Modesty, defined increasingly narrowly in the Church as deliberately dressing in ways that are not intended to be sexually provocative, or, even more rigidly, conforming to a dress code dictating the boundaries of acceptable non-provocative attire, is frequently understood in terms of its effects on (male) onlookers.
When modesty is discussed as something individuals might do for themselves, it’s generally framed as a way of signaling respect for one’s body.
But what about when women’s motivation for covering up stems not from an earnest valuation of their bodies, but from just the opposite impulse–out of dislike for their bodies? Is this too a form of modesty, and is it virtuous?
- 30 March 2009