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As most of you have already noticed, being a modesty blogger, I don’t really talk much about the problems I see everywhere with sexuality as much as I talk about what inspires me in my clothing. If you highly doubt that I am not aware of these problems, because I have built my entire blog around sexual purity in clothing, then you are correct. I have all my writings on my philosophy grouped in a section of my blog, and I only bring it up once in a while. There is so much going on with promiscuity all over the world that if I blogged about everything that bothered me, it would just be very depressing and very negative. I’m so aware of these things all around me that I honestly rarely read anything that talks about modesty for modesty’s sake, but instead I choose to ponder on things that give me inspiration such as the beauty that I find in untapped resources in music and in film. There really is nothing wrong with reading about the dangers of carelessness in clothing as it relates to lust and self preservation, especially if you are still unsure about the decision, want to be encouraged, or want to teach others about it. Although, I am at a point where my senses have been so incredibly heightened to the specific problem of sexual impurity all around me, that I believe it is not doing me much good to dwell on the problems themselves. The good thing that resulted from my sensitivity to this matter is that this blog was created and has hopefully inspired many to pursue a more attractive presentation of modesty to others who might not understand. In my personal life, this sensitivity has caused me unnecessary pain, but it has thankfully allowed me to be a vessel of some sort to shed light on this issue. In all honesty, often times I wish that I weren’t so sensitive to my concerns. It has been both a blessing and a curse to feel so strongly against impurity.

Despite my saying of avoiding negative talk, I am going to, at least for this post, address some things that have been on my mind lately and present the following in a more constructive manner to the best of my abilities:

