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Encyclopedia > Modesty

Modesty comprises a set of culturally or religiously determined values that relate to the presentation of the self to others. Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... Shortcut: WP:-( Vandalism is indisputable bad-faith addition, deletion, or change to content, made in a deliberate attempt to compromise the integrity of the encyclopedia. ... From a classical sociological perspective, the self is a relatively stable set of perceptions of who we are in relation to ourselves, to others, and to social systems. ...


It can include:

  • Moderation in one's actions or appearance, not wishing to attract undue attention to oneself;
  • Downplaying one's accomplishments (see humility);
  • False or Sham modesty, a form of boasting through insincere self-abasement;
  • Modesty about sexuality and the display of the human body, especially taboos against nudity in many cultures.

Contents

Humility is a quality or characteristic ascribed to a person who is considered to be humble. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The human body is the entire physical structure of a human organism. ... This article is about cultural prohibitions in general, for other uses, see Taboo (disambiguation). ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ...

Body modesty

1868 diagram from Harper's Bazaar, showing a mid-Victorian idea of how the hemlines of girls skirts' should descend towards the ankle as a girl ages

Body modesty is the wish or requirement not to expose too much of the human body; this applies to the bare skin, but also to hair and to the display of undergarments, and especially to the intimate parts. It can involve not only covering body parts, but also obscuring their shape. It is accomplished by suitable clothing, special ways of changing clothes (see beach), closing or locking the door when changing or taking a shower, etc.; it varies according to who could see it, with categories such as Image File history File links 1868-skirt-lengths-girl-ages-Harpers-Bazar. ... Image File history File links 1868-skirt-lengths-girl-ages-Harpers-Bazar. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Harpers & Queen. ... The human body is the entire physical structure of a human organism. ... For the display of bare skin, as in bare-arse, see Nudity. ... In zootomy and dermatology, skin is the largest organ of the integumentary system made up of multiple layers of epithelial tissues that guard underlying muscles and organs. ... For the film, see Hair (film). ... A pair of mens briefs Undergarments, also called underwear or sometimes intimate clothing, are clothes worn next to the skin, usually under other clothes. ... An intimate or private part is a place on the human body. ... Clothing protects the vulnerable nude human body from the extremes of weather, other features of our environment, and for safety reasons. ... The Beach in Calella, Spain. ... Boris Ignatovich, The shower, ca. ...

  • spouse, partner,
  • friend or family of the same sex,
  • strangers of the same sex,
  • friends or family including those of the opposite sex,
  • people of the same social class,
  • people in general.

Some critics refer to this type of modesty as body shame[1] or gymnophobia. Excessive modesty is called prudishness. Excessive immodesty is called exhibitionism. Proponents of modesty often see it as respect for their bodies and the feelings of themselves and others, and some people believe it may reduce sexual crimes. The specific practices of modesty vary widely across religions, cultures, occasions, and persons who are present. Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behaviour between two or more humans. ... A family in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in 1997 A family consists of a domestic group of people (or a number of domestic groups), typically affiliated by birth or marriage, or by analogous or comparable relationships — including domestic partnership, cohabitation, adoption, surname and (in some cases) ownership (as occurred in the... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Gymnophobia is an irrational, abnormal and persistent fear or anxiety about being seen naked, and/or about seeing others naked, even when it is socially acceptable. ... Look up Prude in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An exhibitionist exposing himself at a soccer game. ...


Cultural traditions of modesty

Customs regarding body modesty vary greatly from culture to culture. Some such specific standards are examined below.


Generally accepted western norms

Western culture in general requires the intimate parts of the body to be covered in public places at all times. Exceptions are made for situations such as public changing rooms, which tend to be single-sex venues, and saunas, which tend to be mixed-sex venues. A changeroom (in Australia, Canada, and other areas, including some parts of the USA, and also known as a changing room, change room, lockerroom, or locker room in the United Kingdom or USA) is a place where people go to change their clothes. ...


