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Kia Stephens

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November 1, 2015

How a Woman’s Clothing Impacts a Man

November 1, 2015 | By | 10 Comments

Skin tight skinnies, low neck lines, and shirts that rival lingerie entice us. We are lured into apparel stores like flies to raw meat by magazines that tout pencil thin cover models with seductive eyes and parted lips. The message they overtly communicate is, “Women must be sexy.”

And even though we know it’s a lie we believe it as we squeeze our size 8 body into some size 6 pants.  We can’t be outdone by the woman next to us; risking the possibility of seeming average.  So we show a little leg, buy a taller heel, and put some Spanx on that belly in order to replicate what society tells us is desirable.

When will it end?  Or will we constantly find ourselves trying to outdo ourselves in a battle we are going to eventually lose.  Age, pregnancy, and the stress of life create the perfect storm on a woman’s body.  Thus leaving us with a mere memory of our 20 something figure.

Like walls closing in we feel the ever encroaching pressure to keep our appearance up.  We attempt to halt the inevitable aging process from happening all the while younger and more fit versions of the female form parade around in clothes that leave little to the imagination. Whether on television, social media, or the grocery store there are those who showcase themselves in front of us, our sons and our husbands.

Recently, I was scrolling through Facebook when I came across yet another scantily clad woman.   It wasn’t just her clothing but, the front and back pose along with her greased up body that was so shocking.  Part of me has become slightly anesthetized to the ever increasing nudity of women but this time was different.  I knew her.

“Whaaaaat?!!! Does she really have her behind out there like that?,” I thought but didn’t say.  And so in response I did what any good Facebook stalker would do and looked at her likes and comments. As you could imagine there were many.  

One brave woman complimented her physique right before she cautioned her about putting her body on display and challenged her to consider the impact her nakedness had on men.  In this oversexed society where men rape, molest, are addicted to pornography, and cheat on their wives, I agreed with her statement.   

As I continued to scroll down I saw two counters to her argument.  In short they basically said it was not the responsibility of the woman to monitor what she wears, but the responsibility of the man to “control his lust”.  Additionally one of the replies added the all too familiar argument that Christians should not judge other people.  

So the question becomes, whose responsibility is it?  Should the woman monitor what she wears or the man monitor what he sees.  I think there is a responsibility on both sides but for the sake of this blog post I will only address the women.

As a girl who grew up without her dad I was on the prowl for male attention.  I learned early on that I could get affirmation based on my outward appearance.  And so I have been the younger partially clothed female before. In his book, Always a Daddy’s Girl, H. Norman Wright had this to say about a woman.

It is from her father that a girl needs to know that she is attractive, that her conversation is interesting and that her creativity is worthwhile. If her father applauds her mental and spiritual attributes during her formative years, she will learn not to rely solely on shallow qualities like sex appeal to attract men as an adult.  Affirmation from her father in proper doses will convince her that she is an important person, not a sex object.

Single Daughters & Silent Fathers Meme 5

Women are more than what is between our legs, but our clothing is the billboard that can communicate otherwise.  Now I am not saying that my barely clothed Facebook friend was looking for male affirmation, but she did have the appearance of a sex object.  Since men are visual, we  as women have to determine how we want to present ourselves.

We live in a “don’t tell me what to do” society.  Very few women welcome a rebuke regarding their clothing but God does have an opinion on the matter.  In Philippians 2:3-4 it says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

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This doesn’t mean walk around in a house robe, but it does mean if I am a Christian God wants me to examine my motives for what I choose to wear. Ouch!  I, just like the next woman,  love a good pair of leggings hugging my curves but in light of Paul’s comments I need to ask myself a few questions before slipping into some.

Is my reason for wearing this selfish?

Am I being vain or conceited?

Am I looking to my own interest or those of others?

This is an individual evaluation although Christ does admonish older women to teach the younger women.  I believe this is what the commentator was attempting to do even though it was not well received. The message she was trying to communicate is the absolute heart of this blog post.  

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Comments

  1. Hello,

    I came over through Nan’s Making your home sing linkup.

    This is a great post!

    One thing that really upsets me is the lack of cleavage coverage – even among Christian women! I know some very lovely Christian women who don’t seem to realize that this is a problem.

    Have a lovely Monday!
    🙂 Hope
    Hope recently posted…Celerating AutumnMy Profile

    • Hope, I do see a need for more cleavage coverage but the one thing I am realizing is that this has to become a conviction for each individual woman. Additionally, everyone of us comes to Christ as we are. Some of us come with cleavage, others of us come with addictions, habits, lies, etc. We have to love each other no matter what we come with. Now this love may include us in private talking to the sister with the uncovered cleavage about the need to cover it up, but it must be done in love. Thanks so much for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  2. Great message here, Kia. It’s laughable to think that we gals don’t have enough influence on men that there “attempts to control lust” would fall by the wayside. Uh hem, Eve was the first to sway her guy to take a bite, right?! 😉 I think it’s particularly important than younger girls realize that while God sees the inward, everyone else molds their impression of our character based on what they first see. Greased up and half naked certainly isn’t what I what people to think of me, when there is so much more to me…to her.
    Tiffany Parry recently posted…When Worry Wrangles FaithMy Profile

    • Tiffany, I would agree with you that as the women get younger and younger the quest for modest is becoming completely foreign. In fact some may wish to confine me to a nunnery after reading this post but I believe it matters to the heart of God. May we as women have the grace to lovingly wrap our arms around younger women in this area. Thanks for joining the conversation and be blessed! – Kia

  3. Thanks so much for the brave post. My husband Tom and I have talked about this and he has explained it from a man;s point of view. I don’t totally get it but I know a man looks at it very different than we do. So to be kind to my brothers in Christ and to be an example for God I will dress modestly. It doesn’t have to be dumpy but I’m not following all the trends either. Thanks for sharing.
    Rebecca recently posted…Fall Blog Cleanup !!!My Profile

    • Rebecca, I think I don’t grasp the visual experience for men either but I definitely think it is a topic we, as women should be talking about in order to have a deeper understanding of how we can knowing and unknowingly impact me. I so appreciate you joining the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

  4. I don’t like the whole “Men shouldn’t look” argument. They can’t help but look. Unless you think all men should walk around with a baseball cap, blinders and looking down at the ground! If we are talking to someone, or walking by them, we can’t help but see them. If we are scrolling down a webpage we can’t help but see what is on the page.
    Rachel @ Wife, Then Mama recently posted…Ingredients of Godly DisciplineMy Profile

    • I understand Rachel, men are instinctively designed to be stimulated by sight so it is very difficult to place the onus on them solely. God does however, command us to “Flee sexual immorality”, this includes what takes place in the mind, so we cannot just let men off the hook because “They can’t help but see it”. But we as women can attempt to make it easier on our male brothers. Thanks for joining the conversation today and be blessed! – Kia

  5. Fortunately, I was never one to show myself by the clothing I chose. I also think as we mature spiritually, the pressure for appearance wanes. Maybe it’s an age thing 🙂
    Carrie recently posted…Looking Backward and ForgivingMy Profile

    • Carrie you may be right, but I can definitely say – as I inch my way closer to my 40s – I can still feel the appearance pressure. May every woman remember that “man looks at our outward appearance but God looks at our hearts”. So glad you joined the conversation today. Be blessed! – Kia

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