Thursday, September 01, 2005

Too Modest?

Is there such a thing as being too modest? I am sure I have written something about this before but I don't know where...

This past weekend, I was with someone at the beach. She had a swimsuit on that had integrated shorts on it. It looked like she was wearing shorts over her bathing suit, but it was actually a one-piece suit. Now I have nothing against swimsuits like this, in fact to my taste, it looked a lot better than some other ultra-modest swimsuits I have seen. It is all a matter of personal choice and taste.

It is when she said she was glad that I had gone into the toilet stall to change, and that it was a good idea especially to teach Maryssa that you don't change in front of everyone like that, that I got a weird vibe. I told her quite frankly that the only reason I did go into the stall was because I thought SHE might be uncomfortable, not because I wouldn't do it. After all, this WAS a girls only changing room. Yes, but according to her this didn't matter, because the more free we are with members of our own sex, the more free we will be elsewhere too.

Ummm excuse me, but I have no problem changing in a woman's changing room, especially since I am doing it quickly, not parading around, and most of the time, I am never completely naked, even when slipping on a swimsuit, I usually keep my shirt on until I have slipped the swimsuit up to cover my bottom and most of the way up to my breasts, then I take my shirt off, often facing a wall somewhere and pull the straps of my swimsuit all the way up. This does not make me in the least an exhibitionist. I realize not all women are comfortable with this, but they can change in stalls if they like.

I have also taken showers after hot sweaty basketball games alongside some of the members of my team, with no shower curtains separating us. We all wore towels to and from the shower, took them off quickly, washed quickly, and put them back on quickly, being careful to look each other in the eyes and not elsewhere if talking to each other. We weren't there to parade around naked, show off or check each other out. We were there to TAKE A SHOWER for crying out loud. This has NOT made me more sleasy in how I dress nor has it turned me into an exhibitionist.

Am I alone (lets specify: alone among self-respecting Catholics) in thinking that this mentality is exaggerated? I don't care if another woman doesn't want to take a shower in a womens' changing room unless there is a curtain to hide her. I don't care if she doesn't want to change in front of other women. I don't care if she prefers ultra-modest swimsuits to standard swuimsuits, but if she implies that to do the opposite is or could lead to being immoral, that's another thing altogether.

I consider myself a REAL woman. (Just my own personal opinion) And I know I have posted this before (see the June archives, last post at the top). I am not ashamed of my body, but neither do I flaunt it. I am a woman, I am not ashamed of having breasts, I do not feel the need to hide the fact that I do by wearing extremely loose clothing or otherwise. I also do not feel the need to show them off them with plunging necklines and extremely tight clothing. I prefer form-fitting clothing. I rather think it very attractive.

Even showing some midriff is not something I oppose. If it is morally acceptable for men to expose their bellies, why should it be immoral to see a woman's belly? Once again, one does not need to wear extremely low-cut pants paired with a top that starts just under the breasts, with a plunging neckline. You don't have to look like Britney Speares or Madonna when you bare the belly. It's all in what you wear and how you wear it.

If a man goes swimming in trunks and no shirt, should it be so bad for a woman to go swimming in decently cut bottoms and a tank that is cropped to just above the belly button and that has a decent neckline? Is a woman's belly button more "sexual" than a man's? More "immoral"? More "indecent"? A man would not go topless to mass or to a fancy restaurant. A woman can also refrain from showing off the belly button in such places.

I have yet to bare my belly button in public, (probably never will as I am personally uncomfortable doing so, especially now, after five kids...) but I have seen others do so and without making tramps of themselves. Is it really so bad?