Modesty advice

Ok well I made a thread about modesty involving Bikinis and it turned into a fight. So I am going to try this again. I would like to know from a women’s point of view. Should I talk with my female friends about modesty? I am being controlling or judgmental by doing that? The only reason I am doing it is because I want to protect them from loose men.

Yes I do know that mean have to control their own action and we are responsible for ourselves. However we are also responsible for each other as brothers and sister in Our Lord Jesus

Only you (perhaps with advice) can make a judgment in prudence as to what to say and if to say etc. As you can see from the thread - too often people in our society can become defensive with such…

As I noted in the other thread - Bl. Pope John Paul II in Love and Responsibility pointed out that women often do not understand how such and such effect men --for they do not experience things the same way as men…(it is something they have to acquire from outside themselves --say from good books or other girls who have learned it etc). What may make it more difficult is that you (like me) are a guy. This can work both ways though – it can be more difficult but it can also be helpful. It may not be the right choice or it may be who they need to hear it (in a good delicate way) from? Difficult to say. Certainly prudence is key.

Often the indirect approach is best if one approaches the subject…

It is not being “judgmental” …or “controlling”…to it can be a “work of love” …though a difficult one.

And example of being judgmental is saying “Why are you seeking to lead men into sin!” when one has no evidence that the person is doing so…

We must all “judge” the nature of a matter (lust is evil, theft is evil) in order to bring even assist a friend or they assist us – in overcoming evil with good.

You can get your friends a Christmas gift (I saw this book and thought --hey this looks looks like a good gift for my female friends):

“The Privilege of Being a Woman” by Dame Doctor Alice Von Hildebrand

cuapress.cua.edu/search.cfm

(recently made a dame by the Pope…catholicnewsagency.com/news/pope-names-alice-von-hildebrand-to-prestigious-order/)

No, you should not give your opinion to your friends unless they ask for it.

Often the indirect approach is best if one approaches the subject…

to put it simply

preach the sometimes difficult truth of the Gospel but with love.

Discussions on modesty generally do not go well. I’m not sure that ‘having a talk’ with the girls about modesty is the idea, but to comment, gently on specific outfits would be helpful. However, choose the right time to do this. In other words, not as you arrive at wherever you are going, preferably comment at a time when the lady concerned can take steps to rectify her outfit.

In my job I frequently have to mention inappropriate clothing choices to members of my team. When I first started dong this job it took a huge amount of courage to do this, and I would generally check with one or two other senior staff members first. Now, a few years down the line, I just mention casually, “that outfit shows too much cleavage/arm/leg/whatever” - ofr course I have the ‘dress code’ to back me up.

Whatever you say though do it gently and not in such a way that the girl feels personally criticized.

Well so far the most common answer is to do it in a soft way.

Yes, I have to say this is being controlling though I realize you have very good intentions. I would not bring it up unless she was someone that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that if admonished her, she knew it was out of love. So, I think the only time it would be proper to do that would be for your daughter.

Even for my wife, if she were to be immodest (I don’t always consider a bikini swim suit to be immodest necessarily, depends on the time and place), I would only ask: “If you don’t mind and this is is up to you, would you please dress more modestly?” She could walk around naked (assuming she doesn’t go to jail) but she’s still my wife. I have to love her as Christ loves her. I can’t make her change. She has to choose to do that.

Though I may grieve for someone’s soul, I am not bodily harmed and not harmed in my soul if a person chooses to be immodest. It does not affect your standing with the Lord as long as you’re not encouraging bad behavior (which it sounds like you are definitely not!). I’ve learned that it’s best (for the Kingdom, for that person’s soul and for yourself), what others do as long as it doesn’t directly concern me is none of my business. Have faith that God will bring sin to light for others as He does for you.

Just don’t go there. It is hard for me to imagine a situation in which it would be appropriate to tell your female friends how to dress. It’s their responsibility to decide whether and how they should dress modestly, not yours.

hmmmm I don’t think I suggested that.

