186 thoughts on “Exercises in Modesty”

  1. Yeah, I remember PE in my elementary school being kind of sad like this. Lots of shredded dresses from baserunning in kickball, and lots of averted eyes as the unfortunate girls escaped to the ladies’ room.

  2. A youth pastor once said to the “young ladies” in his youth group, “It’s OK if you girls want to wear ski pants while skiing, but I’ll respect you even *more* if you wear culottes *over* your pants.”
    If I recall, all the young ladies opted for self-respect that day.

    1. Seriously. Ski pants are already big, bulky, and unattractive; a man who still sees a lady as a sex object in those things has issues.

    1. There are so few Christians anymore who have the courage to use words like “hussy” or “slut” about their fellow Christians. Thanks for standing in the gap and making up the hedge.

        1. And speaking of “brazen hussies” I love the ad showing up now. It’s for “E l i t e S i n g l e s” and it shows an envelope tab for “16 partner suggestions”. How much of a hussy do they think I am?

  3. I would like the IFB world to know that I have my motorcycle licence and actually owned a Suzuki Savage 650. I rode around on it with CW PLEATED culottes.
    Can you say PARACHUTE?
    I learned my lesson and switched to Mrs Hookers pattern culottes. Much more modest when the wind would pick up! 😯
    Eventually, I sold the Suzuki and bought a piano with the money. Hubby was hoping to tame his shrew.
    Didn’t work out so well…now I wear pants and play Elvis songs on the piano. 😎

        1. Oh Jo..you have no idea. Nothing like driving up beside a car while your culottes are flapping in the wind.
          I didn’t really care at my freakish modest immodesty since I had a helmet on. If only I could have taken a picture of people’s faces as they saw me… 😯

        2. coulottes are just about as imodest as they come, especially on a bike. You can’t do anything except stand in them without showing leg. I don’t get why they are supposed to be modest.

        1. Hey maybe we’ve identified a niche market here. Hopefully some enterprising homemaker will be busy stitching away a new line in leather biker culottes for the Fundy Biker Gals who want to preserve their modesty while astride a Suzuki Savage.
          But really I’m just jealous. If anyone rode a bike in such a garment here in the UK their legs would just turn blue and fall off with the cold.

    1. I had a Harley Sportster while attending an FB church. The pastor was actually pretty laid back outside the pulpit- I think he realized the majority of the church didn’t follow the standards they preached outside of the church crowd and public view.

      I’d do shorts or leggings under skirts, but I refused to wear culottes or “split skirts”. I would wear tights under chaps, pull a skirt on when I got where I was going, then take the chaps off (seriously). No problem, until I showed up early at a revival we had, because I was helping with serving food and all. They had a visiting preacher who was part of the FBC Hammond crowd, and he about fell over when he saw me go back to the bike to store my leathers, wearing a dress with my hair down, especially when I was introduced as a Sunday school teacher.

      To rub it in, my pastor preached on “judging by outward appearances” later that evening”. Not surprisingly, he left the IFB camp after a while, and now attends a more mainstream type church. His wife now wears jeans, he drinks some and plays in a band, and there whole family seems a lot happier for it. (I’m still pretty fundy-ish in my own convictions, but I see them as a choice between me & God, not necessarily His requirements for all people and all situations).

      1. “The majority of the church didn’t follow the standards they preached outside of the church crowd and public view.” This was a weird thing we discovered at our church. The core folks there (deacons, SS teachers) seemed to want to HEAR all the old legalistic rules but wanted to LIVE the way they wanted at home. I’ll never forget a deacon who resented my husband starting to include praise music along with the hymns during the service playing rap during his daughter’s graduation party (foul language and all). WHA????? It STILL baffles me how they wanted their special holy hour that sort of preserved the 1950s feel while they went home to live however they wanted. In contrast my husband wanted them to learn that they were free in Christ, but Christ DID permeate ALL their lives, not just while they were in church. We are the church, the body of Christ, always not just for a few hours on Sunday and Wednesday.

        BTW, I agree about convictions being between you and God. Whether we eat or don’t eat, we do it to the Lord!

        1. Fundies separate their own lives between the “sacred” and the “secular” as if this is the “Church me” and this is the “not-at-Church me.”
          That is why the world looks at Christianity as a religion of hypocrites.

      2. @Raine, (I’m still pretty fundyish in my convictions, but I see them as a choice between me and God, not necessarily His requirements for all people and all situations.)

        Good words, sums up my feeling somewhat. I realize that I want to serve God with purpose and fervor even more now than when I was in fundyland, but after 20 yrs (inside, out for two) I’m not really sure what that looks like, so I’m still in the process of figuring it all out.

        One thing is for sure I don’t want to be an anything goes type of christian, certainly we are to adhere to good moral standards and so forth, sometimes on this site I see that “anything” goes mentality and I know that is not where I want to be. We are still to be salt and light.

