What to do with old "immodest" photos and another question

Last night, I was looking through some old family photographs that I have, and I noticed that I used to dress rather immodestly (short shorts, mini-skirts, bikinis, etc.) I’ve confessed all that, and I try to dress modestly now. But what do I do with the existing photos? I hate to throw them away if they include my husband and son or other family members. There’s a photo of my husband and me with our toddler son at the beach, and I’m wearing a bikini. I thought maybe I could put a sticker on the photo to cover up my body somehow. Nobody is going to see these photos, except our son–and maybe one day if he gets married, his wife and children. I would hate for his future daughters to say, “Oh, wow–look at Grandma…if she dressed that way, I guess it’s fine for us to dress that way too.” (The sin of scandal in other words). Should I definitely throw away the ones that are just of myself (like one of me in short shorts when my husband and I were first married many years ago…before he got an anullment and we were sacramentally married in the Church. This is in a honeymoon scrapbook–which I sort of feel like the whole scrapbook is a sin because we weren’t married in the Church. I wasn’t Catholic then but my husband was). Now while I would never dress that way again, there is still a part of me that doesn’t want to throw them away because I am somehow proud of how thin/attractive I was. So I think the Lord is trying to show me that I am not unattached from this sin. And then I remembered a time when I was dressed in a long velvet gown with long gloves to be in a wedding, and then my husband and I went to a bar afterwards and I sang karaoke-- “These Boots are Made for Walkin’”–, and I enjoyed all the attention and enjoyed being alluring to men. I kept thinking back to that today, and while I would never want a man to sin because of me, a part of me is looking back longingly to that time…and wishing to be alluring in that way again. I think this could be temptation, and like I said, I feel like God is trying to tell me that I am not unattached from these sins (even though I have confessed and would never do these things again). How can I be sorry for these sins and yet be looking back at them longingly? Are these thoughts mortal sins?

Speaking as someone who has dealt with this recently I say do as I did and toss them. I admit that besides being embarrassed that I actually dressed like that but secretly thought hmmm I didn’t know I looked that good. IMHO you should toss them for many reasons among them it is an occasion of pride. Again IMHO we don’t need to be looking back on those times as good times.

I would give anything for more family photos, in any way shape or form.
You don’t have to display them, but…:rolleyes:
I don’t think anyone is going to plan their wardrobe on what grandma wore 30 years ago.
Just my 2 cents.

I wouldn’t throw them away, they are precious memories. You don’t dress like that any more, and I imagine it’s something you’ve discussed in confession, so I don’t think you’d be sinning to keep the photos. You’ll never have those moments again.

I agree with the above two comments. I would be reluctant to destroy those old photos because they represent a truth about how you dressed and what you thought was acceptable in those days. Perhaps I would not show them to the children until they are grown up and understand that parents are human and haven’t always been prim and proper. Individual attitudes and cultural norms of immodesty change over time. I don’t think those photos will be shocking or scandalous when viewed in some future time. I have pictures of myself as a long-haired teenager. I think my kids will be amused when they see them, though I may cringe. Whether I like it or not, that was me, back in the day.

You were a longhair? COOL! :cool:

What about the issue of thinking longingly back to singing karoke in the evening gown and gloves? I still must have that desire to be like a seductive movie star or something. So even though I wouldn’t want to tempt a man to sin in his thoughts NOW, I would have thought nothing of it back then. Was this a mortal sin to be looking back at that night with some enjoyment and some disappointment that I can’t ever dress and act that way again? Or is this more of a venial sin which shows my attachment still to sin? Am I making any sense?

Sounds like a burden to keep them. If they were mine I’d throw them out. Just my 2 cents and healthy living ways.

Keep them, keep them, keep them. You don’t necessarily need to display them, but you never know how important those pictures could be to your loved ones in the future. My paternal grandma had tossed out a number of pictures where she thought she didn’t look good/was being too revealing…and she died before any of her grandchildren were born. We hear all the time, “Oh, there was this really cute picture of her where she was doing XYZ…” and the pictures are gone. Her children and her grandchildren would have loved to been able to look at those pictures.

