A few years ago a preacher’s daughter won the Miss Universe bathing beauty contest. A newspaper reporter asked the girls’ mother concerning the bathing suit competition, “How do you reconcile your daughter’s being in the bathing suit contest with the religion which her father preaches?” The mother looked him straight in the eye and said, “I think that anyone who would think wrong simply has a wicked mind.”
I would not attempt for a minute to justify the lustful look, but the men are certainly not getting any help from women these days! In fact, many of the clothes are designed and worn to make men look! If you don’t believe me, just look at the descriptive phrases and adjectives used for women’s fashions today in the advertisements of your local newspaper. There’s where the story is told in plain language. It leaves no room for doubt or quibbles.
Mary Quant, London fashion designer, who designed and introduced the miniskirt in 1964, is on record as having said, “It is designed to seduce a man” (believe it or not, it didn’t take me long to figure that out). Yet, it would appear that most of the women’s fashions today are designed for similar purposes – if we can believe the advertisements!
The following phrases are taken from one issue of Butterick Patterns’ Fashion News (several years ago).
“Season of Exposure,” “The Looks Are Cool and Vampish,” “These New Skin-Showing Dresses,” “Let’s You Show Off a Long Stretch of Leg,” “Fun and Flirty,” “New Sensuous Dresses, ” ” Snug on Top, ” “New Bare Dresses, ” “Bathing Suits Are Bitsy,” Suits Are Bitsy,” “A Bit of Bra Top,” “Bare and Scooped Down to the Waist,” “Baring the Shoulders and a Lot of Back,” “Torsos Are Super Close to the Body,” “Long Lengths of Leg Dart Out From Under Short Shorts,” “Season of Sensuous, Skin Baring Looks,” “Barest Little Halter Dress,” “A Skimpy Bit of Dress That’s Scooped Out Deeply at the Neckline,” “Two Skinny Straps,” “Deeply Split Neckline,” “Shows a Lot of Skin,’ , “Brief Little Short Shorts,” “Midriff . . Bare and Bold,” “Legs Feel Long and Free,” “Skirt That Stops Short to Show off a Long Stretch of Leg.”
It doesn’t take a Solomon to see where the emphasis is in women’s fashions. But look at the definition of some of the descriptive terms that we found in these advertisements:
“Bold” – “too forward; taking undue liberties; lacking proper modesty or restraint.”
“Snug” – “tight; not loose.”
“Vampish” – from “vamp” – “one who uses her charm or wiles to gain admiration and attention from the opposite sex.”
“Frivolous” — “given to trifling; marked with unbecomed levity.”
“Exposure” – from “expose” – “to lay open to, or set out for, inspection; to exhibit, as goods for sale; to lay or leave bare.”
“Bare” – “baring” – “without clothes or covering, esp. the usual covering; naked; nude; fully revealed; unconcealed; exposed.”
If you will pardon the pun, I would say that those terms are “very revealing.” God’s terms for the dress and demeanor of Christian women are found in 1 Timothy 2:9-10 – “In like manner, also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; but (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.”
Now, notice the definition of God’s terms for the dress and demeanor of the Christian woman:
“Modest” – Gr., Kosmois, “orderly, well-arranged, decent, modest” (Vine).
“Shamefacedness” – Gr., aidos, “a sense of shame, modesty” (Vine). “Shamefastness is that modesty which is ‘fast’ or rooted in the character” (Davies, Bible English, p. 12).
Sensuous” – synonym’s t9sensual,” “pert. to, or consisting in, the gratification of the senses, or the indulgence of appetite; fleshly; devoted to the pleasures of sense of appetite; voluptuous; sometimes, lewd.”
“Sobriety” – Gr., sophrosune, “denotes soundness of mind . . . ‘sound judgment’ practically expresses the meaning” (Vine).
“Chaste” – (1 Pet. 3:21) Gr. hagnos, Signifies (a) pure from every fault, immaculate… (b) pure from carnality, modest” (Vine).
Certainly the tenor of these terms is far different from the suggestivity of the advertisements above. God’s terms teach us that the Christian woman must be different in her daily dress – she must be modest and chaste, with shamefastness and sobriety. How, before God can she do so when wearing the popular fashions as described above – which by their own assertions are bold, bare, snug, sensuous, and daring?
Guardian of Truth XXXVI: 17, pp. 524-525
September 3, 1992