        Anyways tks for your good, insightful words!

    2. I remember the girls sports team at one fundy school who wore rubber bands around the bottom of their brown coulottes to keep them closed…where there is a crazy idea, there are more crazy ideas to avoid all the downsides to the first crazy idea.

      1. Ya know, they could’ve worn walking shorts and saved the trouble. Clothes designers have already solved the problem about girls wanting to wear something long and not breezy. LONG SHORTS! Rubber bands not necessary.

  4. Anything that looks like upholstery from a sofa that your grandmother gave to Goodwill is suitable material too, right?

    Jim K.

  5. Reminds me of a conversation I had with a Sgt. Major or the black watch. Although their combat uniform has pants, their dress uniform has a kilt. They must be ready for anything at moment’s notice, and so are required in training to do at least one parachute jump while wearing a kilt.

    1. You must be one of those “get as close to the line as possible” types. Brother, sin is funny. I stay as far away as possible.

        1. Would that be Freudian of Holywood slips?

          The modest slip preferred by 10 out of 10 Fundie Pastor’s Wives.
          Available wherever fine Fundie Gear is sold.

  6. When I was attending BJU, my dad, who is not a fundy, offered to send me a motorcycle so I could get off campus occasionally. He was well-intentioned, but I’m sure you all realize how impossible that would have been for me. I mentioned the motorcycle to a roommate and she suggested that I could cut two holes in my skirt so that when it flipped up onto my face, I could still see to drive.

    Now THAT is a BJU campus mental picture …

    1. I don’t know how it is at the moment but I’m fairly sure that a woman would not have been allowed to even have a motorcycle on campus. Most academic classifications couldn’t go off campus alone anyway so that limits most of it and they probably would simply have made one of their typical double standards and said that it is impossible for a woman to modestly ride a motorcycle or scooter.

      1. Especially since the safest material to wear when driving a motorcycle is–wait for it–JEANS (preferably with LEATHER chaps over those too), and I’m not talking loose jeans either. Otherwise, if you wipe out, you’re a bloody, shredded, modest mess. Skirt, my eye.
        @IAHB, you’re fortunate you didn’t get yourself killed. 😯

  7. Did anyone else see the episode of the Duggars where two of the girls wanted to work in the fire department, so they bought the uniform pants and turned them into skirts? This was for the dress uniform – not the actual fire-fighting gear. I’m not sure what they’d do if they had to fight a real fire …

    1. Wouldn’t work for firefighting, because they don’t make turn-out gear in skirts. OTOH, a few EMS departments do have EMT & First Responders who wear cargo-type skirts in uniform. I did this for a while, then decided pants were a lot more modest in many situations (ie, after seeing pics and realizing my long skirt typically ended up scrunched somewhere between my knees & thighs while working on a patient), but we had a skirts-only Pentecostal lady who was a Paramedic and had worn a skirt for close to two years.

  8. The Duggars–they’re something. 🙄 Honestly, I’m waiting for one of the kids to write a book about how much they hated living in that household, doing MOM’S job of raising their younger siblings, being isolated from most of their peers, being home-churched, and constantly being forced into the public eye.

    Trust me, w/ 20 kids (or however many it is now) it’s coming. Statistically, it’s nearly impossible for all of them to end up brain-washed. . .

        1. Tony P, you just about killed me just now! My workmates just came rushing over to see if I’m ok. They heard a loud “Snort, choke, choke, strangle, choke, cough, cough, cough!” and thought I was dying.
          Note to self: don’t eat Tootsie Rolls while reading SFL.

  9. Geesh, I’m speachless. When I formed and coached the Christian School Soccer program/team in the 80’s, I had to fight tooth-and-nail just let the co-ed team to wear shorts. Culootes are embarassing for ANY girl/woman to wear for ANY reason. 🙁

  10. The dress. The memories. Not only did my first husband scold me for not packing an appropriate skirt to attend some obscure evening church service I hadn’t intended to go to while on vacation, he also scolded me for not stooping correctly, tucking my dress under me with one hand. Never mind that I needed to use both hands to lift an object — his mother was able to stoop gracefully without her skirt swinging, why couldn’t I?

    BTW, my mom played basketball in a PE outfit much like the ones above. But back then ladies didn’t play full court, except for the guard.

    1. “scolded” huh? Being a man has been reduced to “scolding” the wife for various wardrobe misfires. So, the closer to the look of a burlap sack, the more ‘godly’? I’m convinced that immodesty is simply a knee-jerk reaction to an over zealous religious immagination and the ‘godly’ husband usually ends up as the Pastor’s Thought/Fashion Police…the Enforcer of the Pastor’s preferences.

      1. Smith, notice I say ex husband, so my hindsight is biased considerably against him, I admit. But one of his habits was to attempt to remake his wife (me) into the image of his saintly (eh) mother at every turn. Especially in wardrobe.

