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Melissa May
Wife of one, mommy of two, still me.
Interests: reading, writing, running.
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Humans throughout the ages and in every corner of the world have by and large always possessed some sort of rudimentary religious belief. To discount the religious expression of morality simply because it's religious is silly. One doesn't have to believe in a particular religion to grasp the importance of it's tenets on a society. Cady doesn't lose any credibility for believing in biblical principles and sharing an article that left an impression on her. If anything, it's those who react in knee-jerk fashion to the mere mention of religion who lose credibility because in so doing, they prove that they lack the ability to separate belief in a religion from simple understanding of that religion's beliefs. The point of this post was highlight a man's take on modesty and his willingness to speak out publicly on the matter. Whether his stance was based on religious teachings or not isn't the point because his arguments were credible either way.
Welcome aboard Lindsey! You are right that it's important to get down in the trenches and give of ourselves to help guide and encourage the younger generation. I've never heard of the groups you mentioned, but I'm going to look into them for my own daughter. Thanks for the info!
Toggle Commented Jan 10, 2011 on Influencing the Next Generation at Modestly Yours
JS...I'm certain that it wasn't Priya's intent to imply that deviant, criminal behavior on the part of men is ever excusable, especially if the woman was dressed like she was "asking for it". You're making quite a leap there. Acknowledging that men have a hard time taking a woman in tassels seriously is a far cry from defending rape. While it's true that a sick and twisted individual may use rape to control and dominate another, it is the assailant who's responsible for his actions. The victim is not to blame. On the other hand, when a woman knowingly exploits her sexuality to gain control over her audience, propelling herself to higher positions of status, wealth and power, it's not really fair to blame her audience for not taking her seriously when she tires of playing the boy-toy game. Both men and women are capable of using sexuality to control and manipulate the opposite sex. When I read this post, it seems to me the author is simply trying to make the point that Miss Aguilera needs to take responsibility for the negative consequences of the image she's marketed and gained from all these years. No defense of criminal behavior here, as far as I can see.
"A little word, woman to woman: if you want those boys to stop treating you like a toy then take the tassles off; perhaps put a shirt on, and say something interesting." This is exactly what I've wanted to say to every girl and woman I see demanding to be taken seriously and then doing every thing in their power to undermine their status as a woman worth listening to. It's self-sabotage at it's worst. Thanks Priya for this honest and bold post. I second Darla: Spot on!
Thanks Priya. I'll check out the link.
This post really struck a cord with me, Priya. It's so easy to caught up in the spirit of reveling in one's favorable talents or qualities and I am most certainly guilty of that. It's so easy to take for granted the idea that we're "supposed" to be focused on ourselves and making necessary improvements in order to be noticed. Thanks for this excellent reminder. I'm going to be chewing on this one for awhile, methinks.
This was a really interesting post, Allison. I too have wondered how marriage, real marriage with it's ups and downs and everything in between, plays out in real life for stars who've created a hyper-sexual persona for themselves. This is just conjecture, but I wonder if Miss Aguilera's public persona has compromised her understanding of who she really is. Nobody is *that* sexual all the time. Some may have more intense sex drives, yes, but to create a career that eventually obligates one to always be sexy and seemingly in the mood all of the time is a recipe for disaster. Especially when that public persona morphs into a substitute personality for one's self, and dominates or excludes all the non-sexual parts of one's nature. I would imagine that a super-sexual image becomes a huge burden, eventually. And if you've built a marriage on something so unsustainable, when the sexual intimacy starts to fizzle (which is quite common in a long-term relationship, especially after children enter the picture), I suppose it could be easy to believe that the marriage just isn't working anymore. When the sexual part of marriage is the only part getting attention, with no allowance for fluctuations in desire, it's destined to be a disappointment in the end.
Darla, That is a fascinating story. Good for them! It's a shame it's come to this, though. High school girls should not need to beg school officials to let them wear more clothing in public. Talk about a loss of personal freedoms. Wow. Astounding.