Traditionally, there is an expectation that shirt and trousers or dress etc. be worn in public places. In particular, it is generally unacceptable to be shirtless in most public spaces, except places designated for bathing or in the vicinity of these places (such as beaches, and on deck near a pool). However, it is common for formal spaces like restaurants, etc., to overlook a beach or pool, in which case the boundary of modesty is spatial, but not visually segregated. For example, at a poolside or beachside outdoor patio restaurant, there is usually a railing. On one side of the railing, barefoot and shirtless people can converse with those dining on the other side, and may even be part of the same group. More recently, multi-use spaces such as urban beaches are beginning to emerge, washing away even the above mentioned boundaries between more and less modest space. Thus it is now, in many places, acceptable to sunbathe in beachwear next to waterplay fountains located in the heart of a city or business district. Business shirt A shirt is a piece of clothing for the trunk of the body. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Pants. ... Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres depicts the Comtesse dHaussonville, wearing a dress. ... Shirtless man Bare chested refers to the state of not wearing any clothes above the waist. ... Children bathing in a small metal bathtub Bathing is the immersion of the body in fluid, usually water, or an aqueous solution. ... A swimming pool, sometimes also referred to in some countries as a swimming bath(German. ... A jogger cools off at the urban beach in the heart of downtown Toronto at Yonge and Dundas Square (multiple exposure picture). ... Beachwear refers to clothing suitable for wearing on a beach or urban beach. ...


In private homes, the rules may be more relaxed. For instance, nudity among immediate family members who are cohabitants of the home is sometimes permitted, especially in the bedroom and bathroom; or wearing undergarments casually, which would not be done outdoors. Elsewhere in the home, particularly when visitors are present, some simple casual clothing is expected like a bathrobe which can be quickly donned when full clothing is not required, or if it's unavailable nearby depending on convenience. A bedroom is a room where people sleep. ... A typical American bathroom A bathroom is a room that may have different functions depending on the cultural context. ... A dragon robe from Qing Dynasty of China A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment. ... A convenience is a luxury that is intended to save a consumer time or frustration. ...


Nudist Subculture

Nudists feel comfortable seeing other nude people, and being seen nude by other nudists. They may or may not also feel comfortable being seen nude by the general public. ... In sociology, anthropology and cultural studies, a subculture is a set of people with distinct sets of behavior and beliefs that differentiate them from a larger culture of which they are a part. ... ...


Finnish Customs

The Finnish have the custom of the Finnish sauna, in which nudity is routinely tolerated.[2] Sometimes, indeed, nudity is required in these circumstances.[3] This is true even though some sort of swimsuit is generally required in pool areas.[4] These saunas are quite common in modern Finland, where there is one sauna for every three people.[5] It should be noted that men and women generally do not bathe together in the sauna unless they are related. Children normally stop going to the sauna with their parents by age six or seven though this age has sometimes been higher in the past and has varied regionally. A Finnish wood-heated sauna A sauna (IPA pronunciation: or , Finnish ) (also sweathouse, sudatory, steambath) is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities. ... A Finnish wood-heated sauna A sauna (IPA pronunciation: or , Finnish ) (also sweathouse, sudatory, steambath) is a small room or house designed as a place to experience dry or wet heat sessions, or an establishment with one or more of these and auxiliary facilities. ...


Indigenous African and Australian modesty

Other cultures, such as some African cultures and traditional Australian aboriginal culture have far less requirement for modesty, though how much exposure is acceptable varies greatly, from nothing for some women, to everything except the glans penis for men of some tribes (see foreskin). In other African cultures, body painting is used for body "coverage" as well and is considered by many an "attire." Indigenous Australians or Aborigines[1][2] are the first human inhabitants of the Australian continent and its nearby islands. ... The glans penis is the tip of the penis. ... The foreskin or prepuce (a technically broader term that also includes the clitoral hood, the homologous structure in women) is a retractable double-layered fold of skin and mucous membrane that covers the glans penis and protects the urinary meatus when the penis is not erect. ...


