Have you ever stopped to think about the message your a delivering. Have you ever stopped to think how are you perceived even if you don’t say anything at all. some reports indicate that body language, which I would define as the visual signs that people see, whether that is posture, body movements or general appearance; clothing can easily be included in this definition, accounts for over 50% of our communication. So what then does our manner of dress say about us. What messages are we sending with the clothing we wear. Many I have spoken to have disagreed with me in that clothing sends a message of any kind, in fact those who have disagreed with me have told me that our clothing says absolutely nothing about us and does not send message of any kind. But is that really true? I would argue that it is not, thought many wish to believe that it is.
What we wear sends a message about our intentions, our personal likes and dislikes, and the type of person we are. Our clothing is as much part of our body language as our physical posture, gestures, and facial expressions. Our clothing in many circumstances reflect our intentions and our roles. It can reflect our positions in society as well. For example a police offices will wear a police uniform and carry a gun. This clothing sends a message that he is a officer of the law and has been granted certain authority to perform certain acts. A soldiers wears military uniform sending the message that he is a soldier. he will wear rank insignia on his uniform to send the message of his rank and level of authority to those he interacts with. Athletes will wear team jerseys and uniforms to send the message of what team they play for and what sport they play. A hockey jersey and equipment says you play hockey, while football jersey and equipment says you play football. Similarly someone such as myself who often will wear a jersey every day as my standard apparel sends a message that I like sports and which teams I like based on the Jersey I wear such as the Edmonton Rush lacrosse team or the Edmonton Oilers hockey team. If you saw someone wearing a swimming suit and carrying a towel you would probably think they had been or are going swimming. These examples and many more demonstrate that what we wear can and does send a message about our intents, position, job, authority, likes or dislikes.
You would not go to a job interview for a office job wearing a swim suit because that is not the message you want to send. You want to send the message that you are interested in the job and would dress properly for the job being interviewed. Men would typically wear a suit and tie while women would wear a nice modest dress or business suite with skirt, you likely would not show up in shorts and a t-shirt or swim suit. You would want to ensure that your manor of dress sends the right message relating to the job you applying for. similarly you would not show up for a football tryout in hockey gear. Similarly lawyers will wear suit and tie to a court session and business men will wear suit and tie for business meetings. By dressing properly for such things you send a message of professionalism for your respective roles. Pro Athletes when in the media outside of game or practice time will often wear suites and ties, and also while traveling to and from games. This shows a respect and professionalism for there sport.
Our manor of dress also sends a message about our regard for certain places and people. For example when we attend the temple of God we do not show up in runners, jeans and a T-shirt, we dress in our Sunday best and bring along our temple clothing or obtain clothing from the temple for our session. By dressing in this way we send a message of respect and reverence for the temple and the sacredness of such a place.
Like the examples mentioned above, especially with women now that it is getting to summer season, it is important to be aware of the message we are sending. For women, do you want to be viewed as easy and slut by dressing in provocative clothing exposing large amounts of cleavage and your physical attributes. What kind of attention do you want to attract. What message are you sending when you dress is such a manor. Do you want attention purely based on your willingness for sex. Because this is the message your are sending to men when you dress in a fashion that is intended to arouse a sexual response. Your manor of dress in effect becomes pornography to the men you interact with. I must emphasize that I by no means wish to imply in any way that men cannot control there lusts, and sexual urges. Men are 100% responsible for their own choices regardless of what or how a woman is dressed. My Intent is to illustrate that how you dress will effect a biological response in the men you associate with if you dress like a slut. When you dress provocatively don’t be surprised when you get the wrong type of attention. If you don’t want to attract the attention of men who are only interested in sex then don’t dress in a manor that suggest you only care about sex. Your other options is to dress modestly. When you dress this way you send the message that you are not interested in sex but in true friendship. You want to attract the attention of someone who is not there to gawk and your sexuality but rather is interested in you on a mental and spiritual level rather than pure physical sexuality.
Men are not immune and also have a responsibility to dress properly. The manor and style in which men dress sends a clear message as well. I have seen more than one woman at the office looking at pictures of topless men and talking amongst themselves how much they would love to get in bed with them, or how hot they are. Men as well can show off their sexuality and physical attributes in the way we dress. Like women if we dress immodestly in a way that says I’m looking for someone who is only interested in sex we too will only attract the type of women that are interested in that.
From LDS.ORG we read on modesty the following
“Modesty is an attitude of propriety and decency in dress, grooming, language, and behavior. If we are modest, we do not draw undue attention to ourselves. Instead, we seek to “glorify God in [our] body, and in [our] spirit” (1 Corinthians 6:20; see also 1 Corinthians 6:19).
If we are unsure about whether our dress or grooming is modest, we should ask ourselves, “Would I feel comfortable with my appearance if I were in the Lord’s presence?” We might ask ourselves a similar question about our language and behavior: “Would I say these words or participate in these activities if the Lord were present?” Our honest answers to these questions may lead us to make important changes in our lives. Prophets have always counseled us to dress modestly. This counsel is founded on the truth that the human body is God’s sacred creation. We must respect our bodies as a gift from God. Through our dress and appearance, we can show the Lord that we know how precious our bodies are.
Our clothing expresses who we are. It sends messages about us, and it influences the way we and others act. When we are well groomed and modestly dressed, we can invite the companionship of the Spirit and exercise a good influence on those around us.”
Our clothing can directly reflect our values and personality. When we dress modestly we show that we value ourselves and our bodies. Our bodies are a sacred gift from God and should not be shown off the world to become common in the public view. God has commanded us to keep our bodies covered and sacred only to be shared with our spouse in that sacred union of marriage. This concept is one I endeavor to teach my children, all 3 of them girls. I hope to instill in them when it comes to there dress that modest is hottest.