    2. Since I’ve been married, my views on what women should wear have narrowed considerably. I now believe my wife should wear only whatever she wants to wear. If she asks for my advice, my duty is to answer, “No, you don’t look fat in that.”

      What other women wear is, of course, none of my business.

      1. You sound like my husband (which is a good thing!)

        Of course, sometimes I want to buy clothes that…well, please him 😳 He insists on saying “whatever you like better” even the question is, “Black lace or red?”

        Though maybe he’s just hinting to me that it’s not the kind of thing we should be thinking about. It’s our marital duty, not something to have fun with!! 😉

        1. Marital duty, schmuty. Go ahead and have fun.

          (I know you’re probably kidding about that, but it’s too close to what some people really profess for me to withhold comment.)

        2. I was kidding, but I completely understand about people saying those kinds of things with a straight face. If it really feels like that much of a chore, something is not being done right.

          I’m all about that area of my life being chock full of fun! And, luckily, so is my husband 😀

        3. I wish some fundies were more familiar with Proverbs 5:18-19 than the verse about not wearing that which pertaineth to a man. They’re both in Scripture, but somehow the one (which was part of the OT law) they still hold as pertinent, while the Proverbs verse I guess they just forget is there.

  11. I’m loving the sneakers and crew socks X(
    And I hope that front seam is sewn shut to eliminate any peaking….

  12. Although Baptists are probably the biggest producers of coulottes, Apostolics are easier to spot because they also don’t wear any ungodly makeup or cut their hair. I always wondered when I saw them, if their hair is supposed to be their “glory” then why do they scrunch it all up in a bun? We are being cheated out of a blessing by not being able to see the 3 foot long nest hanging down her back. Our youth group girls were always reqired to wear coulottes or skirts, even when going to ride roller coasters at the amusement park.

    1. Well, let’s just hope those apostolic girls keep their hair in a bun while riding roller coasters! Wouldn’t want to sit behind them otherwise! 😉

  13. When I was a teen, I went to winter camp at Fundy U. We were allowed to wear pants and snowsuits, but one of the girls in my cabin was from a no-pants-on-women church/home. She went tubing in culottes (bare legs), and got frostbite.

      1. OMG, that was me growing up. I quit going after that requirement. Didn’t go sledding again until my son was 6-7 years old. Boy was it nice just to have plain old fun without all the fuss and humiliation 😀

        1. “It was nice just to have plain old fun without all the fuss and humiliation.” – This is such an accurate summary of what it’s like once I learned my freedom in Christ.

          The sad thing is that high school and college were spent under such rules. 🙁

  14. What, no explosions yet? That job has been saved for me. Fuse lit, ready to go.

    Fundy ideas about modesty are pure garbage. If anything, the way women are forced to practice modesty draws even more attention to them than if they had been able to dress more normally. doesn’t that defeat the purpose of modesty in the first place?

    Culottes, for example, are just plain ugly. Far from having any practical use, they combine the absolute worst features of skirts and pants with no real increase in true modesty. Try a hayride in culottes. On second thought, don’t. It was a nightmare. The only use for those gid-forsaken objects is to glow brightly when they are thrown into a raging bonfire.

    Worse, you get certain teachers like the daughter of one of the most hardcore fundies saying that women should wear colors that are ugly and unflattering on them. WHAT!? Excuse me, looking crummy does not make for a good testimony. I prefer the Jewish commandment concerning modesty: Once the mitzvah of modesty is met, it’s another mitzvah to make that modesty beautiful.

    And somehow in the middle of all this dressing ugly to please gid, a young Fundy girl is supposed to try to find the man who is going to make her ability to live her highest calling as a wife and mother (an idea that is actually against Scripture) come true? Uh, yeah, and people wonder why Fundy and other traditionalist men have a high rate of porn issues?

    FTR, I am a very modest dresser. Yes, I wear jeans, so I’m not one of these skirt-only types (although I will wear them when needed). But I’m more comfortable in the elbow-length shirts than in short sleeves. I’m interested in looking civilized, not slutty and not so frumpy that I draw attention to myself.

    Last year, I crashed an Apostolic convention. Even though their standards of modesty initially appeared similar to that of Fundies, a closer look revealed some very fashionable and cute styles these girls were wearing. Compared to Fundies, these girls looked… normal. Even with the long hair and no makeup, these girls looked great. There was no need to be ugly to be modest. There never was, and there never will be.

    1. @LMcC, WORD!

