Modesty and beauty - the lost connection
by Regina Schmiedicke
In his book Man and Women, Dietrich von Hildebrand points to a particular "perfection" of the feminine nature: "We find in women a unity of personality by the fact that heart, intellect, and temperament are much more interwoven...This unity of the female type of human person displays itself also in a greater unity of inner and exterior life, in a unity of style embracing the soul itself as well as the exterior demeanor."(1) In other words, women possess a special genius for harmonizing their outward appearance with their interior life-for incarnating their beliefs and ideas in concrete, visible ways.
Sadly, just as many women have forgotten what it means to be feminine, we have also forgotten how to attain this unity. In short, while many of us Catholic women believe strongly in chastity and purity, our dress does not always reflect our convictions. In order to correct this situation, we need to recover a sense of the reason why women in the past dressed modestly, and how modest dressing "befits" the dignity and vocation of women.
In our fragmented society, scanty clothing has somehow become associated with women's social progress-as if the "right" to wear less indicated that we are moving up in the world. But my casual overview of history leads me to almost the opposite conclusion. It seems to me that in most cultures, the more clothing a person wears, the more important that person tends to be in society. (Read entire article)
Here is a humorous but compelling article, "In Praise of the Skirt."