Religious traditions of modesty

Religion also often has a very strong impact on practices concerning modesty. Some such religious traditions are examined below.


Islamic modesty

Most Islamic interpretations of the Hadith -a collection of quotations and testimony taken from first and second hand accounts observers made on the life of the prophet Muhammad , which describes his interpretations of the Qur'an and expounds on its teachings-, require a woman to cover everything with the exception of hands and face; the choice to extend this to the face and hands is voluntary and is an expression of greater modesty and holiness for many wearers. Many Muslim women wear the Islamic headscarf, or hijab, as a way of expressing modesty. Likewise, according to Islamic interpretations of Hadith, men are required to cover everything from 'navel to knee'; with some men choosing to extend this to the traditional Islamic headcovering kufi, the male counterpart to hijab and closely resembles the Jewish yarmulke but is slightly larger in size. The kufi may vary in shape, size or color just as the hijab does, with many regional differences according to tradition and personal taste. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Illustration of an Islamic headscarf “Higab” redirects here. ... A kufi is a short rounded cap, traditionally worn by Muslims, although within the US it has become more commonly identified with persons of African descent, who wear it to show pride in their history and their religion. ...


In some Islamic sub-cultures, women choose to wear the niqab, an all-encompassing garment intended to conceal every part of the body, sometimes including the eyes. Wearing a niqab (sometimes referred to as a burqa, although this term only technically applies to an Afghan all-in-one garment) is quite common in many countries in which Muslims make up the majority of the population. In most Muslim countries, such expressions of modesty are voluntary. In others, such as Afghanistan under the Taliban, they were enforced under the threat of severe physical punishment.[6] Please wikify (format) this article or section as suggested in the Guide to layout and the Manual of Style. ... The Taliban (Pashto: , students or seekers of knowledge) are a group that ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001, when their leaders were removed from power by American aerial bombardment and Northern Alliance ground forces. ...


Jewish modesty

Head covering

Orthodox Judaism requires men to wear a head covering, in the form of a yarmulke. However, a yarmulke (also called kipa) is not related to modesty in the fourth sense listed above; its function is as a religious physical reminder of God, to instill humility. Orthodox Judaism expects married women to cover their hair; this is achieved by scarves, hats, snoods, or — in many communities — wigs ("sheitel"). The Jewish "dress code" is referred to as Tzniut; this applies (with different rules) to both men and women, and is also seen as a way of drawing one's attention to the internal awareness of the Almighty while deemphasizing the physical. This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... A yarmulke (also yarmulka, yarmelke) (Yiddish יאַרמלקע yarmlke) or Kippah (Hebrew כִּפָּה kippāh, plural kippot) is a thin, usually slightly rounded cloth cap worn by Jews. ... A wig is a head of hair—human, horse-hair or synthetic—worn on the head for fashion or various other aesthetic and stylistic reasons, including cultural and religious observance. ... Sheitel describes a wig worn by Orthodox Jewish women in order to cover their heads. ... Tzniut or Tznius (also Tzeniut) (Hebrew: צניעות modesty) is a term used within Judaism and has its greatest influence as a notion within Orthodox Judaism. ...


