Monday, May 9, 2011

Posture and Modesty

One knows that good posture is key to being pretty.  Good posture is also key to good health and avoiding injury.  Open any traditional book on women's clothing or even etiquette, and you're likely to find a chapter on achieving good posture.  If you exercise, you'll be encouraged to develop good posture.  If you dance, you'll develop good posture.

But for some of us, having good posture is a little uncomfortable.  I am not speaking physically of course - any new muscle movement is naturally uncomfortable.   I am speaking psychologically. 

It doesn't make sense, theologically.  Standing up straight is what we were designed to do - our Creator is unlikely to be vexed by it.  We kneel to Him, but slouching isn't in the Bible!

And yet.  And yet. 

(Here's where the generalities become more personal)

Is it only me?  Does anyone else feel like, when they're standing the way they're supposed to, they are spreading themselves for the world to see?

I know I shouldn't feel this way.  While modesty and humility are virtues, there is nothing virtuous in curling up in a ball.  I didn't add to my figure, everything I have is original equipment -  and that means that God made me this way.  Having made me, we can therefore assume that the way He made me pleases Him.  Should I cause harm to the body He gave me because I am ashamed of His gift? * 

Why am I ashamed of what He's given me?

And that's going to be the theme of this week - we're going to talk about shame vs. modesty, and how to dwell in simple beauty instead of pride *or* shame.

*  We are clear here - I'm talking about good posture, not a string bikini.

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