• Thu, Oct 3 - 4:14 pm ET

10 Troublesome Comments From The Christian ‘Modest Is Hottest’ Teen Series

The self-proclaimed “largest community of Christian teen girls on the web!” otherwise known as Project Inspired has a wealth of material for that exact cohort. With beauty tips, polls, books, and advice columns, at first glance the site seems like any other teen girl digital haven. But the site’s “Modest Is Hottest” series, in which staff highlight “modest” gowns on various red carpets as well as “makeover” a celeb lady who transgresses, make for more troublesome reads — and I’m not talking about the copy in the articles. I’m talking about all the crazy double standard, victim-blamy logic that is happening among young girls in the comment threads, all conducted behind the shield of Modesty.

While you can certainly scratch your head at the completely subjective definition of “modesty” being used in this series (it’s pretty inconsistent), the conversation among the readership has even bigger red flags. More compelling than their debates over hemlines and necklines, however, are the recurring and problematic themes of females being the innate gatekeepers of modesty, of undermining their own personal assessments of their bodies because they’re female, and of shouldering responsibility for the behavior of men and boys.

And lest you think these ladies are judging with their body shaming and slut shaming, each of the “Modest is Hottest” posts comes with a double linked disclaimer clarifying the judgey mcjudgerson tone. The site’s creator and model, Nicole Weider, writes in a piece entitled “Why God Instructs Us to Judge Unrighteous Acts”:

I sometimes get comments from readers saying that it’s not very Christian of me to judge other people’s actions — for example, what I say in my Lady Gaga or Nicki Minaj article. The majority of my articles focus on positive things, but I have a responsibility as a Christian to point out negative influences and sinful behaviors in our culture. I’m writing this article to explain why and when it’s appropriate to call attention to, and in fact, judge inappropriate and sinful actions and behavior. It’s very important though that you understand that I am never judging the person or their fate, because that is God’s territory. I am judging their harmful actions.

And with that, let’s judge away these “harmful actions” — otherwise known as dresses.

1. “Causing our brothers in Christ to stumble”modesty2

2. Body-shaming! Yay!modesty3 3. “If something comes after her, she’s in trouble”modesty4 4. “OUR opinion of whether a skirt is too short or not is not what matters”modesty5 5. Who bends all the way over in skirts?modesty6 6. “The smallest things affect guys more than you’d think”modesty7 7. “Do you have any idea what’s like for the poor guy who is trying not to look at you in a lustful way?”modesty88. “It is not wise to judge it based on what YOU as a female think”modesty19. “Help them out a little”modesty910. “We do have a responsibility”modesty10

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    “ducttaper4jc”

    Um. Who exactly is this field-frolicking gal duct taping for Jesus?

  • http://anniedeezy.tumblr.com/ Annie

    Also, where is the dudes’ responsibility in all this? Not as far as not being rapists, because that’s 100% on them, but helping their Sisters in Christ not lust for them.

    If I see a guy of a certain physique, and he’s wearing those jeans that aren’t baggy but aren’t cigarette jeans either, but like that kinda boot cut, and especially with a studded belt? I’m getting mad girl boners, okay? And if he’s wearing a thin t-shirt, or bitchin’ sneakers? Girl boners.

    I guess where I’m going with this is that dudes need to burqa up if they want to keep me from straying down the path of deliciou- evil, I mean evil!

    http://www.upscalehype.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/02/jonathan-rhys-meyers.jpg

  • Sandy

    Typical – its always the poor mens fault that they get rapey if we wear something showing skin. Jesus christ!

  • Carol

    Clearly these women are just TOO HOT. I know every time I wear a short skirt the men can’t help themselves and I have to run away and find a garbage bag to wrap myself in. I can’t blame them, it’s my fault for being far too gorgeous, just like these women clearly are. Maybe one day when men evolve frontal lobes capable of self-control, personal tastes and having more thoughts than “what me rape today” we can start wearing fashionable clothing. Until then, I must hide away my beauty in my room. Cause god is my controlling, creepy father.

  • Justathought

    Dressing in a way that draws attention to our sexier areas (awkward phrase but can’t think of a better) does encourage people to consider having consensual sex with us. If Christian boys are trying not to lust after girls (“lust after” as in thinking about being sexually intimate with the *consenting* girl) and Christian girls decide to be helpful in this regard by not dressing in a way that draws attention to their sexiness (or whatever) what’s the issue? Some people keep trying to draw a victim-blaming connection. These girls aren’t talking about trying to help boys to refrain from raping them. They are talking about helping boys not to think sexually about them (in a way that most non-Christians wouldn’t take issue with) because they think it’s wrong to do so before marriage. I don’t think the overall premise of the blog is wrong, just the manner in which some young ladies are expressing their opinions…

    • Gangle

      I have no problems with that idea. I would feel different if the blog was all about fashion tips and ideas and showing pictures of celebrities dressed in outfits that fit in with their personal brand of modesty (because that word means different things to different people) and comfort level. Hell, I will cover up more sometimes because in some situations it feels more comfortable. I just don’t like, that rather than doing this, they choose to pick apart and tear into women that do not share their same ideals. I don’t see how that is positive at all.

    • noelle 02

      I agree that the idea is great, the attitudes of the readers is the issue. Reminds me of some heated discussions on this board, as a matter of fact!

  • brebay

    How can a religion who puts men at the head of the family, and over his wife, have such a low opinion of the men they put in charge? If boys and men are that weak and incapable of self-discipline, why the hell do you give them all the power? What a bunch of male-hating little bitches. An un-neutered dog humps the sofa….let’s make him the boss!

