Girls in off shoulder tops or thigh revealing miniskirts may soon start feeling the heat. A modesty movement is slowly gaining ground in the United States of America as more and more girls opt to cover themselves up, says Jennie Yabroff in an article in the Newsweek magazine.
These girls shun the 'bad girl' image. They don't aspire to be Britney Spears or Paris Hilton. They don't show skin or indulge in sin. Instead, they cover up, prefer to be virgins till they get married, take their moms along on dates and stick to Cinderella hour. They are the 'girls gone mild', as suggested by author Wendy Shalit in her new book titled the same.
Even the fashion industry is supporting this growing tribe of young women. Modelling and etiquette sites are promoting the possibility of being 'cute, stylish and modest.' Retail stores have started storing trendy but not-so-revealing labels. A new magazine calls itself a 'modest fashion' magazine. And Miss Utah walked the ramp in the 2007 Miss America contest in a modest one-piece swimsuit.
Shalit feels that this rebellion is a welcome change to the licentious times. In fact, in her first book, she had talked of chastity being hot and how she would be a virgin till she got married.
Women have made such choices earlier in history too. Joshua Zeitz, author of Flapper: A Madcap Story of Sex, Style, Celebrity, and the Women Who Made America Modern, says that those forward thinking women of 1920s who dared to smoke in public and cut their hair, "were the Britney Spears and Paris Hiltons of their day." The backlash, she says, came during the Great Depression, "when you see a movement to get women back into the home, in part to correct this culture of licentiousness." She suggests that the growing modesty movement could be a reaction to the acceptance of gays and lesbian into the mainstream.
Another suggestion is the mainstreaming of conservative religious values. In fact, many of the modest-clothing websites have religious underpinnings.
But what makes the movement unique, according to Shalit, is that it's the adults who are often pushing sexual boundaries, and the kids who are slamming on the brakes. "Well-meaning experts and parents say that they understand kids' wanting to be 'bad' instead of 'good'," she writes in her book. "Yet this reversal of adults' expectations is often experienced not as a gift of freedom but a new kind of oppression."
How far will this modesty movement continue remains to be seen. Till it lasts, good modest girls can have all the fun.
Edited by abide - 18 August 2007 at 9:32pm