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“If you’ve got, it flaunt it,” is a hot button issue with me. I find this is one of the issues that comes up in conversation time and again. I do not cover myself because I am ashamed of my body. I cover it up because it’s fantastic and no one has any right to see it. It’s perhaps a rather pompous statement but, none the less, is exactly how I feel.
I too was a teenager once in my life. I didn’t see the point in modesty. I wasn’t running around in nothing but I was sporting the tank-and-bra-strap look very frequently. I was ok with jeans with large contrasting patches on my back-side. Baby-Ts were in and I was happy with that. Around grade 11 or 12 something slowly took root. I had read A Return to Modesty, by Wendy Shalit, in the summer between grade 11 and 12 which probably made me a little bit more conscious of many of my behaviours.
I was a teeny little girl who was a bit top-heavy. During the same summer I read Shalit’s book, I had gone on a trip and had spent a good deal of time with a guy friend who would point out all the boys/men looking at me and doing double-takes. It appears I had been fairly oblivious to how much ogling was going on.
I don’t really know when the switch finally flipped. At one point I took off the patches from the jeans. By the time I was 19, finished my first stint in post secondary, and living on my own, I had decided that more coverage was ok. Perhaps it was preferable.
When I got married I wore a back-less dress, though the front showed no cleavage (at least it didn’t all hang out). I still, more or less, followed the common mode of dress. But, within 2 years I had sworn off pants. A year and a half after that, my hair was undercover for good.
So what does this all have to do with Miley? I think it’s possible that she’ll grow out of it. I think this can be the unfortunate part of the process we all go through to, “find ourselves.” I wasn’t raised in a home where modesty was a constant point of discussion, it barely registered. So here is hoping that Miley figures out that she is worth the self-respect a pair of sleeves and coverage to the knees can bring.\
You can also read “Why Miley Cyrus is stripping down as she grows up,” written, incidentally, by Wendy Shalit.