Is modesty the best policy?

One of the mottos of my friends and I is “modest is hottest.” Recently, at the Video Music Awards, Miley Cyrus’s performance wasn’t either. While singing she stripped down into nude latex underwear and danced suggestively. In another sense, her performance was hot. Social media sites, blogs, and chat rooms are often the hot-spots for minute to minute news. At one point, her performance was tweeted about more than 300,000 times per minute, about 70,000 more than during the blackout at the Superbowl. The viewers were appalled to see something so disgusting, and they lost respect for her. Modesty, though often regarded with a negative connotation, is powerful because it controls respect.


In 2010, Cyrus ranked in the top three percent among celebrities in influence and trend-setting according to CBI, an index that rates more than 3,000 celebrities around the world in seven categories. As the amount of clothing on Cyrus dropped, her influence did as well. Now, she is in the bottom 20 percent for influence and trend-setting, as well as the bottom one percent for trust, breakthrough, aspiration, endorsement, and appeal.

Celebrities, as well as high ranking officials, are the royalty and role models of the United States. Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, and future Queen, commands respect by the way she dresses and presents herself. Though she is criticized by a minority for dressing too conservatively, if she wore a short skirt or low shirt the aftermath in gossip magazines would be brutal. Kate Middleton is one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People of 2013.” The majority of the world associates Middleton with class, beauty, and power.

A study by Princeton University found that when men viewed women in bikinis, the part of the brain associated with tools lit up and the part of the brain that deals with processing another’s thoughts or intentions completely shut down. When men viewed women who were immodest, they didn’t see them as people, but as objects. Ironically enough, women want men to value their thoughts and opinions, but dress scantily for attention from men. Relationship problems such as divorce, teen pregnancy, and fatherless homes all result in part from a lack of respect for women, caused by women.

The high school I attend has recently given attention to this pressing issue. The extra skin and curves that are shown distract boys and girls alike from learning. Some students have reacted negatively and complained that the school is restricting their choices. What they don’t realize is that as they cover up, their influence and power shine. As young women dress for sexual attention, they lose all sense of self- worth. Modesty has never been hotter.



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