  • Commercials that should cause commotion – If you have not seen the latest Tide with Acti-Lift Detergent “Too Short” commercial, you may view it on YouTube. While searching for the video link, I also stumbled upon an ethics site that discussed whether the message was or not ethical in nature—to which most concluded that the  commercial was nothing too unethical to note. Although not at all pornographic, the subtle message of this commercial screams “Dad, you’re an old fart who can’t appreciate my choice to wear mini skirts. Mom, you’re the best for trying to side with me!” To the pro-choice feminist, this commercial is to be raved about. It celebrates putting down the actions of the male head of the house, the father. It rejoices in the individual expression of the tween to wear whatever she likes, with the other female (the mother) supporting her. To the true “feminist” supporting femininity and modesty, this commercial does just the opposite in her viewpoint. Although I have to admit I never enjoyed when one of my parents (especially both) told me what I couldn’t wear, I do see now that some of the choices I made back then weren’t very wise. I can still argue that some of the things they didn’t want me to put on were probably just a matter of distaste in preference over morality. The immoral side of my wardrobe then, though, I do agree was just a stumbling block to my self-dignity as well as to the minds of the men around me. As for my preference for wearing some conspicuous pieces for my safe self-expression, I would still wear the majority to do this day with no bones about it. As subtle as the Tide commercial is, it is still harmful for young girls to garner the wrong strength from this misleading advertisement. Even though I must say there are much more blatant commercials out there with visual sexual content in them, that still doesn’t make this commercial okay.
  • Strategically placing enticing content – Although I have not confirmed this, my friend Imon pointed out to me that Victoria’s Secret’s stores are always placed in the first floor of malls where all the men or unisex stores are placed. Why not place the lingerie store where all the women’s clothes are? I can only assume that it was strategically placed where it is now to be seen by men in hopes of buying stuff for their women while looking at other women’s boobs. A very similar commercial strategy is used to entice grocery shoppers to buy the last minute useless magazines, junk, and batteries displayed next to the counter—stuff that would otherwise be forgotten if they weren’t there. I think displaying candy and beef jerky where they are visible is okay, but displaying  eye candy of almost naked bodies and beefy jerks isn’t. Also, can the commercial cops at least (if it cannot be eradicated) please have the unavoidable TV commercials, street ads, and magazine covers be grouped in the mature-only section where they are harder to access and cannot be freely seen by avoiding eyes including faithful men and innocent children? If you are interested in reading about what I wrote about magazines, you may view it in my post, “Are You a Cosmo Girl or a Kosmios Girl?
  • Changes in movie ratings over time – For some of you who may not know, the rating PG13 was a recent addition to the movie rating categories. It enabled the display of nudity in a non-sexual context. Tell me, if a bodacious woman were to stand still in the middle of the room without doing anything in front of a thirteen-year-old boy in all his raging hormones, would that kid not be sexually enticed? I still believe that nudity, partial or full, should effect an R rating in any movie. I am glad though that the ratings have been much improved throughout the years. Movies such as  Clash of the Titans (1981) and Sixteen Candles (1984)  had full frontal female nudity and were only rated PG. Chaplin (1992), as an example of a loose PG13 rating, had constant full frontal female nudity as well. While the ratings have been improved throughout movie-rating evolution, what is okay to display as far as sexuality has become much looser. The movies I have listed here and many others that have sexual content in them are still awesome movies in my opinion, but I think they did not need all that sexuality in them. Great directors and stories should speak for themselves without having to use sex to sell.
  • Unrealistic women’s combat and winter outfits (and bodies)- You see women dressed in bikinis or scant clothing in action movies and games, but is this picture realistic? Wouldn’t these women not want to be bruised and scraped easily by covering it up with some kind of metal instead of exposing their skin? One of the very few women in video games who actually wears full armor, although not entirely fool proof as some of you Metroid gamers might know, is Samus from Metroid. I don’t know about you, but I love my skin too much to want to see it scabbed when I can just cover it up with more clothing easily. One of the reasons I did not learn how to bike properly as a kid (but was good at swimming and enjoyed hiking) was because I told myself that I would rather drown swimming than see my legs and arms have scabs from possibly falling off a bike. Although that was just a completely silly notion, it does make sense for someone to want to have her body safe during physical activities. This same annoyance comes to me when women dress like it’s summertime in the cold. I for one was known to dress like that in high school, but now I admit, that was just stupid. As for female animation characters with size E (for enlarged) chests and long Jack Skellington legs, haven’t we already expressed our childhood disappointments with Barbie’s unattainable and abnormal body? It’s not realistic. Men can work out to grow muscles, but what does this depiction encourage women to do—get cosmetic surgery?
  • Safe” web browsing isn’t really safe- Even with internet filter software or even just Web site–built filters, surfing on the Web is never safe, especially for sexual content. I advise you to tell men who want to fight for purity not to use Google images to search for pictures of anything. A search for the most innocent thing you have in mind will almost always have an unrelated image(s) of naked bodies. If guys need to look up images, use another search engine to do this or just use the regular search box (not images) to look for them. Youtube also has unrelated videos show up with obscene thumbnails with your currently viewed video, but what to do about it is unbeknownst to me, because Youtube is the happenin’ place to view Internet videos. I would suggest having the males view Youtube with someone else to decrease temptation. For everyone else, Youtube, I must vouch, can be a total time-waster if you just stay there without a goal of what you want to see in mind.
  • Restrictions aren’t only for children- Although my husband and I are customers of the wonderful ClearPlay technology that can be set to skip questionable scenes in movies through its customizable filters, the way the Web site or even the staff present itself—at least as it seemed from my correspondence with an employee—implied that the restriction it has created through the use of this video player was for parents who have children. My husband and I—although we’re planning to have children—and our couple friends who recommended us the player do not have little ones, and we need it for ourselves. The product is clearly being used by us married couples to help keep our minds pure and focused on developing and expressing sexuality only to our mates. Obviously, avoiding movies isn’t the answer to outer-marital lust, but it does help somewhat not to have those uncalled for sexy images lingering in our heads. Even with that said, I wouldn’t just say that ClearPlay and all the other filters out there are for families and married couples. I believe that restrictions should be placed on everyone wanting to lead a pure thought life. Single men especially are as prone if not more prone to impurity in their thought life as married men (or even single or married women).

These are just some of the things that have been on my mind lately, and some of them are so important not to ignore that I might just write a separate post about them. I kept these in bullet form to give you just a quick glance at some of the problems with sexuality that need to be worked on. Restriction and boundaries are absolutely necessary in my opinion for a human’s well-being. Some I’m sure will argue that curtailing certain things for ourselves doesn’t give us a good picture of the world, but that is not considering how some things actually harm us. From a scientific and societal view point, isn’t that where what we call evolution brought us—removing things that cause us harm to build a better self? We can but shouldn’t engage in everything. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:23 says that everything is permissible, yes, but not everything is beneficial to us. I can relate the problem of sexuality to the problem of obesity through this passage. It just makes sense.

