How a Woman’s Clothing Impacts a Man
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.
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.”
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.