In many countries, mainly although not exclusively outside of Europe, Jewish women traditionally covered their hair while at home, but when going out into public places they would place on top of the hair covering a much larger garment called a redheedh in Mishnaic Hebrew. This redheedh would cover the back and the sides of the woman's neck as well as the sides of her face. In some places the women would hold the sides of the redheedh together with their hands but leave their eyes, nose, and mouth exposed. However, in many places, until this past century, the women would wrap one side of the redheedh over one of the shoulders in a manner that covered up to their chin, mouth, or even their noses - much the way many Muslim women are still known to do in modern times. This practice among Jewish women no doubt predates Islam, being that the Mishna and other Talmudic literature make reference to the practice. In Hilkhoth Ishuth chapter 24, of the Mishneh Torah, Maimonides quotes the Talmudic literature as teaching that the covering of a woman's hair is Dat Moshe (originates from Moses' teaching), whereas use of the redheedh as a head-covering, covering more than just the hair, is Dat Yahudith (originates from the established practice of Jewish women). Even though it is no longer common to see a Jewish woman wearing a redheedh in modern Israel, excepting maybe the occasional sight of a very traditional Ethiopian Jew or Yemenite Jewish woman in a limited number of locations, nonetheless this practice is thoroughly documented as having been observed even up unto very recent times by large portions of the world-wide Jewish community in such books as Olamot shel Tohar (Worlds of Purity) and Israel and Ishmael. The Mishnah (Hebrew משנה, Repetition) is a major source of rabbinic Judaisms religious texts. ... The word Hebrew most likely means to cross over, referring to the Semitic people crossing over the Euphrates River. ... The Mishneh Torah or Yad ha-Chazaka is a code of Jewish law by one of the most important Jewish authorities, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or by the Hebrew abbreviation RaMBaM (usually written Rambam in English). ... Commonly used image indicating one artists conception of Maimonidess appearance Maimonides (March 30, 1135 or 1138–December 13, 1204) was a Jewish rabbi, physician, and philosopher in Spain, Morocco and Egypt during the Middle Ages. ... The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (Ityopiya, Amharic ኢትዮጵያ) is a country situated in the Horn of Africa. ... Yemenite Jews (Hebrew: תֵּימָנִים, Standard Temanim Tiberian ; singular תֵּימָנִי, Standard Temani Tiberian ) are those Jews who live, or whose recent ancestors lived, in Yemen (תֵּימָן, Standard Teman Tiberian ; far south), on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula. ...


Other aspects of Jewish modesty

In regard to a Jewish female, starting from the age of three, elbows and legs should be covered. Blouses must cover the collarbone. Sleeves must cover the elbows at all times, even when the hand is raised. Skirts must cover knees completely, even while sitting. Materials may not be see-through (caution must be taken with light summer shirts). Clothes may not be tight-fitting, provocative, loud in color, or display texts. All slits in skirts must be closed.[7]


In regard to the Jewish male, it is taught in chapter 6 of Hilkhoth Deoth in the Mishneh Torah that a Hhakham, a 'man of wisdom,' is not supposed to reveal his head, and his garment should reach to his ankles, but not lower so as to drag on the ground like the arrogant. Additionally, it is written that the sleeves of his arms should come to the 'heads' of his fingers. His clothing should not be transparent, not rags like a man in destitute, and not overly elaborate like one full of pride. His clothing should be reflective of his way with others - modest and meek. Historically, the Jewish people have not limited the length of the garment or the use of some type of head covering to the 'man of wisdom' alone. Rather, Jews in all places, until fairly recent times, have traditionally worn a robe type garment with long sleeves - though the sleeves did not necessarily reach to the 'heads' of their fingers. The Mishneh Torah or Yad ha-Chazaka is a code of Jewish law by one of the most important Jewish authorities, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides or by the Hebrew abbreviation RaMBaM (usually written Rambam in English). ...


