ethics philosophy

modesty and attraction

Modesty isn’t (on one hand) wearing body-hiding, beauty-suppressing clothing to prevent even the possibility of someone having any kind of attraction.  Nor, of course, is modesty (on the other hand) wearing body-flaunting, beauty-distorting clothing to ensure every possibility of every kind of attraction.

Modesty and being attractive are not at all at odds with each other.  Proper attraction between two people happens through attractiveness of various kinds – i.e. an attractive personality and attractive attire.  Being attractive in the truest sense is to act, speak, behave and dress in a way that fosters healthy mutuality and relationship with an other.

Prudism is unattractive in the passive/negative sense, because it witholds the whole person from an other.  Exhibitionism (used here to refer to the opposite of prudism) is also unattractive in the active/positive sense, because it forces too much of the person onto an other.

Therefore, the problem with immodesty (whether the immodesty of prudism, or the immodesty of exhibitionism) is not that it is too attractive, but that it is not attractive enough.

4 replies on “modesty and attraction”

There is also modesty of spirit in the sense of religious behaviour. The believer whose character is consistently respectful, quietly confident, and whose interactions with others projects kindness and acceptance, is powerfully attractive. Brazenness and confrontational assertiveness in religious expression, on the other hand,frequently repels regardless of the truth of that person’s convictions.
Then there is modesty of intellect. On this I am forced into silence apart from claiming authorship of the publication, Humility And How I Achieved It.

Welcome John!
I thought all of life is supposed to be ‘religious’!? ;)
But yes, we can often repel by being too confrontational. And I never am. But I am humble like you :)

I don’t think prudism is a proper word, prudishness is the noun from the adjective prudish. However in fairness when I google the word “prudism”, your blog does not appear at the top but 9th on the results page. However I’m not sure about the company you keep there; there are no dictionaries or even a wikipedia entry, it makes me feel a little prudish to say so.

Otherwise, well said. :-)

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