knee length skirts. There are some very stylish A-line skirts and dresses out there that don't stand out that are between knee and calf length. I wear both pants and skirts and dresses and I personally have noticed a dramatic difference in how I'm treated by men. I did a little experiment and only wore dresses for a month last year and blogged about it and when I went back to wearing both I was surprised at how I was treated when I was in pants (and the pants were modest, not tight!). There was a huge difference.

I noticed that in dresses men still noticed me, but it was in a more respectful way (usually with a nod and a smile, maybe holding the door open or something like that). The first day I wore pants again (and I was carrying around a toddler the entire time, totally covered up as you described) I had several experiences with leering men that were almost bizarre (because I really didn't think there would be such a difference).

From the sound of it these guys are pretty far out there, so I don't know if this will help, but I hope it does. It absolutely sounds like you're doing everything right. Prayers!


#17

hmmm delete their comments and send them a private message that you WILL NOT tolerate that sort of talk. Hopefully it'll be like a slap on the wrist. And invest in some pepper spray.


#18

Ahhh! That’s awful! I do think there’s some truth to it, but that’s still awful!

I think I may take the skirt thing into consideration. I’ll admit that my shirts don’t always cover my backside (though my jeans/pants are never very tight) and I like the suggestion of drawing more attention to the face. Back to skirts - Right now, it’d be very awkward considering we’re nearing the end of the school year and having NEVER worn a skirt/dress to school this year it’d draw a lot of attention, I feel. If I do decide to switch to skirts it would most likely be an all or nothing situation and wouldn’t be until this following school year.

Something else I should mention - I don’t actually have a facebook so I only see the comments when I’m on a friend’s account wish is somewhat rare. My good friend usually requests for them to be deleted though and I’m thankful he does so.


#19

Well praise God that you have a male friend that stands up for you and respects you.


#20

Yep this. Guys look, guys can talk in inappropriate ways that they really don't realize are that bad. But this is not just normal, stupid talking. Please speak to your counselor or a teacher you trust at school.Tell your parents too. The school will protect your name (ie they won't rat on you) as much as they can, but they should know that students are saying this sort of thing. Its a warning sign for other behavior and taken together with anything else they know abou these boys will help them protect you and other students.

God bless you for your care of your chastity. I'll be praying for you.

[quote="Nolipajoli, post:12, topic:193258"]
Ugh! :mad: I am so sorry you're having to experience this disgusting behavior on the part of your classmates. I don't know the rules where you go to school, but if they're saying those kinds of things about you on facebook you may be able to get your school to intervene. I believe it is their responsibility to protect their students from sexual harassment by other students. If not, perhaps your parents could help? Comments like that are simply not okay, and shouldn't be without consequences.
As far as dress goes, though, it probably doesn't matter at all to those guys what you dress like. As others have said, you are doing your best not to invite those kinds of thoughts and comments, and that's really all you can do, except to pray for them.
Oh, and kudos to you for dressing both stylishly and modestly! It's really good for other people to see that you don't have to wear a shapeless jumper to adhere to Christian standards of modesty. :thumbsup:

[/quote]


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.