Modesty: It’s for Boys, Too

Modesty: It’s for Boys, Too
Modesty: It's for Boys, Too

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Recently, my 13-year-old son began lifting weights after school. As a result, he has developed large, well-defined biceps. Anxious to show off his new muscles, he asked me if we could go shopping for a tank top—a request that I immediately denied. “Why not?” he argued. “Because modesty isn’t just for girls,” I replied.

Now, before I go any further, let me stress that I do not proclaim to be any kind of authority on modesty—I simply did what I thought was best for my son. I fully acknowledge that there is a wide range of opinions about how and when to address modesty issues with our children. Some parents choose to dress their kids in garment-friendly clothing from the beginning. Others allow more freedom until their children become teens. And some choose not to wage the wardrobe war at all, allowing their children to wear whatever they like. But this experience has caused me to reflect on how well I am teaching my two boys about modesty.

On it states:

“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 6:19).

It goes on to explain, “In dress, grooming, and manners, we should always be neat and clean, never sloppy or inappropriately casual. . . . We should express ourselves through clean, positive, uplifting language and actions that bring happiness to those around us.” (Read the full statement here.)

This is a good reminder that modesty is about much more than the length of our shorts, but this is often where the focus lands—especially when it comes to the wardrobe choices of girls and women. (I can’t help but notice that an LDS girl can be thoroughly criticized for showing her knee caps, even though I see plenty of LDS boys and men showing theirs.) So, what is considered modest dress for guys?

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