Tag Archives: Wendy Shalit

If You’ve Got It, Flaunt It!

I was reading the Modestly Yours blog the other day and came across an interesting post. The post is entitled “A Quick Note on Miley . . .” Check out the original post for the comments.

The original post follows

This article appeared after Miley Cyrus came under fire for her choice of clothing on her latest album cover.

When answering the accusations levelled at her, Ms. Cyrus responded with the following words:

“I’m really comfortable with my body…”

Yes, again. Funny how “being comfortable” with your body always means showing it off.

“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.

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