      There is much to be said about what you just laid down for us. It is so true that you can be so “modest” that it draws attention to yourself…even more so if the person next to you dressed “normal”. Once people really, really understand that Fundamentalism is simply a subculture all to itself, then everything falls into place: haircuts, clothing, cheap shirts and and ties, Walmart, etc. I would NEVER allow my daughters or wife dress like these fashion challenged morons want people to dress. While in Bible College, there was actually a controversy within the dorm over…of all things…TIE BARS! Some of the more “GQ” guys wore tie bars with their ties and the more “spiritual” guys were having fits of righteous rage over their accessories. I’m honestly suprised that preachers don’t expect “soberness” to include blank expressions on women’s faces (bringing out your inner Amish)to be worn in public and in church. In a nutshell, I’m with ya on this! 😛

      1. Tie bars. Yiiie. *facepalm* Can the so-called standards get any dumber?

        OTOH, I still remember the guy at Fundy U who wore the plastic tie that had water and a beach scene in it. The ties were really the only fashion things the guys had with which they could express themselves.

        What always got me in trouble in HS was big earrings. Fortunately, Fundy U cared much less about it, so I wore some pretty wacky stuff. Grace2live can tell you about a pair of earrings I made using Artist Series tickets. Very goofy, but people liked them. Strangely, the earrings were never a “modesty” issue. Just a “worldly” one. Granted, some uptight soul in fundyland has probably changed that by now.

        (Oh boy, someone chased a rabbit trail. Back to topic!)

        Modesty is not about squashing one’s individuality. If anything, modesty done right is that fine line between not attracting undue attention to oneself and making sure that nothing distracts from what makes a person who he or she really is when someone actually has the attention of others. It’s a little more complicated than “cover your body because it’s sinful”, but it winds up making more sense.

        1. The earrings were great, LMcC, and I wish I had a pair now. (Hint, hint) Remember when we went to Six Flags our first year at BJU and the girls were allowed to wear culottes but not jeans or pants? What a sight we must have been, especially on that yo-yo-swing ride!!!

        2. I would if I could get my mitts on more tickets!

          Let’s just say I’m sure we ladies made the days of plenty of young men out there who had no ideas such immodest clothing existed. 🙄

          For me, the culottes at Six Flags wasn’t so weird because we did the same thing in HS. Wouldn’t do it now to save my life.

        3. When I was a student at BJU (in the 70’s) we thought it was a great privilege to be allowed to wear culottes instead of dresses for various activities like outings and theme park trips. However, the crazy part was we were required to wear hose under them! You could wear socks and sneakers only if you were also wearing pantyhose. Can you imagine how stupid that looked? I remember wearing bright yellow culottes, hose and wild-colored striped socks once on a Six Flags adventure. We must have looked like rejects from clown school.

        1. LMcC,I would be glad to donate my upcoming Artist Series tickets for your earrings. I was not looking forward to sitting through three hours of The Tempest next week.

        2. @BJUgrad … this may seem out of the blue, but *coughcough* would you mind parting with your AS ticket? my fiancée would like me to go with her, and my friends that normally get rid of their tickets all have dates. i’d rather not buy a ticket, having already graduated and stuff.

    2. I must say: so very fundy as my church is, the majority of people there (though mainly the younger generation) all dress very stylishly. There still are quite a few O_O dressers, but for the most part, everyone looks up to date.

      Until they go out onto the volleyball court in their culottes. XD

      1. I’ve definitely seen this too: very conservative churches where the women dress very nicely, albeit formally! (But ask them to dress CASUALLY – or play sports – and they usually can’t pull it off without looking ridiculous.)

        My parents thought the girls at BJU were worldly with their makeup and stylishly-coifed hair. 😆

        I must admit though that my parents didn’t go to the extremes of a distant relative whose daughters come to family reunions with long, stringy hair, worn t-shirts, long culottes, and dingy sneakers. I always feel bad for the oldest daughter at 18 who looks more pathetic and uncared-for than godly and modest.

        1. “pathetic and uncared for rather than godly and modest.”

          This rings true. Whenever I see a girl like you describe, that is exactly my feelings. I don’t think, “there goes a godly woman.” I feel sorry for her having to look that way.

  15. KEDS are also a requirement in fundy land. Canvas shoes are next to cleanliness which is next to godliness.

  16. Once I was at King’s Dominion with a Southern Baptist Group (wasn’t SBC-just along for the trip). They wore clothes appropriate for the activity. Another group showed up while we were there wearing DRESS CLOTHES. The girls were in high heels and hose and dresses and the guys were in dress shirts and pants. They went on rides dressed like that. 😯 No they did not impress anyone. They were the objects of disbelief and to top it off the day was HOT. Those kids must have felt miserable.

    Use common sense people. Wear clothes APPROPRIATE for the activity. Oh…and appropriate does not mean immodest.

