What Really Is Modesty?



A veil is worn in spite of reverence to our Lord.

What Really Is Modesty?

Catechism of the Catholic Church says:

“Modesty protects the intimate center of the person. It means refusing to unveil what should remain hidden. It guides how one looks at others and behaves toward them in conformity with the dignity of persons. Modesty protects the mystery of persons and their love.” Modesty is being humble of our importance and not using material things to prove ourselves to people. It’s something not only about how we wear our clothes, but how we wear our hearts, a virtue necessary for purity.

Yes, modesty in what we dress is principal, but why? As women we should dress ourselves out of self love, we deserve to be treasured. We should dress in a way that respects our bodies, but also makes us feel good, especially about the person we are, because God made us all different. Just because your skirt doesn’t reach your knees doesn’t mean you aren’t modest. Judging someone for their skirt length is an immodesty, you’re not protecting your heart. What we wear shouldn’t be a stressor in our lives, if you allow yourself to be upset by what someone else is wearing, that’s a reflection of your own spiritual struggles.

There’s a time and a place for the different clothes we wear. Mass is a time of reverence, where our skirts should be longer and we present ourselves to God appropriately. The beach is a place where we wear our shorts, we wear our bathing suits. Being mindful of what we are wearing and where is a form of modesty.

A common mindset society has placed around the idea of modesty is this: women must dress modestly so men do not desire sexual sin. This is unfair to women as it makes them responsible for a man’s thoughts or actions. The idea of modesty is to keep your heart pure, keep you comfortable. It’s not something put into place by the church so men don’t look at you lustfully, it is here so everyone sees the authentic you, the you God created. The way a man views a woman is solely based on his own behaviors. Don’t let the evil thoughts of man disrespect the authentic you. Modesty is important because through it we can uniquely reflect Him. I know you’ve probably heard this a hundred times from your grandma, but it’s true, our bodies are incredible gifts from God, and because of this He challenges us to express them through Him and through his teachings of modesty. A practice that isn’t always easy, whether it’s of our hearts or our clothes, but one that releases you from a life filled with judgment. So, next time you’re getting ready, be conscious of why you’re wearing what you’re wearing and how you go about your day to accept who you are for yourself.