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Modesty is Unremarkable

By Chris Pelicano (bio - articles - email) | Feb 17, 2012

My daughters told me recently that modest clothing is unremarkable in itself, but remarkable in its potential effects. Ironically, the benefit of modest clothing is its transparency, so to speak. Modest clothing attracts attention neither to itself nor to the superficial qualities of the person wearing it. In fact, by not being a distraction or an end in itself, modest clothing allows the character of the person to become more evident.

Indecent fashions tend to reduce the human person to the superficiality of their exposed or accentuated body parts ... saying, in effect, "Look at me, I'm an object. Look at me as an object." On the other hand, prudish clothing, although rare, tends to provoke an opposite but equally superficial criticism that the prude is socially inept, awkward, and out of touch. Both styles miss the truth about the dignity of the human person.

In our cynical culture obsessed with shallow sensationalism, modesty is like truth in advertising: rare but powerful. It's the real deal—and that's what makes it so special.

Christopher Pelicano is a graphics artist who has both designed and written for Chris has more than 30 years of experience in graphic design, illustration, and creative problem solving, including many Catholic projects. Among other things, he created the author bio sketches on this website.
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  • Posted by: hartwood01 - Feb. 19, 2012 8:54 PM ET USA

    Our Muslim sisters dress modestly yet you will hear people,including priests state that they are oppressed. I can only speak for the US,but believe me,these women choose to dress modestly,some wear the hijab (veil),some don't. They are relieved to have some freedom from the leer often given to women in this sex-saturated culture. Too bad we Christian women won't follow their example and wear clothing that does not look like we were poured into something 2 sizes too small and too skimpy.

  • Posted by: kmbold - Feb. 17, 2012 6:33 PM ET USA

    Now if we just had more of it.