This post has been rated R for ranting, and it has ended. For now.

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11 Responses to “The Necessity of Restriction (and Ranting)”

  1. Shey

    I couldn’t agree with you more on this subject Rache, one of the things that I rid of a long time ago was my T.V. I did it because..well it’s what everyone did at the place I was at, T.V. and Hollywood was one of the things that were preached against all the time, I didn’t quite get it since people were still surfing the internet and if they wanted they could always choose to look at bad stuff even on the internet, however after a year without a T.V. I really liked it, I feel strongly against T.V. I’ sure my son would not enjoy his reading as much if we had one, I’m not exposing him to all those channels that don’t do anything but promote sex and disrespect for others and don’t even get me started on the “reality shows” on MTV. My home is a peaceful place because of not having a T.V. We do watch movies and go to the movies, my son is very good about watching PG and he never wants to watch PG 13 unless it’s Harry Potter. One time not long ago we went to see a Disney movie which was rated PG, I was hoororized to see that this movie has things that I would not let my son watch, such as a woman on a trampoline whose huge breasts were bouncing, a lot of us parents gasped and I know many of us where furious that the rating wasn’t honest about that particular scene. I do agree with restrictions however if a person wants to do bad, no matter how many restrictions and rules are put in place that person will find a way to get or look at things they should not look at. I think it all boils down to fearing to let God down, that’s the best restriction we can have. =)

  2. Natasha Atkerson

    PREACH IT SISTER! LOL! :) Great post! I admire you for speaking your mind, no matter what people think. Believe me, I’ve been on the receiving end of ‘mean spirited’ people (read guilty) who think I’m a hate monger. I agree with everything you have said!

    Can you tell me a little more about the Clearplay? My family has looked into getting it before, but the info. is a little sketchy.

    Natasha

  3. Natasha Atkerson

    Shey: You should check out http://www.pluggedinonline.com they give you a run down of the movie (sexual content, negative content religous content etc.)

  4. Victoria / Justice Pirate

    This is long. I’m still reading through it and will write thoughts as I read.
    First I just thought it was great that you had RDJ in your picture (when he played in Chaplin. . which sadly there are two scenes I always have to skip in that movie. It is one of my favorite films but I wish I could digitally take out the scene when he’s in the dressing room and the scene where he is with his first wife. So I wouldn’t say there is CONSTANT full frontal woman nudity, just two scenes that shouldn’t be in it). . . . .

    So I clicked on that “wonderful” Tide commercial. . so sad. I agree with you that this does in fact teach girls that they should ignore their father’s concerns and be all about doing whatever they want. The woman rules in the household these days it seems.

    I think movie ratings are getting worse honestly. I had one of my youths’ moms talk to me about two PG movies she had to turn off when watching it with her 13 year old girl and two 11 year old girls. Also I watched a PG movie the other night that had a lot of language in it. GRANTED I have seen PG movies that have nudity in it from the 70s and 80s.. . so they have improved a little but haven’t fixed their ratings!!

    I noticed that lingerie stores in the malls in NJ that I’ve been to are right in entryways. You enter in doors and there it is! There is a Victoria’s Secret right when I enter one doorway in the mall near my house (in my town) which I never really go to the mall anyway, but yeah. . and it is right by a kiosk of candy where the children go! In another mall there is the Victoria’s Secret across from the Aeropostle(sp) on the second floor but in a way where you have to walk past it because they don’t have ways around it and have to go by it to get to the other stores. There is also a huge aerie american eagle based store where it is just for the underwear they sell and huge ads of girls out of the store and that one is in an entryway. In another mall by me there is a Fredericks of Hollywood and Victoria’s Secret and an aerie store, all located in different areas of the mall.

    I do agree with you that in games and in action movies they make too many unrealistic things to satisfy male needs of sexuality and barbies ingrain in us as children that we need perky big breasts and skinny waists and legs.

    regarding movies. lately I’ve gone on imdb.com to see full mpaa content . . that and kids-in-mind.com is very helpful. They tell me all that is in the movies regarding sexuality, language, and violence. It however is so horrible lately that all the movies I thought would be good to see. . are filled with nastiness. I saw people on the blogger world of fashion rave about Black Swan and Blue Valentine everywhere. . .and young kids love these fashion bloggers and will want to see them, and they don’t realize how bad they are. I read the MPAA ratings and was so so upset because they did seem really great. Now I won’t be seeing them. Also my husband is angry that he can’t see any movies he looks forward to as well. We wanted to see Crazy Heart but because of what he read in the MPAA we didn’t see it. there are other movies we’ve done that with.