    1. Actually “modest” (as used in the N.T.) means appropriate. Wear appropriate clothing. Nowhere is it a command to wear denim dresses and white shoes. 🙂

    2. Oh, see, it was the name of the park that confused them. They must have thought it was a camp meeting.

  17. This thread is reminding me why I’m so glad to be married to my husband! I’d like to take this opportunity to say that I love my husband! He is loving and supportive and doesn’t make up silly rules. 🙂

  18. Fundies in Hawaii!!!


    Return of the Stepford Wives

    or in keeping with the marital theme

    Night of the Living Dead II

    Demonstrating the “keep him at arms length until you are at optimum ovulation” maneuver. 😯

  19. Do I dare date myself. I remember when culottes were quite fashionable – for about six months. Back in the dark ages of the early sixties, even in public school, there was scandal that young ladies would dare go to school with fabric between our legs! Girls were sent home to find a more appropriate mode of dress. This was also the day of the Ben Casey shirt (a doctor’s uniform shirt that buttons on the side) worn by male doctors and dentists, teenage girls, and a very few teenage boys who would never make the football team. But such controversies were soon to be eclipsed by the introduction of the mini-skirt. Imagine going to public school (public school even!) and having to kneel at the door, and if your skirt didn’t touch the floor you would be sent home!

  20. I always wondered what the fundy boys and girls wore who were on the swim teams of various H.S. and college athletic teams?

    1. The swim team? A guy might be on a football team but no swim teams. Girls didn’t do sports because if a woman couldn’t do it and be modest then she shouldn’t be doing those things. (heavy sarcasm)

      Some kids weren’t even allowed to sing in the school choir…who knows what music the choir director might pick! 😯

      1. this is true, girls couldn’t do much extracurricular activities at school. I remember there was one girl at our church that was in the marching band. She had to wear that manly unisex uniform. Very bad. I used to be in band in Jr High, loved it. My parents made me not continue in high school because of this. Well that and too much unchaperoned time with other kids.

        I was secretly envious of that girl at our church. At least she had friends by belonging in a group in high school. I had to wear coulottes and skirts to school. Very uncool.

        1. Lol I guess I wasn’t the only one who had to go to public school in skirts and culottes if I was with my mom, whatever I wanted if I was with my dad. 😀

        2. My mom had a conviction against DO. A CONVICTION! She used that word so flippantly for all her clothes rules. How is a teenager supposed to make it through high school and not get razed for not wearing DO? And by the way don’t you want to go to MY church so you can be like me? Other kids bought cigs and beer behind their parents backs. I’d sneak and buy Deodorant and make up with my own money and put it on when I got to school. Couldn’t do anything about the coulottes, but my mom’s conviction wasn’t worth getting beat up over at school.

        3. F’rdal? A conviction against deodorant? For boys and girls, or just girls? Wtf is with people?!?!?! How in the world did she justify that insanity? Some weird claim of vanity?

        4. Against anyone wearing it. It clogs the pores, it’s God’s natural way to sweat, it’s going against nature to clog the sweat glands so don’t. My parents smell so bad, embarrasses me to death. My dad has been told at his job a few times to start wearing DO and my parents get insulted that someone would tell him that to his face.

          Geez, so embarassing. So glad my identity is hidden and my voice is altered on this blog.

        5. First of all, i’d like to kick george for turning wtf into that monstrosity, second I just can’t fathom how noone is willing to stand up and tell her to stop abusing the family, making that bs up!

        6. Well I wish you were around when I was a kid. As you know you can’t argue with a Fundie though. She had a list several pages long that she had typed out of her CONVICTIONS. It was all about dress code. Craziness, I just wanted to say, “Do you know that a conviction is something you are willing to die for?? You mean you would not wear deodorant, or a tshirt if someone put a gun to your head and told you to??” It’s NOT worth it!

        7. I hated the way people would chalk up stuff they couldn’t find a verse for to having a ‘conviction’. I’m so thankful to be away from that.

          It’s ridiculous thinking that making someone so obviously stand out and appear strange would be a good testimony. I solemly swear to never cause my children to become humiliated the way so many of us were.

        8. Wow. So irritating that people confuse conviction/spirituality with making up obnoxious rules to demonstrate how much holier they are. Have discovered the not very repressed sever anger issues usually associated with these myself, and get why many would rather ignore. Abuse always needs to be confronted, regardless of consequences. I know that’s probably not quite up to the level of abuse, but it’s certainly bad parenting that should’ve been addressed I suspect.

    2. What girls’ swim team?

      AFA other sports: Culottes. Always.

      I have pictures from my cheerleading days (don’t worry, I repented long ago) of different uniforms. Some were skirts, some were culottes, all were well below my knee. The culottes had pleats worked into them like regular cheerleading skirts. They weighed a ton. It’s a miracle anyone could do any jumps in those things.