Well said, Whatpuritylookslike. I especially like that last sentence. Since having my own daughter, I've found myself looking for older women role models so that I can learn how to lead her gracefully into maturity. I don't desire to be hip and cool mom anymore. I want to be a woman of grace and excellence and dignity. It is the younger generation of girls I see being raised in this current environment of hyper-sexiness that inspires me to set a different type of example.
I find it ironic that we still hold in our minds the ideals of grace and beauty exhibited by Jackie O., Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn and the like, and yet, when it comes to mass marketing, we settle for being labeled "Fresh" or "Hot" or whatever. Even in magazines or store ads, when they're displaying their more professional clothes, they always have to throw in the "sexy" word. Enough already with the SEXY!!! I think our first step is to not settle for what's shoved at us or our daughters. I haven't been to Plato's Closet, but some complaints by shoppers who refuse to do their shopping there because of the music might get a manager's attention. Not sure what the results would be, but in these tough economic times, managers may be willing to take more notice of things that drive customers out of the stores. On a related note, when my daughter was born two years ago, I made a conscious effort not to go crazy with the princess themed items. Even though our daughter is a princess to US, she is not an actual princess. The stuff is cute, but there was something about indulging in the princess-labeled clothes and decor that made it seem more bratty than special. It's amazing how once we start to take a look at our own modesty and the messages we send and receive via our appearance and behavior, how much more attuned we are to those messages around us. Great job Cady in taking notice of these things. Now to figure out a solution!
Beautiful. I especially like the last paragraph. You summed up perfectly why modesty sometimes bothers others.
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2010 on The Conceit of Modesty at Modestly Yours
Gena, Thanks for sharing your point of view. I empathize with your position. My mother was diagnosed with breast cancer this spring and underwent a lumpectomy and radiation. Three years ago she underwent months of chemo and radiation and had portions of several abdominal organs removed because of cancer. It was so rare that the doctors never even gave her a name for the type of cancer she had. After this most recent round of treatment for the breast cancer, her medical bills are huge. She's taken on extra work to help pay them. I'm helping her sell various donated items online to raise money too. Individuals have also donated a bit to help her out, but mostly it's left up to her. She and I have talked about this issue and even now that she's gone through treatments and is stuck with the bill, she still wouldn't compromise her position. This isn't an either/or situation. It's possible for breast cancer research and fund raising to continue and thrive without the tackiness. If other diseases and causes can raise money and encourage awareness without compromising the dignity of those whom they are trying to support or reach, then certainly breast cancer organizations can too. Why is that asking so much?
Toggle Commented Sep 10, 2010 on Color Me Modest at Modestly Yours
Oh how I've struggled with this same dilemma. You put it so perfectly, Lisa. I've decided that I'm not going to stop telling my little girl how pretty she is to me, but I'm going to make sure I point out all her other lovely attributes as well. She needs to hear it all!
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2010 on Pretty Girl at Modestly Yours
Here's my main question guys: Why is breast cancer the only disease that gets treated this way? Some of you raise the point that money's needed, and maybe this is effective enough to be justifiable if the impact is great enough. Well, then why not start using the same methods for raising money for other diseases too? Should we start mocking HIV patients if it in the end it raises money for their treatment and research? How about childhood leukemia? Can we make a joke out that, too? I mean it's for the children, right? And we'd be Raising Awareness. So in the end, it's a win, even if it hurts some feelings. Somehow, I don't think these kinds of campaigns would fly if they were applied to any other illness, but for some reason (I don't know why), it's completely justifiable in the case of breast cancer.
Great post on the bathing suits! I'm glad to hear from someone who's tried them herself. I still haven't purchased a new suit since I'm hoping to lose a few more post-pregnancy pounds! Plus I haven't been swimming in ages. I'm curious if you had any comments from passersby when you wore the Modisuit out and about? Did anyone notice or pay attention? Just curious to the response, if any.
