Fashion + Modesty: Where’s the Balance?

Times have changed, no doubt about it. My mom was born in 1937, less than 20 years after women gained the right to vote in the US with the passage of the 19th Amendment. In 1959, she quit her job because she was getting married.

She quit, not because of my dad, but because of airline policies that did not allow women to be married and work as flight attendants. A number of years later, she quit another job because she was pregnant with me. In those days, as soon as you started showing you that you were pregnant, were required to leave your position at banks and many other businesses.

I’ve grown up in a totally different world. I’ve had so many opportunities and choices that my mother never had. Women ahead of me fought for rights and freedoms that I so often take for granted and have come to expect.

Along with these new freedoms for women came many other changes in the culture. One area where we’ve really seen a shift is clothing (and especially swimsuits). As a mom of three daughters, I can tell you it’s a challenge to balance fashion and modesty and freedom and responsibility. I can use all the help I can get! This video has some great insight into balancing fashion and modesty in swimsuit choices. I can’t guarantee that my daughters would like all of these styles, but Jessica makes some really great points to discuss with my girls.

What do you think? How has our culture shifted in your lifetime? What changes have given women freedom with dignity? Which changes have hurt women more than helped them?

JUN_5500-bwMichelle Hicks is an Editorial Project Leader on the Adult Ministry Publishing team at LifeWay. She gives leadership to the team responsible for producing Bible study resources for women.


  1. says

    Modesty isn’t just changing in fashion, it is also changing in how women conduct themselves around men; even in church. 3 years ago I had an article in HomeLife, 10 things daughters need to catch Mom’s doing, and 1 of those things was dressing and behaving modestly. “Being modest doesn’t stop with what you choose to wear. You also send signals by the way you conduct yourself around other men.” Thank you, Lifeway for keeping the issue of modesty at the forefront. How we dress says how we see ourselves, especially our self-worth.

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