It is not every day that the news media reports on what a religious blogger has written. However, twenty-five year old Veronica Partridge of Oregon has gained the attention of the news media, both in the United States and Europe. She posted an article entitled, “Why I Chose To No Longer Wear Leggings” on January 5, 2015 (veronicapartridge.com). Her article has brought strong reactions – some positive, others negative.
In her article she shared her personal story about why she decided to no longer wear yoga pants or leggings in public. She had a conversation with a few others, including both men and women. “The conversation was about leggings and how when women wear them it creates a strong attraction for a man to look at a woman’s body and make them to think lustful thoughts.” She then had a conversation with her husband. “I asked my husband his thoughts on the subject… he told me, ‘When I walk into a place and there are women wearing yoga pants everywhere, it’s hard not to look. I try not to, but it is not easy.’” She thought about this and reasoned, “If it is difficult for my husband who loves, honors, and respects me to keep his eyes focused ahead, then how much more difficult could it be for a man that may not have the same self-control? Sure, if a man wants to look, they are going to look, but why entice them? Is it possible that the thin, form-fitting yoga pants or leggings could make a married (or single) man look at a woman in a way he should only look at his wife? And at that moment I made a personal vow to myself and to my husband. I will no longer wear thin, form-fitting yoga pants or leggings in public. The only time I feel (for myself) it is acceptable to wear them, is if I am in the comfort of my own home or if I am wearing a shirt long enough to cover my rear end… I feel that I am honoring God and my husband in the way that I dress.”
What does the Bible say about modesty?
- The subject of modesty applies to both men and women. God made both Adam and Eve “tunics of skin and clothed them” (Genesis 3:21). He wanted the priests to maintain modesty (Exodus 20:26; 28:41-43).
- How one dresses conveys a message (Genesis 38:14-15).
- We should dress with regards to others. We are to be “with shamefacedness” (KJV), “with propriety” (NKJV). This word is defined to mean “Having regards to others… precedes and prevents the shameful act” (Thayer); “Having regards for others… restrains a good man from an unworthy act” (Vine’s).
- We should dress with regards to self. We should be “with sobriety” (KJV); “moderation” (NKJV); “discreetly” (NASB); “self-control” (ESV). This word is defined to mean “curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-control, temperate” (Thayer); “that habitual inner self-government, with its constant reign on all passions and desires, which would hinder the temptations to these from arising” (Vine’s).
- We should dress as those professing godliness (1 Timothy 2:10).