If a priest decides to preach on contraception, knowing that many in his congregation may be using it, in a light way or should he “hit his congregation with a two by four,” like scripture does in many ways.

don’t soften your explanation of the truth just so you don’t offend someone. But at the same time be charitable but preach the truth.

that is not an easy thing to do. I will see what happens. Though it is winter now so I am not really worried about it :). When summer roles around we will see

If it were me, I would prefer an indirect way.

Personally, I’ve picked up a lot about how I can grow closer to God by others’ examples and what I read online, hear on catholic radio, etc. My growth may come about slowly, but it’s happening! If someone told me about my faults directly, I think I would have a terrible struggle with my pride for quite some time.

Some people you can say something directly to–you have to be the judge of if a person can handle that. Try to meet the person where they are. It’s okay if someone can’t handle being told about a shortcoming directly. Really, that’s just another shortcoming and God knows we all fall short.

Also, if you have friends who are getting their value through their “lack” of dress, then the best thing you can do is to overlook that and love them for who they are. Otherwise, their life is full of people who give them attention for immodesty on both sides. I think what would foster change would be having someone who values them for what’s on the inside, so they know what that feels like–that it’s much more satisfying, which will allow them to discard getting attention through immodesty.

(I say this as someone who a decade ago, was VERY immodest. :slight_smile: Now, I’ve discarded that and found my self-worth in other ways…although, I think some would still think I’m immodest although I don’t. But, what are ya gonna do?)

its not easy but at the same time you shouldn’t preach it in a way that makes it lose its meaning.

I am just going to keep quiet for now. I do theater with these girls and unfortunately I we don’t have separate changing rooms so it is hard not to see certain things sometimes. However I have faith in the majority of my friends that they now what they’re doing. The only one I could tell directly about a fault is my best friend. However she is basically a saint though she is human

Right I am not going to take the fire and brimstone approach

yes but don’t take the watered down approach either.

I agree - I don’t think it’s appropriate. It’s very tough to be a teenaged girl, with many who struggle with self-esteem and body image. It is not your place to instruct them how to dress, that is for their parents and other adult authority figures. You would like as not either offend your friends and thus, no longer be friends, or perhaps cause them to be incredibly stressed over their body and “causing” inappropriate behavior towards themselves. As many others in the thread pointed out, blaming a girl for a boy’s inappropriate behavior is not the route you should take.

To me, it’s not really about bikinis at all, it’s about what is appropriate for you to address, as a teenaged boy with friends the same age. Frankly, I don’t think such commentary coming from you is appropriate at all, even if done with the best of intentions.

Modesty is a very taboo topic in today’s society, believe it or not. We think we are so “open” and can freely discuss same-sex marriage, contraception, masturbation and all the rest. Yet, I remember being really surprised that a subject like “modesty” could be so controversial.

If you try to speak to someone on modesty, unless you have a very strong friendship, you could expect to be possibly accused of everything from being judgmental to being prideful, to get off your high horse, so to speak.

Most people don’t do well with unsolicited advice, no matter how well intended. Many become defensive, even hostile and aggressive.

As to modesty, start a thread on it, and I can almost guarantee you it will end up in a fight!

I’ve had it where someone will start a thread, on this Catholic forum, asking for advice, or opinions, on modesty. When I answer, I get told I’m judgmental, to mind my own business. In other words, who asked for my opinion!

Well, to me, modesty seemed sort of like a no-brainer. We have the Bible, the Church, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, priests, popes, and saints all backing us up. Yet, if you were to even so much as mention the word, in that particular circumstance, you might be risking your friendship.

Further, people say the don’t know what they word means, saying it could really be interpreted to mean almost anything, so use this as an excuse to throw up their hands and give up and dress, or undress, however he/she pleases.

That’s just exactly how far afield we have gone.

We have some Catholics which, despite all the above, think all kinds of things are acceptable right down to toplessness for women.

Some believe that “Everybody else is doing it” constitutes a valid excuse, but by judging how the Jews who adopted pagan customs were punished by God for doing so, I don’t think that excuse will “hold water” on judgment day.

Sadly, many people today would much rather risk eternal hell fire and damnation than hear advice on modesty or the Church’s teachings, much less have the humility to accept correction.

If I where to give a person advice about modesty and it was for the well being of their soul and I lost their friendship is it worth it. The answer is yes but it is still very hard to accept

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