Shanna, your perspective is always welcome here! I have to admit, though, that I too was a bit confused by the *tangent*, since I didn't see anywhere in Koni's post that she was referring to biological dads. But I was already aware of the fact that she was adopted, so I wasn't looking for it, either. However, Robin is right. For those of us who missed out in some way in the dad department, any discussion of the role of fathers stirs up a lot of emotions. It's almost visceral. My biological father fits the same mold as yours, Shanna. That is, he was a failure at fatherhood. And it hurt more than I can ever describe. I loved your last paragraph, Shanna: "Also, my mom was an awesome single mom. I have immense respect for single parents. I think two parents are ideal, but one stable single parent is a much healthier environment then two parents in an unstable relationship." This sums up exactly what I believe about single parenthood. (Hey, we agree on something!!! I knew it would happen sooner or later!) Thanks for sharing your perspective Shanna. You are always welcome here.
Toggle Commented Aug 28, 2010 on Eat, Pray, Love Dad! at Modestly Yours
I grew up without a father and what I wouldn't have given to have had him in my life. My father was an alcoholic, habitual liar and a womanizer....I was better off without his influence. But there wasn't a day that went by, especially in my teen years, that I didn't wish for a dad who stuck around and took care of his family. I was very blessed in that I had pastors, friends and other male role models who took an interest in my future and made themselves available to help me when I needed them. When it came to choosing whether or not to pursue a relationship with my now husband, it was the men I knew and trusted to whom I really looked for advice. Having grown up without a father, I didn't know much about men, but they did. And they cared enough to invest their time helping me sort out my feelings and make a decision. The role of fathers and men is so under-appreciated in our society. I'm especially infuriated by the idea that you don't need a man to help you raise a child anymore, as single moms do it (seemingly) successfully all the time now. Having grown up without a father, I know all too well just how much good dads are needed.
Toggle Commented Aug 26, 2010 on Eat, Pray, Love Dad! at Modestly Yours
Wow, men who don't view porn are either liars or have issues with women? I know that that's just Shanna's anecdotal evidence, but what a slap in the face to men who've made a decision to keep porn out of their lives and out of their marriage. Sometimes the men just can't seem to get a break can they? Their cads if they watch porn. They're weird if they don't. Here's my anecdotal evidence: my husband is neither a liar nor does he have issues with women. He deeply loves and respects me and has encouraged me to pursue my dreams. He's a man of convictions and has made a conscious decision to not participate in something he finds destructive. He's always been open and honest with me about the temptation associated with porn and all of it's bastard cousins floating around on t.v. and the internet but it's that honesty that makes me respect, admire and trust him even more deeply. I know of too many marriages and lives that have been destroyed by porn addiction. Sure not everyone becomes addicted, but the pull is so strong and the price is so, so high if one becomes hooked. Whether you realize it or not, Shanna, porn has the very real potential of destroying lives. I've seen it first hand. It's devastating to everyone involved. We write about that here because we've seen it happen and feel obliged to offer a sincere and compassionate warning. This isn't a place where us *modest-istas* get together to simply pass judgment on those who live their lives differently than us. Most of us have very busy lives and families and writing here takes time and energy away from our other responsibilities. We don't *need* anything else on our plates, but these are issues we believe in and so we take the time to share from our hearts about what we've seen, experienced and long to change.
Toggle Commented Aug 23, 2010 on What Our Sons See at Modestly Yours
I saw her on CNN the other night, in a discussion with a few other women. Just like most of the other commentators, I was dumbstruck. Alyson, your post hit the nail on the head. I'm sharing this one, for sure!