      1. my school had those and a male friend of mine says that he always liked the way the girl’s a**es looked in them. The horror! Being forced to wear something so atrocious and it didn’t even accomplish what it was supposed to…

        1. I’m not at all surprised.

          Nothing like a repressive Christian school environment to turn people into complete sex maniacs. My school had a teen pregnancy rate that made the public schools look good. How’d all that shoving the Fundy form of “modesty” down our throats while simultaneously telling the girls their worth was only in the service of a man work out? 🙄

        2. @LMcC- Funny you should mention the repressive atmosphere. Back at my Fundy U, MANY babies were made on the back stairwell. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      1. That depends.

        Usually, the sexes swim separately and cannot even get away with a look.

        AFA working shirtless: It depends. Usually modesty is considered a women’s thing, as if we don’t have a sex drive or something if we see a nice looking guy shirtless. (Yet we’re also assumed to be temptresses… but that’s for another post.) Some churches make a little squeak or two about male modesty, some do not.

        I went to a church and school where there were modesty standards for men. Our guys played basketball in their knee-length football uniforms. No shorts and tank tops for these guys. Then when I went to Fundy U, I got the shock of my life to see men playing sports in shorts, and wearing tank jerseys and the really short shorts for playing basketball. Some more modest guys wore t-shirts under their jerseys, but others didn’t care what showed. Talk about culture shock.

      1. Quite honestly, that would have been an improvement over the way things were. (Yes, you know Fundyland is bad when WholesomeWear is an improvement.)

        The Mormons do it better. At least their modest swimwear actually looks normal (except for their newest one-pieces… stick to the original formula, folks!). http://www.ohanaswimwear.com/

    3. Our girls gym uniforms were culottes and a long-sleeved t-shirt; my cheerleading skirt was actually a pair of culottes reaching below the knee with pleats worked in to make them look ‘normal.’ OK, here’s a confession: I used to roll up the waistband of the cheerleading skirt to make it higher and appear more normal. I could only go so far, though, without being noticed. Whew, now that I’ve confessed, I feel so much better…. 😉

      The boys gym and team uniforms were another matter altogether. Most of them were mortified to wear their uniforms because it looked like they were wearing red underwear! No, not boxers! We’re talking short shorts here!! Even as a teen I wondered what on earth that was all about… 😯

  21. Our girls’ gym uniforms looked like something straight out of a Russian prison camp. They were one-piece, snap-up-the-front monstrosities in a “lovely” shade of green that made us all look dead. Thirty years later, and I still have nightmares about forgetting my gym uniform on gym day.

  22. This is not really going with the flow but I have been noticing girls h.s. volleyball uniforms, and the shorts that those girls wear don’t leave alot to the imagination! Now I can certainly understand form-fitting suits for female swimmers but why do volleyball players need these skin tight shorts? Or is this just a trend in my area? I seriously would have a hard time allowing my daughter to wear something like that on or off the court.

    1. My Fundy U’s girls volleyball team occasionally plays the local community colleges, so I know the ones you’re talking about. I had a roommate who would intentionally move around during those games so as to stay as near as possible to the “best view” of the visiting team.
      At the very least, you always knew who was the home team and who wasn’t… 😕

    2. I don’t know that they are all that immodest. It doesn’t take some heculean effort to sit through an entire day of a volleyball tourney without the idea of how immodest the unis arecrossing my mind. Then again if it does, its not that difficult to check ’em out, but I’m not willing to say that’s the girls fault/problem.

      1. Ps, there’s a really great rap song that has the lyric: “you better check yourself before you wreck yourself”. Hope it doesn’t catch on in fundyland where it would be totally ruined, but I think the problem of lust is a problem of the luster, and not starting to legislate rules for the lustee.

  23. Having worked with children’s ministries a lot in my life, my experience has been that it is far more modest for a girl to wear pants when doing running around/jumping activities. Playing hard in a skirt can lead to some NOT-modest experiences. 😯

    That plain fact is that this style of fundamentalism is not as interested in practical modesty as much as strict adherence to their extra-biblical rules.

    1. “This style of fundamentalism is not as interested in practical modesty as much as strict adherence to their extra-biblical rules.” So true! — which is why I reject it. “O foolish Galatians! . . . Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

      It’s so frustrating to see such people caught up in their rules, missing both the freedom in Christ AND failing to be modest as well!

  24. Is it just me, or does that picture remind you of a 50’s version of “Thriller”? Or maybe a new version of Body Snatchers? Or maybe a particularly weird episode of Twilight Zone? Any moment now, Kevin Sorbo’s head is going to show up in silhouette.

    1. I can hear Rod Sterling’s voice now… “Check your soul liberty at the door. You’ve just entered the Fundy Zone.” Que music.

    2. There have been four film versions of Jack Finney’s “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. I believe the first one is still the best.

