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Purity is also reflected in how you pose for pictures. Who woulda thunk?
I remember when I perceived being told that “I was sexy” as a compliment. Like many young women, I subconsciously bought into the idea that my image was made for public consumption. It is almost unavoidable living in this hypersexualized society fueled by cravings of the flesh. Many girls and women, including those within the four walls have been lured into this trap of lust. We have been groomed to contort our bodies and facial expressions in manners that appeal to the sexual appetite of the audience. Many reading this will wrongfully and prematurely exclude themselves and refuse to associate with the type of woman I am describing. I get it.
Let’s pause and define the word “sexy.” Sexy means sexually suggestive or stimulating; concerned predominately or excessively with sex; or radiating sexuality.
As someone who now practices purity in a wholistic manner, I am no longer interested in taking pictures that radiate sexuality. And let’s be honest: photos can do that all on their own. As the old adage goes— a picture is worth a thousand words. Hence the popularity of certain magazines. As a woman who views her body as a temple of the Most High God and not something to advertise as an item of lust, I am no longer interested in taking sexually suggestive photos.
So here I am having to relearn how to pose in front of a camera. I am confident and secure enough to put my beauty on display, yet modest enough to keep my sexuality private. Posing modestly is not about hiding myself, it is about revealing my dignity.
Here are a few scriptures that I’d like to leave you to consider and meditate on:
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good deeds and moral excellence, and [recognize and honor and] glorify your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 AMP
“For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” Galatians 5:13 NLT
“As a ring of gold in a swine’s snout, So is a beautiful woman who is without discretion [her lack of character mocks her beauty].”
Proverbs 11:22 AMP
I can definitely relate. They way I posed in pictures was to get a particular response. As a child it was to make others laugh, in my 20s it was to get attention from my audience. Now that I am in my 30s and a believer of the word of God, being mindful of the message I’m sending in every picture and what I wear comes natural by the grace of God.
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Kathleen C said:
Hey Natasha I have a few questions although I do agree with this blog post somewhat, what do you considered “posing modestly”? Always facing forward when you pose? Should a woman go before a camera with kid gloves and walk on egg shells for fear she may or may not be a stumbling block every time she posts a picture of herself? Why does a woman that evokes sexuality due to the male gaze always provoke the thought that she “must love attention”? Should a woman not flaunt what she feels most proud of-her beauty? Should she walk around constantly insecure over her “sexy” body parts and constantly over analyzing and pre-judging her clothes because it hugs her hips a little closer, or her boobs no matter how small will still protrude through her shirt or dress? Should she wear only long skirts down to her ankles, long sleeve shirts and 2 or 3 infinity scarves to cover her boobs? Do you see how ridiculously unrealistic the “be modest for fear of appearing fast or looking too sexy” rhetoric sounds? It places all this blame on women and neglects to hold men accountable for projecting their already sinful narrative and nature when it comes to us. When will men start policing men and have the uncomfortable dialogues where they hold each other just as accountable to their secret lusts and lack of self control when seeing women who are beautiful and who do, no matter what they have on look “sexy” in their eyes because of their God given child bearing hips, or boob size that God gave them. Do you see where I’m coming from also? Their is two sides to everything and both sides equally have homework to do.
Kathleen, thank you so much for taking the time to read the blog post and comment. The purpose of this post and blog isn’t to police the behavior of others but to lead by example and share my personal journey in holistic purity.
Modesty is not a body type. Modesty has a lot to do with heart posture and motives. There are certain behaviors and clothing that are engaged in/worn for the purpose of communicating sex. Sexually suggestive poses are not modest. Posing in a pic and biting your lower lip in a sexually suggestive manner is not modest. Posing with your mouth slightly ajar is not modest. A woman should not have to walk on egg shells before stepping before a camera, however, it is important to check your motives when taking pics. If a person becomes insecure when taking pictures that are not sexually suggestive, the pose isn’t the issue—that person is insecure. There’s an identity issue that needs to be addressed. There has to be a standard, and as Christians the standard cannot be porn or what everyone else is doing, the standard is in God’s word. To dress or pose modestly is something done by personal revelation. In my opinion, for modesty to be done correctly you have to have a personal relationship with God and listen to Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit will tell you how to dress and even pose. Women in relationship with God and not in bondage to religion won’t have to walk on egg shells because Holy Spirit doesn’t condemn but gently guides. Now it’s up to that individual to listen to Holy Spirit. Modesty is more about you and your motives more than the gaze of others.
I understand your perspective. I didn’t address men in this post because I wrote about my personal experience as a woman. However, the same message can and should be geared towards men as well. Fortunately, I am part of a ministry that consistently addresses men when it comes to purity and modesty. Men, like all people must take responsibility for their actions and reactions— self-control is a fruit of the spirit. However, as Christians we are repeatedly instructed by God’s word to not put a stumbling block in the path of a brother/sister. The work that needs to be done needs to be done in partnership with God or we will all have it wrong.