Trinitarian Christian modesty

Catholic modesty

The Catholic Church has stated that they expect Catholics to dress modestly, in accordance with their guidelines.[8] There are no specific guidelines for modesty, nor have there ever been; however, some of the hierarchy, and even some popes, have given opinions on various matters. As a guideline for his time period and cultural setting, Pope Pius XII stated that women should cover their upper arms and shoulders, that their skirts should cover at least as far as the knee, and the neckline should not reveal anything.[9] Giuseppe Cardinal Siri of Genoa stated that trousers were unacceptable dress for women;[10] many traditional Catholic women have followed this advice, and some Catholics have attempted further philosophical justification of it.[11] In all cases, clothing should not be overly tight because the Church condemns the wearing of clothes that degrades one's body and make one into a sexual object.[12] The Church expects men to dress modestly as well, but the demands are not as strict for them as for women; this is largely because men are often thought to be more susceptible to sexual thoughts due to the function of their sexuality. None of these "guidelines" are binding on Catholics; however, many traditional-minded Catholics find them quite persuasive. Many non-traditional Catholic women, on the other hand, often overlook church teachings on modesty for the sake of fashion. Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church... Pope Pius XII (Latin: ), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City State, from March 2, 1939 until his death. ...


Despite this lack of official guidelines, tradition-minded Catholics often find modesty extremely important. Our Lady of Fatima said in 1917 that "Certain fashions will be introduced which will offend my Son (Jesus) very much."[13] Some have even attempted to form cohesive theories of modesty; sometimes this is from a sociological perspective,[14] while at other times it takes a more Thomistic approach, combined with the writings of the Church Fathers.[15] Our Lady of Fatima Our Lady of Fatima (pron. ... Thomism is the philosophical school that followed in the legacy of Thomas Aquinas. ... The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church are the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church, particularly those of the first five centuries of Christian history. ...


Other Christian Modesty

Many other Christians consider modesty extremely important,[16] though considerable discussion exists about its requirements and purposes.[17]


Latter-day Saint (Mormon) Modesty

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has issued official statements on modest dress for its members. Clothing which can stimulate sexual desires, such as "short shorts and skirts, tight clothing, and shirts that do not cover the stomach"[18] are suggested against, as well as extremes in clothing or hairstyles. Rules on modesty also include women being asked to wear no more than one pair of earrings.[19] The Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the largest attraction in the citys Temple Square. ...


The Church also has students of Brigham Young University, its private university, sign an agreement to live these standards of modesty in order to be considered for admission.[20] Brigham Young University Brigham Young University (BYU), located in Provo, Utah, is the flagship university of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS or Mormon Church). ...


Modest versions of nudity

Cupidon (French for Cupid), by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1875; the tip of the right wing "happens to cover" the boy's genitals.

In art, ways of reducing the depiction of nudity include: Image File history File links Cupidon. ... Image File history File links Cupidon. ... Amor has several meanings: Amor (love) was also an alternate name for Cupid, the Roman god of love. ... It has been suggested that Cupid (holiday character) be merged into this article or section. ... William-Adolphe Bouguereau, self-portrait (1886). ...

  • fig leaves
  • a piece of cloth (or something else) seemingly by chance covering the genitals
  • in a movie, filming a supposedly nude person from the waist up (or from the shoulders up, for women)
  • in a movie, maneuvering (turning, having objects in front) and film editing in such a way that no genitals are seen (Mike Myers consciously mocked this technique several times in his Austin Powers films, and decades before, W.C. Fields had done the same thing in one of his films)

In cartoons, even in cases where the genital area is not covered with clothing, genitals are often simply not drawn. In the film Barnyard, showing antropomorphized cattle of both sexes walking on two legs, instead of either showing genitals of male cattle or not showing them, the concept of a "male cow" was used, with an udder. Eugen Sandow as the Dying Gaul A fig leaf is the covering up of an act or an object that is embarrassing or disagreeable. ... Film editing is the connecting of one or more shots to form a sequence, and the subsequent connecting of sequences to form an entire movie. ... Michael John Myers (born May 25, 1963 in Scarborough, Ontario) is an Emmy Award-winning Canadian-British comedian, actor, screenwriter, and film producer, best known for his comedy work in Saturday Night Live and the film roles include the titular characters of Waynes World, the Austin Powers series, and... The tone or style of this article or section may not be appropriate for Wikipedia. ... W. C. Fields (January 29, 1880 - December 25, 1946) was an American comedian and actor. ... A cartoon is any of several forms of illustrations with varied meanings that evolved from its original meaning. ... Barnyard is a computer-animated film, produced by Nickelodeon Movies and distributed by Paramount Pictures, that was released on August 4, 2006 (October 20, 2006 in the United Kingdom). ... An anthropomorphic character; a cat ascribed human characteristics. ... A cow udder with 4 teats An udder is the mammary organ of cattle and some other mammals, including goats and sheep. ...


