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Several days ago, I posted an article about King Solomon and Gossip Girl. Being a former ardent fan of said show, I thought that it was time I addressed an issue of importance to young people today: modesty.

According to Wikipedia, one of the definitions of modesty is the avoidance of attracting unnecessary attention by moderating one’s clothing and appearance. This means that the clothes a man or young woman wears must not be ostentatious, but simple. I’m not saying that one cannot swear, suits, ties, blazers, or ball gowns.  They just should not be overblown.

Of course, modern culture does not believe that simplicity and modesty are virtues. If you look through a fashion catalog, all that one sees is a series of plunging hem lines. To say nothing about hte various kinds of revealing clothing that leave nothing to the imagination such as tight fitting tops through which young men can see certain parts of a woman’s anatomy that should not be seen. I’m speaking from experience. It happened to me and I was utterly shocked. I was not scandalized, but shocked.

If one looks at the clothes worn by some of the characters on Gossip Girl, two things become immediately apparent. First of all, no self-respecting young woman would show up wearing a short skirt to a private school. Although I’m sure that they do exist in some parts of the world and the country, the skirt should cover the knees and the neck line should not reveal anything at all. With this in mind, here is Exhibit A:

Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf

Chuck Bass and Blair Waldorf

The dress worn by female character clearly exhibits the flaws that have been outlined by Pope Pius XII. The skirt’s hem line is very short and it exposes the young lady’s rather muscular legs. If she were to sit down, it would not cover her legs. Nor should we expect it to. It is a “modern” dress that reflects current fashion. Defects aside, it does cover the shoulders and so we can give the dress a good grade.

Now, I think that it would be fair for us to compare the above with something that is much more tame and classy, in my opinion. The following is Exhibit B:

440px-Empress_Maria_Feodorovna,_1857,_Hermitage_Museum

The above is a portrait of Empress Maria, the first wife of Tsar Alexander II of Russia, by Francois Xavier Winterthaler. Compare this with the picture of Blair Waldorf and one immediately sees the different. The dress is, of course, a lavish display piece for the empress with every possible accoutrement that one can think of. However, there is a certain modesty to it that Blair’s dress quite obviously lacks. It covers the shoulders and the knees. It does not cover the neck and shows off the bust, but it still has an antique beauty and modesty that one cannot find these days.

By writing these things, I am not trying to disparage all of the good that comes out of the fashion world. Rather, I am showing the stark contrast between what was worn over one hundred years ago and what is worn otday. If nothing else, the two pictures show where our elegance has gone and why it has disappeared.

Yet some of you may wonder why I’m hankering so much after modesty. After all, why does a celibate monk care what a young woman wears? Shouldn’t he just mind his own business and do whatever he wants? Well, the truth of the matter is that Our Lord had some extremely specific things to say about the sin of the lust in His Sermon on the Mount: “If any man looks at a woman with lust, he has committed sin in his heart.”

Now, every male on this planet is culpable of this sin. There are, however, certain facts which accentuate it. Women’s fashions are one of those things. It should not surprise that the young men who run after Blair Waldorf and Serena van der Woodsen on Gossip Girl are enraptured with them. Who wouldn’t be with young women who wear clothes that leave little to the imagination.

Finally, I would like to observe that the above article only contains my opinion. If it is a bitter pill to take, then I’m afraid there is nothing that I can do about it. After all, telling the truth hurts.

Our Lady of the Angels, pray for us!

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