More Girls Go 'Mild' in Modesty Revolution

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By Audrey Barrick, Christian Post Reporter
July 23, 2007|12:57 pm

More young women want to return to modesty – the no-tank-tops-without-a-shirt-or-sweater, the not-too-short-shorts, and the modest-neckline (no lower than four fingers below the collar bone) type of modesty. And that also includes the curfew and abstinence-until-marriage pledge.

It's what Lucky magazine's special projects director, Allyson Waterman, calls a "backlash" to what is being seen in Hollywood. Being modest, as opposed to the barely dressed pop icons, isn't about being frumpy, Waterman told ABC News.

"This is about embracing a woman's body in an elegant way."

Pure Fashion is an international faith-based program that encourages pre-teen and teen girls to live, act and dress in accordance with their dignity as children of God. The program offers model training sessions to help girls grow into respectful young women in manners, fashion and makeup, and public speaking skills and puts on fashion shows throughout the year. In 2007, Pure Fashion has put on 13 shows featuring 600 models and plans for 25 shows in 2008, according to Newsweek magazine.

Wendy Shalit, author of the book Girls Gone Mild, calls it a modesty revolution and that the young girls themselves are the ones leading it.

"The role models we have out there right now – Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan – it's just a very narrow notion of empowerment," said Shalit in ABC. "If that works for you, great. But for a lot of women, this is inauthentic."

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Thousands of young women want to fit in and be cool, just not trashy, Shalit told ABC. And a lot of times, it's religion that is motivating these girls.

"Since the good girl today is often socially ostracized, a lot of girls naturally find solace in their faith in God," said Shalit, according to Newsweek.

Plus, modest clothing is gaining acceptance in the culture at large.

The modesty revolution comes as reports indicate a drop in teen birth rates and sexual intercourse among high school students. The Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics recently released a report that revealed the teen birth rate was down from 39 births per 1,000 15-17-year-olds in 1991 to 21 per 1,000 teens. Moreover, the 2005 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey reported that 47 percent of high school students said they had ever had sexual intercourse, down from 54 percent in 1991.

 

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