June 16, 2017

This is why Modesty is the New Sexy.

A post shared by Carlee Tesh (@carls51) on

What makes a woman truly sexy can’t be found within the depth of her cleavage—but in her mind.

I’ll admit it—I am guilty of using my body to get what I want.

However, somewhere along the way, I realized that if I treat myself as currency, then that is also how I will be treated by others.

A woman’s body is beautiful; as a female myself, I love checking out the curves of other women in appreciation, so I get why men love watching us. The way that we dress and move—and how our hips sway as we walk—it’s like living art.

But there’s a fine line between owning our sexuality and also realizing where our greatest worth is.

About a year ago, I had a close friend make a comment about buttoning up my dress, and that it was his pet peeve when women had it all hanging out.

We talked a bit, but it also stayed on my mind for months afterward, as important topics tend to do. I questioned why exactly I thought that it was acceptable to display my body for anyone to see, rather than saving certain aspects for the person I was involved with.

This isn’t to suggest that we should wear a burka or any other type of full-coverage clothing—but in truth, I do respect and understand where different cultures come from on this aspect of modesty in relation to women’s bodies.

In everything, there is a pendulum that swings from one severity to another. I get it—as women, we were repressed in the past. We were told what we should wear in a time period where we didn’t have the same rights as men.

But…then the pendulum took a swing the other way.

I’m not saying that isn’t a good thing, but I’m now considering the value of a certain degree of modesty. For me, this newly appreciated concept of modesty does not mean that I won’t ever go skinny dipping in the cool water of a mountain river—because that’s just a promise I cannot make. But, it does mean that I am choosing to be more conscious of the neckline of my shirts—and not because I don’t love my body, but because I do.

However, I suppose we all have to grow up at some point, and I’ve just realized that I don’t need to have my cleavage on display or wear dresses short enough to flash my panties in order to be thought of as sexy and attractive. And actually, if that is all a man sees about me, then he’s really missing the entire point.

For me, I feel sexier now being modest.

Some say it’s impossible if you have curves—and while even I’ve used that as an argument at one point, the truth is that it’s always possible to be modest—it just depends on if it’s a priority or not. I think it simply comes down to what we want to advertise the most about ourselves.

Are we advertising our bodies or our minds?

Some might say that we have the right to dress however we want, and I agree—but I also think it goes deeper than that. See, as women it’s been (perhaps somewhat subconsciously) ingrained into our minds from such a young age that we should dress in way that highlights the sexuality of our bodies in order to be deemed “attractive.” Many of us may not even be fully aware that this is why we do it.

In reality, why does having our breasts hang out make us feel sexier?

I have done a lot of changing in the past year—and while part of that is perhaps spiritual in essence, it’s not just an issue of morality that has me changing the way I dress.

I have two daughters, and while I want them to be proud of their bodies and dress in a way they love, I also want them to never cheapen themselves because of what society dictates as attractive.

The best part of a woman is never her body—and if we continue to let that be the only thing a man sees, then he won’t be able to see past that into our souls or our hearts.

It’s ironic, as I write this today, that I am wearing a dress I got years ago, but never wore until today. It’s a simple sundress with lace and polka dots, and I love it. It feels cool on a hot day, and I feel beautiful in it.

It’s also quite modest.

The dress has a high neckline, so no cleavage is shown, and the hemline is at my knee; I’ve received more compliments on this dress than I have on any other outfit in a long time. My hair is pinned back, because it’s wavy and messy from swimming yesterday, and I just dressed for comfort today. Yet, it seems I’m radiating something else to others.

Maybe it is old fashioned, but if I want the man I’m with to know he has something special, then I have to also behave that way as well—which means that others shouldn’t be able to see the same parts of me that he gets to enjoy.

I think it just comes down to realizing that there’s nothing wrong with being modest—with making sure your breasts aren’t hanging out if you bend over, or that your butt doesn’t show if you’re in a dress and need to raise your arms above your head.

Honestly, if we want to be respected, we have to show others that we respect ourselves—and that includes our bodies.

I’m all for empowering women, but when did equal rights and being strong equate to booty shorts and having our breasts hang out?

The truth is that I feel sexier being modest, because a heart that shines is what truly makes me the woman I am. I don’t have to “show it all off” in order to receive attention.

In fact, I don’t much like trying to get attention from my body; I’d rather be told my heart or the way I think is the most beautiful thing about me.

Because beauty is so much more than just skin deep.



Author: Kate Rose
Image: Author’s own; Instagram @carls51
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina
Supervising editor 1: Travis May
Supervising editor 2: Caitlin Oriel

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