Unless you have the negatives, once destroyed, gone forever.


Modesty is a virtue. It is not necessary to be ashamed of your body though, either. Perhaps you are swinging too much the other way. There’s nothing in the catechism that compels you to be frumpy and ashamed of your body.

The bolded parts sound really scrupulous to me. I think that, no the photos, may be the real problem. Consider talking to a priest about that instead of your old picture.

As for the pictures themselves, keep them. Lots of people cringe a little when they see what they used to dress like, but few photos get thrown out on those grounds alone. Why? Because people want the photos to remember the experiences, not the clothes.

DITTO! With interest. Especially in light of the Karaoke/evening gown post.
Scruples. You can have too many of them.

I agree and also with the sentiment above that you never have enough photos when a loved one is gone.

It is nice to remember yourself as young and healthy (or thin and attractive), and if you truly are saving these photos for family, I very much doubt and sure hope your grandkids won’t think, “Wow, Grandma was hot” in a sinful way.

I don’t actually have a picture of myself singing karoke in this gown…I just remembered back to it. The gown itself was actually pretty elegant except it did expose my shoulders. I wore it to be a bridesmaid so it wasn’t that bad. I guess the issue is the way I sang the song–in a sexy voice with gestures–not lewd gestures–just a little bit of “come hither” like an old '40s movie starlet. So even though I would never do it again, and I would never want a man to sin in his thoughts (my heart/intentions weren’t so pure at the time though), is thinking back to this and enjoying the memory and being disappointed that I couldn’t act that way ever again…is that a mortal sin or a venial sin? Because I’m trying to figure out if I need to go to Confession today before Communion or whether an act of contrition with suffice.

Are you a scrupulous person? Are you touched by a strong culpability? Are you touched by wrong mentalities about your body and Co? Are you a puritan person? Are you a victorian person? Are you a jansenist person?

Are you a follower of strange catholic movements? Are you a follower of Madam Colleen Hammond’s view on the modesty and Co? Are you a follower of the Mister Ronald Conte Jr’s view on the modesty and Co? Are you a follower of Mister Raylan Alleman’s view on the modesty and Co?

You need to talk to a “true catholic priest”, I mean a priest who does not encourage your scrupules and who struggle against the “catholic protestanisms” about modesty, decency, garments and all the topics with focus on the body.


Don’t yell at the OP in caps, that’s not nice. In fact, your whole post isn’t very nice :mad:

In USA, in Europe and everywhere in the world, there are fundamentalist “catholic” movements who want to be more catholic than the catholicism and than the Pope. STOP, STOP, STOP.

When Dr. Alice von Hildebrand explains that the puritanism and Co is not a great issue in the modern world, I do not understand. Where does she live?

There are many works to do for destroying the Manicheism, the Catharism,the Jansenism, the Victorianism, the Puritanism, the Prudism, **the intellectual diseases **concerning the body and the sins of body.


**Only an exemple, for information. Good reading, I would like to have your reactions. **


Dressing with Dignity
Outfit Check
"There is a difference between dressing attractively,
and dressing to attract.“

