On Being Genuine

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These photos were actually taken before the New Year, but I never got to publish them on my blog. I still had a bit of tan on my skin! I feel like I’ve changed so much the past few months. My highlights definitely have grown out. It’s really odd how much women’s appearances change in such a short period of time, because of all the new techniques they learn about grooming or just because of a change in taste. Perhaps one of the most effective catalysts of all is a change in priorities.

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At the time these photos were taken, I was very much consumed by physical appearances—not just mine but everyone else’s. That’s just what happens when you’re in the business of fashion. You judge everyone and everything, physically. It’s expected and rarely if ever, shamed. No matter how much I convinced myself that my obsession was for educational or art purposes, vanity and materialism were taking over. The pressure of getting yourself noticed and comparing yourself with other bloggers are partly to blame for that.

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It’s understandable and even expected for a fashion or beauty blogger to be vain in all other circumstances except if you’re supposed to proclaim modesty. I find it more and more ironic everyday that the concept of modest fashion blogging even exists. I know by even mentioning this, I’m going to get nipped in the bud! Don’t get me wrong, I still like pretty clothes and things. I am a woman. I believe part of yearning for beauty is in every person’s desire to seek God. Even more so, I like to think and write. I don’t think those two things will ever go away.

It’s just that it’s been so common to see so much hate and criticism amongst the modesty community. There is that present irony of flaunting oneself to the world to show one’s modesty and the problem in the fact that modesty is so subjective. It could be about not showing certain body parts. It could be about not wearing makeup or jewelry. It could be about not showing your hair. It could be about not talking about yourself highly or too much. It could be about not posing flirtatiously. It could be about not showing photos of yourself much at all, meaning absolutely no “selfies.”

All these things and more surround the concept of modesty. It is very difficult to embody this concept in a modest fashion blog. This very controversy is the subject of a few hate e-mails I’ve gotten over the years. One was even sent to me unknowingly. It was hurtful to say the least. More so, it was disappointing. It was disappointing that gossip is so common and accepted even in a group of good doers.

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Another controversy involves celebrities who are famous through their faiths. They are a common sight. I kind of cringe at the idea of a Jesus Superstar plastered all over TV screens and magazines. I start to wonder and question the authenticity of anything so commercially magnanimous. Temptation is especially present when fame and money come into the picture. We are humans. Without a complete redirection of priorities and eradication of desires, temptation is still a problem. I’ve always wondered how these mega pastors, TV evangelists, and faith-based pop stars stay true to their beliefs. I can’t say it’s impossible, but it sure must be very hard. I personally don’t know if I could handle it.

Sorry for the weird pose below. I really happened to like my fountain hair that day! I’m not really a flirty person at all. I do like to be stupidly girly at times to a fault. That is why many people often get the wrong impression of me.

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As for me, I am not famous. I’m glad. The temptation to be so vain that no one matters to you but yourself is something I do not wish on anyone. It’s a complete emptying of the soul. It’s easy to spot conversations, if they are even worthy to be called that, that are completely one way. Often times and sadly, bloggers who are just out to get fans and raise numbers can be so vacuous that they only communicate with others to get plugged. Sure, I’ve been on that road. You have to start somewhere to be someone recognizable, but I’m tired of it. I was never one to compete. I wish people were kind and more genuine. Ironically, it’s very rare to find the lambs amongst wolves.

Now on to lighter things! Let’s talk about clothes…

How cool are these tops I got above? They look exactly like my 60s stewardess shift dress! The geometric black and white crop top and high waist ripped jeans are from Rainbow. These jeans don’t actually have holes, though! That’s what I like about them. I actually really like a lot of what Rainbow has! It’s a hidden gem if you want to save some money. Many of their clothes are cheaper than Goodwill’s. I don’t remember where I got this jacket, but I like how Chanel-esque it is.

To wear a really cute crop top without showing your belly, you can use a hip hugger band, kind of like a pregnancy belt. Layer without the bulk! Underneath my crop top, I am wearing Kosher Casual’s Hippies. See below. You can search for it on their website by clicking here: Logo 88 x 31

These hippies are beyond helpful! They need to be in everyone’s dressers. It is looser than a tube top, so it fits on your hips. A tube top or bralette would just leave you with lines around your hips and would be uncomfortable to wear. This hippie is designed to that it is tight enough though not to slide around too much. I’ve been wearing it pretty much everyday to cover my butt crack! I have a long torso, so this is just perfect.


Top & jeans: Rainbow – Belly & back covering: Kosher Casual – Nude Heels: Nine West – Purse: Gucci


12 thoughts on “On Being Genuine

  1. People who say hurtful things just for the purpose of hurting are those that themselves are hurt inside…hurt by their own nonacceptance of themselves and their own personal frustrations. We should all be more appreciative of one another and less judging. Having opinions is alright, but they are not to be hold onto desperately. What is important that people find kindness in themselves and others…and the way they got there, the way they got to that place of peace can be very different for different people. If we understood that, perhaps we would be less inclined to judge.

    Modesty is indeed a controversial subject. It is a word with many connotations…and how we interpret it can differ significantly. However, we should not run away from this word and what it means and can mean…because we would be closing a very important subject. So, I do think it is good that you chose to tackle it…and it would be good to see what others think about it.

    1. Hi Ivana,

      Thank you as always for your thoughtful and insightful words. It is mostly Christian women from my personal experience who are ever so vigilant about pointing out how something is immodest, as if the Bible spells that out clearly. It really doesn’t ever do that with clothing. It talks about jewelry and other adornments that are to be replaced with virtues. The issue of clothes needing to cover knees or ankles or elbows or hair, or anything clothing specific were never really in the Bible. It is wise however to follow certain standards your family or community have set up for themselves, because they are almost always there for a good reason, regardless of whether they are actually found in the Bible.

