Ah, yes! It is that time of year again here in State College, PA, home of Penn State University -
BACK TO SCHOOL!
As an undergraduate student, I was always fairly excited for back to school season because it meant seeing friends again, a new year of classes, being back in the Happiest of Valleys, and warm weather. However, as an alumnus living in the area with her husband (who is still an undergrad student...), I have noticed it is the onset of the warm, summer weather that is causing some uncomfortable and unsettling realizations as of late.
Anyone who has visited or lived in State College can attest to the fact that the weather in Happy Valley is very rarely "sunny and 75," as the country song goes, unless it is the beginning or end of the school year. Happy Valley is normally overcast, if not raining, or snowing. So, naturally, when PSU is blessed with gorgeous weather, we take advantage of it. Some more than others...
We Are... a college town. Simple as that. State College, PA was built around Penn State University and it's student body. When the students are gone for the summer, S.C. becomes a quiet, family town that just so happens to be home to one of the best (if not THE best) universities in the world. However, when the students come back, Happy Valley quickly becomes host to hordes of college-aged co-eds, most of which decide to show off a little more than their brains... if you catch my drift...
It is deeply unsettling for me to look around at the student population that has invaded campus, our downtown, and surrounding areas and notice that females in particular have taken to the very immodest and unflattering trend of baring their bodies for the sake of "fashion." Summer "fashion," if left to be defined by the female population at Penn State, would consist of flagrant displays of cleavage in low cut or strapless tops, unbelievably short shorts or skirts that are often accompanied by glimpses of butt cheeks (or worse!), and (the most confusing trend, in my opinion) crop tops that bare the girls' bellies and usually not-so-flat stomachs.
So, why do I have such a problem with this? Don't call me bitter. I, for one, am NOT. I am simply disturbed at the lack of modesty young women are now exhibiting so naturally and freely.
Almost 2 years ago, I was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and knew that I would need to make a change and promise between myself and Heavenly Father to wear modest clothing in order to preserve and uphold my integrity and virtue. With this promise comes the duty and blessing of wearing the "garments." For those who might be reading this and either don't know what the heck I'm talking about or have an idea and think I'm insane, let me break this down for you...
This past December (2012), I entered the Bountiful Temple (see picture below) in Utah and came out wearing the "garments." These garments are worn under my regular clothing that represent and remind me of the sacred promises I made with Heavenly Father. For the sake of this post and to maintain the sacredness of the garments, I will not go into too much detail regarding what they look like and what the garments' doctrinal meaning is, but I will summarize in saying that I covenanted to keep my body holy and modest by not showing it off with the immodest clothing being flaunted by today's young women.
Simply put: this means those little strappy tops and short skirts/dresses I've been seeing traipsing around campus are no longer in my closet!
While I no longer own a strapless bandage dress or a pair of shorts, unfortunately, there are MANY girls at Penn State and other areas of the country who do. The reasons that this makes me so uncomfortable are pretty obvious:
1) I have a husband and a younger brother who are subjected to viewing these young women in their skimpy clothing DAILY. They are at Penn State to receive an education in their respective degrees, neither of which are studying "intimate female anatomy."
2) While I COULD certainly wear (and work!) these immodest clothes fashionably, I choose not to because I recognize the gift and worth of my body. Unfortunately, most young girls don't see my example as the majority... they're seeing "Barbie Butt Cheeks" and "Candy Can-Cans" and wanting to emulate them and their style.
It is my sincere prayer for today's young women to recognize their self-worth and cover up their "assets" so they can be role models to the next generation and can be aware and proud of their worth in Heavenly Father's eyes. Heavenly Father doesn't care that that crop top is "in style" or "cute." When your belly is hanging out and causing the young men to objectify you, THAT is when He cares. Heavenly Father doesn't care that the dress you just bought makes your boobs looks "huge!" When your boobs are causing young men to struggle with immoral thoughts and desires, THAT is when He cares.
Ladies, we need to be a strong, holy example to our following generations. We can do that by choosing modest clothing and covering the parts of our bodies that are intimate and sacred. I promise that by doing so, we will be happier and the blessings from Heavenly Father will pour out upon us.
Bountiful Temple in Bountiful, Utah