Thursday, June 4, 2009

The Beauty of Restraint

By The Pleasant Times Etiquette Lady, Miss Rose

Summer will soon be upon us, and it is time for my annual rant on the cut of women's clothes: I think that fashion designers and clothing manufacturers cut too much material off of women's clothes in the summertime.

Now before anyone gets all hot and bothered saying "this is a free country," "we can do what we like" "You are being too judgmental" etc. let me first say that I am very glad this is a free country. I am glad we can dress the way we please. I have no objection to this being a free country. I would not want it any other way. I wanted to clear that up so that no one would have a heat stroke getting all worked up over that issue.

The freedom to exercise personal restraint is ours. We do not have to have anybody checking our closets, telling us what to wear. We have the freedom of choice, and the freedom to choose to restrain and refrain ourselves from dressing or behaving immodestly.

You may have an addiction to showing off parts of your body that you ought to be covering up. I wish that more girls would understand that there is more beauty and worth in a woman who chooses modesty and propriety.

Don't let "all hang out" -show a little restraint. If someone laughs at you tell them you are so special, that not just anybody can look at the rest of you. Yes, you will be made to feel bad by those who want to pull you down to their comfort level (so they won't feel so bare in their scanty clothes). Be brave. Somebody will thank you for it.

Put some value on yourself. Do not sell yourself cheaply by dressing in your underwear all summer. Use some restraint. Think of all the benefits of shading your skin from the sun.

I have entitled this article "The Beauty of Restraint" because I think that if we all showed restraint in our conduct, including what we wear and the way we wear it, and tried to be modest, it would make our summer a very beautiful one, not just for us, but for others around us. Many of us have heard of troubles in schools, churches, workplaces, etc. caused by girls who do not restrain themselves in their dress and behaviour. I believe a lot of girls dress immodestly to gain attention to themselves.

What you wear might flatter your complexion, your figure, etc. but what is really beautiful is who is wearing it. I don't know how many times I have been to a grocery store where the girl at the cash register has to wear a uniform, with a grocers' apron over it, but she is very attractive and popular with the customers, because of her sunny disposition, her winning smile, her happy eyes, and her cheerful comments to the customers. I know people who will wait longer just to be in a certain clerk's lane for those reasons. All you can really see of these ladies is their face and hair, and their hands taking your money. I suppose they are trained to be so friendly that the customers will be distracted from the high prices, and give up their money in a happy mood. Even so, it proves to me that if girls would just restrain themselves from dressing immodestly, and work on their smiles, their hair, getting a cheerful attitude and pure heart so as to add sparkle to their eyes, work on their voice and the content of their speech (no swear words, please), they would be far more attractive to people, and bring cheer instead of shame to the country.

Allow me to go down memory lane for a moment. I recall that certain old songwriters and poets used to write about a girl's voice ("low and sweet"), her face ("the fairest"), her eyes ("the truth in her eyes ever dawning"), her smile ("bright"). In the olden days, that was about as much of the girl as you were allowed to see. I think girls (and boys) prized clear, sparkling eyes, a sweet voice, and a happy smile back then, far more than a tan or a belly button.

Lest you think I am very unmerciful, let me just add that I am not without pity for a modern girl's plight. I am not advocating that everyone don sweatshirts and saggy baggy overalls this summer. After a recent clothing shopping trip, I realize that it is easier to say "dress modestly" than to do it, for I do not know where people go to find anything decent to wear. Finding a modest and beautiful garment is like looking for a needle in a haystack. I am sorry for the girls who do not sew (or do not have time to sew) their own clothes, because then they are at the mercy of whoever designs all that junk in the stores. I used to wonder why in the world girls dress like they do, but now I am feeling more sorry for them. They probably cannot find anything to wear but indecent, immodest clothing that is too short, too tight, too low-cut and too unflattering. (Yes, even if a girl has a beautiful figure, the latest styles are very unflattering to it. I have heard men and women say that the low-cut hip-hugger pants make a girl look "fat," "like she has a spare tire around her waist," and her "rear end looks wide." Sounds awful, doesn't it?)

My proposed solution to this dilemma is this: boycott the designers. Refuse to buy something that is ugly or immodest. Search out the beautiful, modest garment, and buy it. Count up how many times you get a compliment for wearing something nicer than what is out there. Send a strong message to the stores and designers that customers are tired of the trash.

And if you are someone who enjoys over-exposing yourself, I challenge you to use restraint this summer in your clothing choices.