      Some religious Christians often like to take the part of the bible where Jesus warns his followers that they will be hated because of Him and use it as a free pass to hate on others as well and criticize others without holding their tongues back. It is as if Jesus always hated and never loved sinners. He did, and he was actually ridiculed for spending time with these so-called sinners.

      I do like modesty very much, but I don’t like how some of its followers are making it out to be and how they mistreat and look down on others because of differing standards. Modesty starts from the heart of the very person carrying it, not from the outside.

  2. I struggled with the whole “modest” fashion blogging thing. But in the end, I truly do believe God has called me to be an example to a lot of young girls who need encouragement. It can be hard as a young girl, thinking you’re the only one who dresses modest/conservatively. I have thought of quitting before, actually because fashion isn’t that important to me! But it’s a great place for me to share my faith, encourage and hopefully inspire others. I don’t do it to be “seen.”
    A modest fashion blog: http://www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

  3. I was raised to dress modestly, not because of religious beliefs but because that is how one should present oneself. I also feel more comfortable being more modestly dressed. I feel uncomfortable wearing shorter dresses and tops that reveal my chest too much. I tried wearing a bikini once, even though I looked like I was having fun in pictures, I was uncomfortable showing myself to others.
    And that is OK and totally normal! We should encourage modesty more in fashion. :)

    1. Hi Heidi,

      Thanks for sharing! My mother raised me to dress modestly too, but it wasn’t because of religion either. It was just propriety I guess and carrying yourself with dignity. I didn’t listen to her though until after I got married! Her advice was definitely in the back of my head growing up, but I sure was a victim of peer pressure and gave in to trends fast. I regret it, because it was more of an issue of insecurity more than anything.

      I wore bikinis too, so you’re not alone! I loved the attention actually, even though I knew my body wasn’t as good as I wanted it to be… and definitely not as good as what they show you on magazines. I regret those days too. I just wanted to get attention. I knew that about myself so well. Sometimes it just takes time for people to realize something about themselves that they didn’t or was afraid to admit. So, it’s not really right for people to attack other women who aren’t at that point yet. They might never get there, even. We just have to take care of ourselves and how we dress, because that at least is our own domain.

  4. I hear you. I truly believe that it’s possible to be fashion forward without wearing booty shorts and crop tops. 90% of my outfits cover me completely (You know how much I love layering hehe), but I still manage to garner people’s interest. I like to think that I’m modest, but also outrageous. I think that if a blogger feels that showing off her body is the way to get attention, then she’s missed the point of fashion blogging. It’s always supposed to be about the clothes.

    That being said, there are bloggers (such as yourself) who have amaaaazing bodies. There’s nothing wrong with celebrating that. There are many ways to go about it. Some are good and some are not so good. It just depends on the person. I’m not offended by seeing lots of skin, but at the same time, it doesn’t necessarily add anything to an outfit that I’m looking at, either.

    It seems like you’ve found what works for you (i.e. a style that meshes with your comfort zone and taste level) and that’s all you can do, really. On that note, I really really love that jacket. I might have said that already, but it’s worth saying again. Haha.

    Stay sweet!

    – Anna


    1. Anna,

      I love the way you dress! You are actually someone who pays close attention to good styling. I see that very well. That’s why I love your blog! To me, modesty doesn’t mean so much about rules but about whether your reasons for dressing a certain way is respectable or not. It’s very subjective. I know I shouldn’t judge, but in a way we do it all the time especially with fashion—whether we like a fashionista’s or an icon’s style. We decide to follow or emulate them because we are inspired. It’s in the eye of the beholder. I’m tired of the silly rules people make, and putting everyone in the same box. They end up hurting people who are actually just like them. It just backfires.

      Thanks so much for the compliment! Having a body definitely makes you lazier in general with EVERYTHING. Hah.

  5. If I recall I asked long time ago what being modest mean to you,I’m sorry if I don’t remember what you told me back then. But I personally I’m someone who at first didn’t get why you have to cover yourself, when your body is yours and you decide how to show it. But through the years I’ve realized people have their reasons why to be modest, and are as respectful as those who think differently.As I said earlier, your body is yours, and is up to you how to dress up. In my case, for years I wore layers and layers of clothing because I was overweight, and though I lose several pounds later, still felt unsecure about myself. Currently I feel better in my skin, but still I feel you can’t dress as you want because some people immediately assume you want to attract men, and it shouldn’t be like that, whatever is the reason we dress with more or less clothing, modestly or not, is because we want to express ourselves, not because society has established we have to dress for everybody, particularly men.

    1. Hi Rovallie,

      I understand what you mean, and thank you for sharing. I’ve changed the way I look at modesty many times, and I think it really boils down to that one person’s intentions and convictions. There shouldn’t be anyone that has to say that they are wrong, unless of course they say one thing and clearly don’t live it. That’s a different matter altogether that extends beyond the clothes, but even that is a matter of interpretation and opinion. This really is a hard world to live in, no matter which circle you belong to. There are always going to be naysayers. I’d like to believe that I dress the way I do (and it changes from year to year) because it’s my personal expression. Now I’ve seen other women who bend over with cleavage shirts ways too often when they see a cute guy (doesn’t matter if they are married). That kind of makes me mad, but you know, that’s on their conscience.

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