Toggle Commented Aug 6, 2010 on Negotiated Infidelity at Modestly Yours
Nurit and Koni, This is a little off subject to the actual post, but in response to your comments. I completely agree that it's a shame that our culture focuses so much on feelings and not on behavior. I had that hang-up for many years and eventually came to the conclusion that the first thing I needed to do if I wanted to see permanent change in my life, was to start changing my behavior. As a Christian, I looked to the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, for guidance and direction about what kind of changes I needed to make. It's always important to have a guidepost with which to compare, and provide a goal to strive for, I think. My husband once said something to me that I've never forgotten: "Obedience first, then comes understanding". I believe he borrowed it from a speaker he once heard. The point is that we are responsible to do what we know is right whether we feel it or not. And once we start behaving differently it's very likely that our understanding of the situation and ourselves will change as well in the process. You don't get new perspective by doing the same old thing over and over again. This line of thinking has been very useful to me in overcoming the postpartum depression I suffered after I had my second child almost two years ago. I became so ill that even though I've lived symptom free for most of the last two years, I've held on to the fear that it could happen again. I've allowed that fear to affect my decision making and have let it hold me back from walking boldly back into life. I finally said to myself recently that if I want to feel differently about this situation, I need to start acting differently! I need to do the things I would do if I wasn't afraid, and in doing so there is very good chance the fear will abate. But if I continue to be afraid and hold myself back, the fear will continue to be a part of my life. I won't get the feelings I desire if I simply sit around waiting for my feelings to change. Unfortunately, the message we send to children and young people today seems to be one of just embracing your feelings, and how those feelings are valid and important. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but when the message stops there all, it will simply lead to stunted emotional growth. The next step is to realize that we do have control of our feelings and that the best way to change negative ones is to stop obeying them. Choose to DO what it right and appropriate, make it a habit and your feelings will follow.
Toggle Commented Aug 4, 2010 on Hooray for Eric Hutchison at Modestly Yours
My husband and I attended a marriage seminar a few years ago called "Love and Respect". This is one of the ideas that was taught at the conference: We have the capacity to bring out the best in each other (and then they talked about practical ways to do so, etc...). Robin is right. When both sexes are engaged in the work of bringing out the best in each other, everyone benefits. It's really a beautiful thing!
Toggle Commented Jul 22, 2010 on Insight from Gidget at Modestly Yours
Thank you for the feedback Brian! I think you're right. A better definition in the original post would have been helpful. I'll keep it in mind for next time. -Melisa May
Hello Readers, Thanks for all the comments. It's always nice to get feedback and read the perspectives of others. First of all, let me say this: I'm not opposed to married couples and the like expressing love to each other publicly, in a general sense, either on Facebook or at the mall (or where ever else they happen to be). Being in a committed and loving relationship is a good thing! Just the other day I wished my husband a happy tenth anniversary and told him that I loved him on my Facebook page. It seemed like an appropriate message since I know most of my friends would be happy to know it was our anniversary (just like I like to know such things about them) and a simple "I love you" is a lovely thought. When I say PDA, I'm not talking about holding hands, a warm embrace or a goodbye hug and kiss at the gate before she dashes off on a two-week business trip half way around the world. I'm talking about a constant stream of sugar-coated mush or sexual innuendo or behavior, which is not only awkward for those viewing it, but makes me wonder who exactly the couple is trying to convince when their the display is obviously intended for public viewing. This type of thing is both inappropriate and inconsiderate in my opinion. As far as the accusation of being sexist, I wholeheartedly agree that girls can be equal opportunity offenders. In this particular case I was just calling it as I've seen it. I wasn't intending to make a blanket statement about all teenage boys, but simply describing a scenario I've seen played out all to frequently. If it came across as anything else, I apologize. I sincerely thank you again for your participation in the discussions here at Modestly Yours. -Melissa May
I don't know that women of any generation simply got along. Women have always been women, which is to say they've always had their own thoughts, opinions, grand ideas, jealousies, fantasies and the like. I'm not sure of of the definition of "getting along" If it means compromising on deeply revered values (which it seems to, at least in some circles) then it's not really anything to strive for and it won't ever happen. However, there is certainly much room for improvement in the art of passionately disagreeing with civility and respect, so if that's what's meant by "getting along", then I'm all for it! That's certainly a goal worth working toward.
Toggle Commented Jul 7, 2010 on I enjoy being a girl at Modestly Yours
Unicorn Guy, You do make a good point. I'm an Evangelical Christian and I know exactly what you're talking about when you describe certain types of "holiness" movements. However, I would say this: It's not possible for us to always know every detail about every person we encounter. So while Mr. Cameron may be the way you describe him to be (I remember his former "Growing Pains" cast-mates saying similar things about his conversion), his choice to follow his conscience on this is still admirable. His complete expression of faith may be questionable but when it comes to the specific decision to only kiss his wife on film, it's hard to argue with him, you know?