  1. Is my blouse well-designed?
    a. Try on the blouse and bend over. If you can see down your shirt, so can everyone else.
    FASHION TIP: Tape it to your chest, otherwise this blouse has to go. Or try a scarf or camisole under it.
    b. When wearing a knit shirt, take your fingertips and press them into your shirt over your breastbone. When you take your hand away, does it spring back? If so, this top too tight! (Well-endowed ladies: be extra careful!)
    FASHION TIP: Get rid of the blouse. It’s not going to get bigger overnight!
    c. When wearing a blouse that buttons down the front, stand sideways and look in the mirror. Put your hands on your hips like —chicken wings“ and try to touch your elbows together behind your back. If your blouse gaps, you’re in danger of exposing too much–not to mention losing a button and exposing even more!
    FASHION TIP: Blouses that are too tight are unbecoming, especially for a lady who dresses with dignity. Try buying a blouse a size or two larger to allow the blouse to be looser and for you to be able to more freely. Or, try a camisole (or a plain, loose t-shirt) under the buttoned blouse. (Make sure they pass the Outfit Check!)
    d. Does your blouse plunge too low in the front? A blouse is not attractive or demure if it dips lower than two fingers widths below the pit of your throat. It should also have sleeves that cover your shoulders and upper arms. And also make sure you‘re note exposing your upper back. FASHION TIP: Use a fashion scarf to fill in the low spots of your blouse.
    e. Does my top have any type of writing or message on it? A confident lady has the good taste not to use her bosom as a billboard. A top with a message doesn‘t work.
    FASHION TIP: Insist on others treating you with dignity, and don‘t make yourself a billboard. Ditch it.
  2. Am I showing my belly?
    a. Reach up as if you‘re getting something off the top shelf. Does that expose any back or belly skin?
    FASHION TIP: Pull out that camisole or t-shirt again, and make sure they pass the Outfit Check.
  3. How long? How short?
    a. Below the knee is considered fashionable and dignified. Does the skirt or dress have slits? Forget it! It‘s better to forego altogether a skirt or dress with slits. If an outfit has a slit in it for ”ease of movement‘, then it‘s probably too tight for comfort…or elegance! Unless they stop below your knee, slits are out.
    FASHION TIP: You can find long, flowing skirts almost anywhere today. A dignified lady keeps her kneecaps covered…even when she‘s sitting. And don‘t forget to wear a slip!
  4. Tight, Clingy, Sheer…
    a. Can you see an outline of your panties or bra through your clothing–either because your clothing is too tight, too clingy, or too sheer? Are any undergarments hanging out of your outer clothing?
    FASHION TIP: Trash any clothing that is tight, clingy or transparent. It‘s undignified and in bad taste.

Before you leave the house, here‘s a little poem my daughter came up with
as an —Outfit-Check“:
—Heads, shoulders, knees and toes. Doesn‘t work? Then out it goes!“
a. Put both of your hands on your head. Does the skin around your waist show (stomach or back)?
b. Put your hands on your shoulders. Are they covered? Check your neckline, too, and make sure it isn‘t too low.
c. Bend over and put your hands on your knees. Does your top hang open and away from your body? Does you clothing cover your knees? Check for slits.
d. Bend down and touch your toes. Does your back show?
If you can pass the head-shoulders-knees-and-toes test, congratulations! You are now developing a style all your own–and Dressing with Dignity!

Those tips are… !!!

If you agree with them, the debate is almost impossible. These tips are…!!!


Scrupulosity (the excessive level of avoidance of temptation and/or excessively low bar for what is sinful) is itself a form of sin.

I’d advise keeping them, but not in a readily accessible location, for the future generations will want them.

Also, what the OP has described isn’t immodest. (Well, assuming that the bikini covers the genitalia.)

Also, I’d suggest the OP think about what’s actually visible in some of the churches of Italy, especially of Rome - lots of nude human figures.

Adam’s sins didn’t include nakedness - they were disobedience and pride. And his covering up of his body was proof of his disobedience.

I don’t want to be uncharitable, but as catholic I have the right to try to explain the Roman Catholic Teaching, in the details with all subtleties: not more and not less. All catholic lay person has to know that the scrupules, the Scrupulism, the wrong culpability, the Culpabilism, many heresies, ideologies and mentalities have to be fought by the doctrine and the practice. The dialogue between Faith and Reason and the dialogue between Reason and Faith are important rules for discerning.

By intellectual diseases, I want to say “a disease of intelligence”, philosophically speaking and theologically speaking. For instance, the modernism is a disease of the intelligence according to the words of the Pope SAINT PIE X.

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