  25. I went to fundie high school for one year. The gym uniform was dreamed up by the pastors wife, a BJU grad. Remarkable imagination. It was a one piece wonder. Bloomers, yes bloomer with elastic bands that gathered the bottoms of the bloomers below the knees, no possible way our legs would show while running or doing cartwheels. Then sewed onto the bloomers was a flowy skirt that went below the knees as well. It was all made of cheap blue cotton that was constantly wrinkled. Just looked terrible. So uncomfortable to wear and so hot. Typical church school, the gym was not air conditioned and had a big swamp fan to cool us off. Those unflattering blue things were always wet with sweat, the bloomers would cling to our legs. We’d always knot up the skirts or try to tuck them into the bloomers. Oh yeah, those skirt things really boosted our femininity.

    1. I always thought it was so weird that I was constantly encouraged to be FEMALE, but never encouraged to be FEMININE. I was supposed to hopefully find a man to rely on, be submissive, sweet, unassuming, and silent (ideally) – the whole Victorian “woman on a pedestle”. But I wasn’t allowed to be pretty. Instead I couldn’t wear makeup or earrings or spend much time on fixing my hair (that would show pride). I had to wear weird, ugly clothing that hid my shape and made me stick out like a sore thumb when I went somewhere. I just always thought it was a strange dichotomy: to tell a girl to embrace her ROLE as a woman while denying her the opportunity to enjoy being feminine.

      1. Agreed. And here’s where it gets weirder: Once I accepted Biblical equality, only then was I really free to be more feminine — and without having to give up the abilities considered more on the guys’ side of life.

        Femininity (and indeed anything female) in fundamentalism is a BAD thing. If you had the misfortune to be born a girl, you immediately got the short end of the stick in academics and spiritual training (and yet you had a good chance of doing better than the guys in both, much to the distress of the pastor). You had to endure insulting comments from the pulpit. You had the double burden of excessive “modesty” that actually drew negative attention while trying to find a husband. If (gid forbid) you had mechanical or athletic talent, you had to hide it. If (gid forbid) you end up single at age 25, you have to give up hope for your life… but you would still be forced to work in the nursery once a quarter. No wonder I pulled a “Pat” online whenever I could and became ultra-low-key in public.

        Now… forget that. Only after ditching all that and embracing the idea that God actually considers women human and not just life support systems for certain organs, stuff changed. My closet is full of pink, pink, and more pink. I learned to knit and improved the jewelry-making. My car screams “cute” (at least, when it’s cleaned up) with Tweety all over it. I’ve turned into a real girly girl… who still knows how to use a Leatherman. IOW, I finally get to be me.

        1. I know how you feel. I grew up believing that the most freakish creature on the planet is the dreaded Smart Girl. Would that she were one or the other–smart or a girl–but because she was born both, she is forever cursed.

  26. I once had a classmate at my fundie high school that made an excellent point about the whole “dress vs. slacks” issue. It is a lot easier for a woman to have a “quickie” while wearing a dress or a skirt then wearing slacks or pants. It’s also easier for her to escape the scene of the crime if she is caught. The expression is “getting caught with one’s pants down” not “getting caught with one’s dress up”. My classmate got detention for asking that question and we never did get a satisfactory answer.
    I use to ask about kilts. I got two different responses from two different teachers.
    1. Kilts are pagen and sinful.
    2. There are only two restrictions on what men can wear; it must be modest and not effeminate. But generally men should not wear kilts unless they are going to a Scottish festival and wear shorts and underwear under the kilt.

      1. I’ve seen guys wearing those Utilikilts. They didn’t look effeminate at all. Eccentric, maybe, but not effeminate.

        1. I would love to challenge any fundy guy to wear these just for the sake of having them “step into our shoes” for just a little while. It can get pretty chilly wearing a dress/skirt all the time. Even with tights on underneath there’s a constant draft going through you all the time. It gets pretty old after a while. 😀

      2. How dare you suggest that fundy men wear that which pertaineth to a woman. Everyone knows that even back in the OT men wore haggar polyester dress slacks with the slimming panel. And they wore them pulled up the bellybutton to meet the short tie and show off the white socks and penny loafers. Anything else would be just way too trendy for me. Including the wearing of a skirt. I am horrified!

        1. polyester is a nice touch! You forgot to mention the pants were always pleated! No matter how bad they look the pants are always pleated!

        2. Oh, Captain… you do know why it’s called a kilt, don’t you? It’s because that’s what they did to the last guy who called it a skirt!


      3. I still remember a pastor mentioning something about “girly men and Kilts” during one of his rants..er, um I mean messages when I was a teenager. Turned out, there was a visitor who was a member of the Ulster Scottish Bagpipe Band of Philadelphia who the next Sunday morning came to both SS and Church on the church BUS with 2 of his friends…..all wearing their kilts. :mrgreen: http://www.ulsterscottish.org/

        1. This wasn’t about clothes, but when my husband was a youth pastor, a teen brought his mom to church for the first time ever. The pastor was preaching on Paul being released from prison by the angel, and when he mentioned that the guards were sleeping, he said, “They must have been in the union – sleeping on the job.” Believe it or not, the mom’s job was a PRISON GUARD – and she was in the union. She never came back. Why, why, do pastors indulge their own preferences or supposed senses of humor that antagonize their hearers?