    I didn’t realize that Sixteen Candles had nudity. I always saw the T.V. edited version when I was a kid. I wish they sold versions that were edited.

    You already know my thoughts on software that guard content. . .and how they are pointless in my home. but yeah. I hear you on the image searches. you can even ask on these searches to cut content and they still show up. I don’t let my husband go to youtube anymore because of things that come up and one of my youth girls who is 18 even brought up to me all that she’s seen on that site and how upset she is over it.

  5. Bree @ The Mom with Moxie

    Yes, yes and yes! Awesome post.

    And, this…

    “Unrealistic women’s combat and winter outfits (and bodies)”

    …made me laugh. My husband and I talk about that all the time.

  6. Laura Connell

    A very informative post and I am shocked to discover that PG-13 allows nudity. I had no idea and have been taking my 7-year-old to see these. Now I will think twic or make sure I do lots of research first.
    I’m with you on the post about scantily clad female “action heroes”. I wrote a post about how much I enjoyed Salt because it was the first time I could remember a female action hero who was fully clothed throughout the film.
    I agree too that if I thought too much about all the oversexualization and demeaning of women that goes on I would just be depressed. I have daughters which makes it even more infuriating. I make it my mission to protect them from these images that would have them believe that they have to look or act a certain way to be accepted or admired. I tell them it’s not the way you look that matters, it’s what you do and how you treat people. I also know when they are teenagers, I will be that uncool parent telling them to cover up!

  7. Cheryl

    In here, magazines about nudity is so rampant. You can even buy them in your local bakeries! How nauseating can that be?

  8. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Hi Laura, I think you’ll be way cooler than the other moms who aren’t stylish and tech savvy! I have certain mothers in mind who fit just the category of style and technology, and I have high respect for them. My Russian professor who is a single mother is gorgeous, a knock out, strong, intelligent, and is one of my style inspirations. I can think of a dozen other single girls who cannot compete with her. I think being a strict parent shouldn’t be equated with being uncool if you’ve got everything else that is praiseworthy :)

  9. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Thank you for this, Natasha! I have been using IMDB for the content. I hope Plugged In becomes more comprehensive with their list of movies. We watch a lot of both popular and obscure movies and filter them with ClearPlay.

    ClearPlay is awesome in a lot of ways because you can set it up to filter just about anything you want filtered. Although not all of the movies we want to see are in their database (because we watch a lot of foreign and indie films), I think it’s good enough for the average movie watcher. You can also request a movie to be filtered if it’s not in their database, but that usually takes a while and is subject to the volume of other customers requesting the same movie. You can get the player for a really inexpensive price, but the subscription for updates is what needs to be in your budget. You don’t have to be a subscriber to get the filter, but if you want to get filters for the new movies that come out, you need to be subscribed. I think ClearPlay is a solid company. I have friends and family members who also use it and recommend it to others. I say, give it a shot! :) We like ours.

  10. Sarah

    I applaud your stand on this issue that faces us all the time. I myself have recently been totally disgusted by the commercials by Pom Pomegranate juice – I even sent them an email expressing my disgust over having (for all intents and purposes) a mostly naked woman with a snake crawling over her to promote a juice.

    Our family uses Bsecure Online as a separate filter for our internet. It is an excellent filter that detects even Google searches. We’ve not had any issues since installing it.

  11. Rachel @ à la Modest

    Thank you very much for your comment, Sarah! I have seen that commercial, and I think that a lot of commercials like that don’t even make SENSE. They just want you to remember their brand even if the commercial has NOTHING to do with the product. What better way to remember an image? A naked woman, of course. Sex sells, sadly. Children can also see commercials, and I think those people who make these commercials are just heartless and greedy for money. I am glad that you expressed your concern through e-mail.

    Thanks for suggesting Bsecure Online. I will have to check it out! The last software we used was not working properly

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