On Deconstructing from Modesty Culture
A few days ago, I wrote a mini Instagram essay about the female body and the stumbling block image many of us once attached our identities to. I want to expand more here in the safety of this paid version of Substack (if you are a Subscriber—welcome. If you paid a small fee to read this one article—welcome and thank you.)
It’s 2023 and Christian men still have opinions about appropriate women’s wear, flocking to Twitter (as per usual) to make their anti bikini/yoga pants stance known.
It’s already difficult to accept our bodies as they are, to stand naked in the mirror and recognize the goodness lodged in cells and tissues, folds and flaps. At age 12, I loathed my womanliness. My body curved early without my permission, my uterus contracted violently in the awkward, painful tension of a receding childhood.
I was thrust into a body I no longer recognized, still childlike in mind but not so childlike in appearance. No longer allowed to run through the sprinkler in a two-piece, suddenly self conscious of a rapidly growing chest no large t-shirt could hide. I was tomboyish because being a woman was already so embarrassing and uncomfortable. I didn’t know how to dress my strange body, especially with the new constraints of modesty, a word I don’t remember hearing until early teenhood.
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