  • Pingback: The Internet And Teen Sexuality

  • Emily Clocke

    Not only are these comments incredibly sexist towards women, but they’re also sexist towards men too. Most men are not uncontrollable sex beasts. The average man can control his lustful thoughts regardless of what a nearby woman is showing off.

    • Muggle

      I’ve always thought that men should be insulted by the implication that they’re sex beasts with all the self-control and discipline of a toddler. I mean, I would be…

  • Chris DeVries

    I’ve noticed that there’s an asymmetry in many individuals’ perception of how members of both sexes experience sexual desire and temptation. When the Christian moralists talk about modesty, they never seem to exhort boys and men to avoid wearing tight shirts that show off their muscles, or tight pants which “bulge” in the genital area, lest they lead their sisters in Christ into temptation. In my experience, teenagers of both genders are wildly hormonal nutcases, and yet girls’ lust is something which they are expected to keep in check on their own by the dogmatic ideologues of their particular patriarchal religion, while boys clearly need all the help they can get.

    While I do have a significant problem with any community that holds one sub-group of members responsible (wholly or partially) for the bad behavior (as defined in that community) of another sub-group (of equal age and therefore maturity), this would be far less obscene if everyone was judged by the same standard. As it stand now, boys are being taught that they are not wholly responsible for their desires and the actions that they may or may not take based on those desires (or at least, that society will not hold them wholly responsible). These boys will become men, and even though there is plenty of evidence that men have just as much free will as women (none, incidentally, but that’s a philosophical debate for another day), they will have come to believe that they should, and will be excused from certain responsibilities that other men, and all women, bear without a second thought.

    All of this highlights the desperate need for primary, and middle-school (secular) education in how to be a good, productive, responsible member of society. If families and religious institutions are still producing men who expect others to take responsibility for their shameful choices and women who blame themselves whenever a man objectifies them (or worse), it is up to public schools to make sure these disturbing trends stop.

  • http://www.cafepress.com/ladycrim ladycrim

    It’s definitely not about the clothing! I’m a burlesque dancer, and I have yet to cause one male to “fall into temptation”. (Well, except my boyfriend … but he’s supposed to! ;-) ) This is yet more examples of holding females responsible for male actions. Disgusting.

  • moomoo

    Guys can lust after a girl just by seeing her face. So…burqa time?

  • moomoo

    I just said essentially the same thing as paul white…oops…

  • logica

    I think I found the perfect swimsuit for these hot, but modest girls:
    http://www.eastessence.com/islamic-clothing/modest-swimwear/Izraq-Burqini-UV-chlorine-resistant-Italian-Fabric.html
    I lets you enjoy swimming without showing off your sinful body and tempting poor, innocent boys into having lustful thoughts. Because as a woman you are responsible for what men think and do if they see your unclothed form.

  • elexcia washington

    There’s nothing wrong with a girl dressing modestly and there’s nothing wrong giving “celebrity makeovers”… I bet most of the people on here have no problem watching foul mouth Joan Rivers give fashion critiques that are often degrading to women– and most are probably busting a gut while watching.
    I don’t believe a girl or woman dressing immodestly is going to cause a boy or man to rape her or even think about raping her. There is never any justification or any reason for someone to violate any other human being.

    But dressing modestly isn’t about keeping a guy from raping you and I might have missed it , but i didn’t see a comment that said that. I saw, what appeared to be young girls explain why Christian women should dress modestly. Anyone who has watched discovery channel knows that guys are stimulated visually ( more so than women). And anyone has read the bible knows that we are all accountable to each other. While everyone lusts no one knows the inward battle each of us fight. And while there are a lot of sites about women, most churches that teach modesty to girls also have modesty standards for boys and men. They make these sites because girls are under a lot more pressure to look a certain way. This is a topic of discussion among many not just the religious.

    Most of the comments here are from a bunch of people who hate Christians or think Christianity is stupid.
    What is powerful or uplifting about a woman objectifying herself? The illusion of being in control of her sexuality when in actuality a bunch of men are making more money off of her “sexual power and freedom” than she is? What is wrong with telling a woman you can be attractive without being immodest. Nothing.
    Being a Christian is a choice and modesty is subjective… you don’t have to be or do either.

  • Be okay

    Okay, okay. So while don’t agree with the whole “judging righteously” thing, not in that way at least, I have scrolled through the comments and I just shake my fist at the whole thing. Modesty is important. It is!!! It doesn’t matter what religion or lack thereof. Your body is a great thing. We can do so many great things with it, push our physical limits, and even create life. So why are people not respecting that awesome power? It’s a false argument to say that you shouldn’t to be modest because they are going to lust anyways. That’s like saying “Well, I’m not going going to wear armor when I go to battle because I’m probably going to die anyways.” Here’s the thing. Lusting never leads to goodness or happiness. Why should we sit by, saying its okay flaunt away are body and its awesome powers and okay that people crave those things because they are natural to them and will do it anyways? Aren’t we supposed to be better the society? How can just excepting and making excuse possibly lead to growth?
    Modesty is important. No, it’s not something to use to judge others. It’s not undermining the value and worth of being a female. Modesty is more than clothing; it’s the value of respect and self confidence, the type that can help you live ad do great things. Modesty isn’t just for women either. Men also have this duty, despite what the world believes today. It’s not because we at female or male though. It’s about the fact we have the duty and responsibility to respect ourselves and our bodies and overall each other

  • Truthseeker

    Given that men are more visually stimulated, the burden of greater responsibility of dress falls on the woman. Failure to dress modestly is gravely sinful and filled with shame. Immodestly is slutty and unacceptable. Men too need to dress modestly and avoid short shorts and tight pants, though this is generally less of a problem.