          BTW, how did the church folks react when those guys arrived in kilts?

        2. I think they received a lot of looks and were made to feel about as welcome as a obvious drug addict prostitute who found herself walking into Tabernacle Baptist Church, in Greenville, SC when Harold Seitler was preaching. Only, kilts or no kilts these guys where to big and mean looking for the deacons to dare throw out on the street during the service. 👿

  27. But generally men should not wear kilts unless they are going to a Scottish festival and wear shorts and underwear under the kilt.

    What in blue thunder is the reason for that? Is that man daft? Does he want the wearer to die of heatstroke? Ya’ may wanna wear a pair of unfundies to cover ya package but there be nay reason for wearin’ the shorts and unfundies.

  28. “Where do we get the idea of a lady wearing dresses and men wearing pants? I’m sure that is our customs and society establishing these things over the many years, but what if any scriptural basis do we? Well, there is one! Deut. 22:5 says: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.” Not only does it say a woman should not dress like a man, but a man cannot wear a woman’s garments. That is considered an abomination by God! Now, I don’t know any real Christian that thinks that cross dressing by men is a decent thing to do, but it applies both ways. This is the only verse that tells us that we should dress according to our sex, whether male or female, and of course, each society dictates to some degree what that difference is.”

    1. I’m musing on a society where ONLY the women wear pants and ONLY the men wear kilts. Technically that’s keeping the letter of the law, isn’t it? 😆

  29. Does anyone else that worked in the BJU dining common have flashbacks of the dining common uniforms the work scholarship girl’s used to have to wear when they look at this picture?? 🙁

    1. Didn’t work there, but saw them, and, you’re right, they are similiar! – unfortunately! Nothing like asking girls to wear styles that look like they’re from 40 years ago. (Although back in my day, a couple of the vesper choir dresses looked like they were survivors from the 70s. Sometimes I couldn’t hear their singing because I was snickering so loudly at their clothing. I remember one with some sort of very wide lace ruffle that went from neckline straight down to hemline on the floor like a skunk stripe only down the front. Not pretty.)

        1. Unusual Films is the Movie Production arm of BJU. In 1978 they release a film called “Sheffy” about A Methodist circuit Riding Preacher in the Appalacha area.

          Robert Sheffey was an American circuit-riding preacher of the nineteenth century. The film tells the true story of this unusual servant of God, who as a rowdy young man followed his friends to a revival meeting and there found the Lord. A man of prayer, tireless service, and great compassion, “Brother Sheffey” rides through the Appalachian Mountains spreading the gospel. Although he suffers the loss of his two greatest treasures in one day, Sheffey still finds forgiveness in his heart for the person who caused his sorrow. It captures the warmth and compassion of a man whose soul was on fire for the Lord.

          from http://www.christiancinema.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=829

        2. More info from The Hildago Grain Company

          My youth Pastor was a extra in that production so I got to hear all about it. Of the BJU outpost I was attending at the time was one of the sponsoring churches in the area when it was released. Nothing against the movie per se but the emotional manipulation and sledgehammer approach to evangelism formed my view of soulwinning for years to come. If you didn’t see the “White Rose” coming from 100 miles away then you were the target demographic they were playing to.

  30. This is vintage cool. 1950s.

    FUNDIES of the 1960s held their world together with AQUA NET… and Jesus!

    Today I post a retrospective of The “bad” girls of Groovy Christian Music “The FAITH TONES”: http://wp.me/pri9O-Zj

    Was ‘Jesus Use Me’ a double entendre? … As you check the picture, you decide and let me know!

    ROCK ON. javascript:grin(‘:razz:’)

  31. I have been wearing skirts since I was born, I am now 21. I ride horses, I skateboarded and rollerskated in my teens, biked, hiked, and I am now in a Search and Rescue team wear I have to repeal and zip line, I have always been an active person in sports. Never had a problem wearing skirts doing it and being modest, it’s called wearing leggings underneath your skirt and wearing a flowing skirt that you can move in. I’m actually surprised there are still people who act like this is a big deal. Women have worn skirts for centuries. I wear skirts because it’s my personal conviction, I don’t judge others on what they wear, but according to what I study in the bible it is the best way to separate myself and look modest. When I do extreme exercise, which I do Tiabo, Gilad, Zumba, and some weight lifting, I wear long boy shorts, which I’m not around men while doing this, so no problem. Judging is the worse thing to do in my book. If you judge others for w anything then quit calling yourself a Christian. Love them, get them to know God, He will take care of the rest. May God bless you all and give you a love for others.

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