Friday, May 29, 2009

Modesty and Sacred Things and a Little Irreverence

So, still listening to Our Life in Christ Archives, though now I'm in the middle of a three episode series on the Virgin Mary.

They were talking about sacred objects/space, and of course a little modesty got thrown in there for good measure.

One amusing (to me) point they raised, when speaking of typology of Mary in the Old Testament, and her being a new Ark (typologically). And they were trying to give the listener some sort of idea about the Jewish perspective on Holy things, things that God Himself has touched or dwelled in. So we would understand, perhaps, how Joseph felt about Mary having been informed that she was carrying God in her womb. And they relayed a story of how, when the Ark of the Covenant was being brought to Jerusalem by David's army, it slipped, and was falling to the ground. A man reached out to catch it, to keep it from hitting the ground. And got *toasted* for his trouble. And, being me, I snickered, and thought, were I Joseph? I wouldn't have ever gotten near Mary. Just in case. :)


One of the hosts, and I honestly can't tell them apart at this point, from their voices, was relating sacred space and modesty and all that, and told a story about his daughter from a few years back. She was nine-ish at the time, and, as the story goes, they were talking about the body being the temple for the Holy Spirit, and how, in church, there are some things that she (and others) are not qualified to touch. Only the priest is. And how, because our bodies are temples for God, most people aren't qualified to touch them. Or look at them, etc. Kind of a cute story.

And then, there was a sort of discussion going on elsewhere, where someone claimed that 70's style jeans and sweaters, etc. were modest and we didn't need to follow Biblical standards of modesty anymore, because this is 2009, not 209. And those of us who would follow a more old fashioned form of modesty should give up all modern amenities as well. *rolls eyes*

Since I missed the 70's, entirely, I had to look up what 70's style jeans were. Let's have a comparison, shall we?

On the left we have a muslimah style outfit. I find it very pretty and modest, but ya'll could guess that, right?
On the right we have a 70's style pair of jeans and a shirt. Erm...huh.


  1. I remember the 70's ( I graduated in '79)...I had those skin tight body suits with low hip hugger jeans...modest, uh, no.

    ( Oh to be that size again! Not to wear those immodest styles mind you-just to be that size again-sigh!)

  2. Ever since I've made the drift towards serious, dedicated modesty, outfits like those on the left have become much less abnormal looking and very feminine and real.

    Meanwhile, outfits like the one on the right have become garish and unnatural.

    It's amazing what happens when we take the blindfold off of our eyes and see the truth!

  3. I too will confess to remember 'hot pants' and flower power trousers.... and that's ALL I am fessing up to at this stage :0D

  4. I like the line "not qualified to look at".

  5. Oh goodness I remmber those days. I graduated in 78 and those were the things I used to wear. I look like the one on the left now.

  6. Amber ~ would you like to be an author at Farm Hijabi? I love what you have to say about stuff! Let me know ~ email me at and I'll invite you as an author.

  7. I was amused by the commentor on my blog that claimed 70's styles were modest. Whatever.

    When I was a kid in elementary school my MOM used to make me wear hip-hugging bell bottoms, awful "halter" shirts (sewn from a folded-in-half bandana and strings!) and flip flops. She never understood then why I hated wearing such half-naked crap. I hated it and walked around feeling like trash.

    Later, when I brought this up as an adult my mom would sneer at me and throw it in my face now and again. "You act like you were traumatized by wearing flipflops and halter tops!"

    Yeah, I was. Even a little girl can tell when her body is on display!! I even hated sun dresses because they had no sleeves and I felt half-naked.

    Mom accused me of acting like she abused me for dressing me that way and you know what? To dress a girl so she looks like a ho *is* abuse. Some women back then... they were so intent on that kind of crap that I guess they never paused and thought about how those styles sexualized girls!!

    I became a Catholic in 1998. I adopted modest clothes just before that ~ gorgeous long dresses and skirts with under-skirts and head coverings. (Though I didn't veil all of the time.) My family and friends of the family tormented me and insulted me and dogged on me to no end. I healed up from an injury and was able to take long walks and suddenly, in 8 months, I shrank! So when I moved to Alaska I didn't have any nice modest clothes. I was going to college then so I didn't have any money any more ~ so I was stuck in clearence-sale men's jeans and t-shirts for YEARS. Couldn't wear women's jeans and shirts because they were all Britany Spears by then. I was too chicken to cover my head then.

    But I'm a different woman now! Not afraid one bit ~ and I'm finally building my wardrobe back up with long flowy skirts and dresses. Only now I won't wear short-sleeves.

    Around the house I wear long-sleeve men's t-shirts and plus-size baggy cords. That's because living on a farm totally trashes your clothes! I don't always cover when I go to visit neighbors. I'm slowly getting them used to that whole thing. The last thing I want to do is shock anyone half to death. But I always cover if I go anywhere else. Thankfully the head scarf is not unknown here!

    I will NEVER force my daughter to wear any kind of slutty clothes. No way.

    (Amber, if any of your readers want to be added to the list of farm-hijabi just have them send me an email at that address.)

  8. P.S. I wasn't traumatized by flip flops!!

  9. I love this post! I linked it to the blog carnival I am hosting in celebration of Jewish, Christian and Muslim women who choose to cover their hair in obedience to their Lord.

  10. Mamajuliana,

    Hee. We'll say nothing of who experienced the 70's or not. :) But, from what I've seen, none of the clothes from the 70's were particularly modest.

  11. Michelle,

    It really is a process. Not long ago, I would have thought, as long as there wasn't a lot of skin showing, the clothes would be modest. I know better now. :)

    Hmm...I don't know, the flip flops would have traumatised me. :) But, honestly, why *do* some parents think it's okay to dress their children like that?

    I'm going to put up a link with your email, about Farm Hijabi.

  12. Ahavah,

    *lol* You don't have to admit to anything you don't want to. :-)

  13. Alana,

    It was a line that really struck me, too.

  14. miss mary,

    While I don't *quite* meet those standards yet, it's what I'm working towards. At least at this point in my life I look more like the picture on the left than the one on the right.

  15. Hajar,

    I'm glad you liked the post.

  16. I love the black outfit. I would wear that.

    I would not wear the 70s one

  17. ok sob wail... you've twisted my arm and now I feel racked with guilt... I fess up...

    I wore hot pants and halter neck tops.. I did, sniff... :0(

    and my gran thought I would catch my death of cold..... oh she would so laugh now... under my long, floor length dresses I not only wear petticoats but pjs that double up as bloomers (they keep my knees warm) :0D

  18. Kristen,

    Ditto. If there was a store that sold clothes like that where I live, or even in some of the larger surrounding towns, it would be the only place I shop. As it is, I have a hard time finding clothes at this point.

  19. Ahavah,

    *hugs and pets head* It's all over now sweetie. :) It just goes to show that we should listen to our elders. ;)

  20. Where did you find that totally cute denim outfit pictured here? I want one! : D

  21. Heather,

    Apparently from

    I've never bought from there, I just was googling for a proper jilbab pic for comparison's sake.

    It's pretty though, isn't it?


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