Gender considerations

The two genders may face different expectations as to modesty. While both genders, in Western culture, are expected to keep their genitals covered at all times, the female is additionally expected to keep her breasts covered. On the other hand, by the dictates of fashion and societal norms, males generally are expected to be dressed far more modestly than women, who in certain settings can be in public wearing clothing that only covers the required areas and nothing else.


See also

This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... An exhibitionist exposing himself at a soccer game. ... A mixed group of people demonstrating the kind of equality that this movement seeks. ... Wardrobe malfunction is a euphemism used to describe the accidental exposure of an intimate part or parts of the body due to a defect in an article or articles of clothing. ... En premiär by Anders Zorn Attitudes toward the nudity of children and children seeing nude people vary substantially, depending on the childs culture, age and the context of the nudity. ... Tzniut or Tznius (also Tzeniut) (Hebrew: צניעות modesty) is a term used within Judaism and has its greatest influence as a notion within Orthodox Judaism. ...

Footnotes

  1. ^ Body Shame
  2. ^ Nakedness and the Finnish Sauna
  3. ^ Id.
  4. ^ Id.
  5. ^ Sauna: A Finnish national institution
  6. ^ Video of flogging in Afghanistan for women who publicly removed her burqa, on 26 September 2001.
  7. ^ The Laws of Jewish Modesty
  8. ^ See, e.g., The Catechism of the Catholic Church Para. 2521-2524.
  9. ^ Modesty and beauty - the lost connection by Regina Schmiedicke
  10. ^ Notification Concerning Men's Dress Worn by Women by Giuseppe Cardinal Siri (1960)
  11. ^ See G. K. Chesterton, What's Wrong with the World, Part III, Chap. V, for an early attempt (1910); see also In Praise of the Skirt, for a more contemporary one (2006)
  12. ^ See generally The Catechism of the Catholic Church Para. 2521.
  13. ^ Our Lady of Fatima, under "Our Lady of Fatima Said", No. 17.
  14. ^ Modesty and beauty - the lost connection by Regina Schmiedicke
  15. ^ The Modesty Handbook (describing the nature of modesty from a Catholic perspective, based on St. Thomas Aquinas and the Church Fathers).
  16. ^ See, e.g., Modesty: The Undressing of Our Youth, by Lenora Hammond.
  17. ^ The Modesty Survey: An anonymous discussion among Christians concerning various aspects of modesty.
  18. ^ Mormon modesty guidelines
  19. ^ Id.
  20. ^ The Brigham Young University Honor Code, which includes "Dress and Grooming Standards," agreement to which is required for application.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Modesty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1533 words)
Modesty comprises a set of culturally or religiously determined values that relate to the presentation of the self to others.
Body modesty is the wish or requirement not to expose too much of the human body; this applies to the bare skin, but also to hair and to the display of undergarments, and especially to the intimate parts; it involves not only covering body parts, but also obscuring their shape.
Modesty is conditioned by religion, culture, occasion, and who is present; for example, a Finnish person who might happily take all one's clothes off in a mixed sauna would probably not want to walk down the street naked.
Modesty (372 words)
Modesty is the virtue that recognises the rightful purpose of sex as something private, mysterious, and meant for the relationship between husband and wife.
Modesty and chivalry are the roots from which the virtues of chastity and fidelity grow, flourish and bear the fruits of marital faithfulness and family security.
Without modesty and chivalry, there is no inner moral foundation and so chastity and fidelity when faced with sexual temptation lose their cohesion and gradually decay.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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