Is Modest Truly Hottest? From a Guy’s Perspective

Is Modest Truly Hottest? From a Guy’s Perspective

Rhymes don’t always chime…err…a rhyme isn’t true all the time…umm…living by rhymes can result in fines?

Okay, those are all lame. Allow me to just use blunt prose. Is modest truly “hottest” as the catchy expression goes? Actually, no. Not at all.

I’ve always had a couple major issues with this slogan, and I don’t think it actually helps cultivate true Biblical modesty.

By definition, modest cannot be hottest.

“Hot” is a word that has traditionally been used to describe warmth. On a sub-atomic level, “hot” means that molecules and atoms are moving rapidly and are widely spaced. The “modest is hottest” expression is not talking about this definition of hot, but the slang definition, which means “sexually attractive.”

By definition, modesty is highlighting one’s dignity, and protecting the sacredness of the body and it’s sexuality. To take modesty and say that it is “hotter” than immodesty, is essentially just sexualizing modesty. Making modesty “sexy” is not a solution to the problem of immodesty.

Rather than modesty actually flowing out of the heart, dressing modestly just becomes another means of seeking attention (albeit from a different crowd). If you wear “modest” clothing but your goal is still to glorify yourself, you’re not modest, even if you may appear so at first glance. It should not be our goal to be “hottest” and to attract the lust or admiration of the opposite gender.

But I don’t want to be pedantic. I understand that many don’t use this slogan in its literal sense. Rather, they mean to say that modesty is more dignified, objectively beautiful, and attractive than the immodesty of the world. Is this, less literal, definition of “modest is hottest” true?

Yes and no…

Is Modesty More Beautiful?

“‘The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” – 1 Samuel 16:7

How many times have we heard this verse? We are told so often that it is the heart of a person that matters, not their physical appearance, but how many of us actually believe this?

The only people who say it’s the “heart that matters” are the ones who aren’t actually physically attractive. They just harp on the heart to make themselves feel better, right? Guys don’t really find modest girls more attractive than immodest girls, right?  That’s just wishful thinking, isn’t it?

What Is Beauty?

Don’t you find it interesting that no physical description of Jesus is ever given? The greatest man to walk the face of the Earth and we don’t even get a hair or eye color reference?

But he must have been pretty good-looking, yeah? After all, he was the perfect man. Therefore, he must have looked like the perfect man, right? Not quite.

While we have no physical descriptions, we are told in Isaiah 53:2, “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him, nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.”

Jesus was plain-looking! His appearance was nothing to be desired! Yet he was the greatest man who ever lived. What this tells us is that physical appearance is not true beauty. True Biblical beauty must be based in goodness. A physically stunning person lacks beauty if they have not virtue.

But Jesus was a man. To be the perfect woman, incredible physical beauty is a must, right?

Not so. When we read Proverbs 31, a reference is only made to beauty once, and it’s a verse I’m sure you are all familiar with, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised,” Proverbs 31: 30.

Sure, the Proverbs 31 wife is also strong (verse 17) and wears fine clothing (verse 22), but nowhere does it talk about how incredibly physically beautiful she is. In fact, Proverbs 31 is actually being critical of physical beauty! Why? Because true beauty is based in virtue, in Christ. Our physical appearance is morally neutral.

Here’s the secret:

For those men who truly love what God loves, a holy (set-apart) woman is the greatest beauty. For a godly man, a godly and modest woman far outshines the immodest women who have bought into the lies of the world.

I’m not just saying this to make you feel better, it’s really true! I’m a guy, I should know! Even though at public school and college I saw and interacted with plenty of girls who would have been considered beautiful by the world’s standards, I never found myself attracted to any of them because their immodesty revealed their hearts. They were not interested in the things of God.

A modestly dressed woman emanates this almost tangible aura of dignity.

She commands respect without uttering a word or lifting a finger. It’s almost intimidating. Of course, this whole façade crumbles if she acts in a selfish and immodest manner, yet I still find this air modesty produces very strange, and I don’t know if this is the case for all guys. It might just be this way for me because I’ve become so used to being around immodestly dressed women, modesty seems more alien to me personally.

But you know what is true? All those women in magazines, billboards, TV commercials: ugly. They’re so ugly!

And I’m sorry if I’m being too harsh. I know those models, and everyday girls who dress immodestly, are people too, but the way they present themselves is ugly. But how can I say that?

It’s no secret that men are drawn toward “hot” immodestly dressed women, but even among non-Christian men, there is a difference between being drawn by lust and being drawn by beauty. Men, unilaterally, tend to respect women more who dress modestly.

I know many girls dress immodestly to try and draw the love of a man, but something I wish women could understand is that when they attract a guy because of immodesty, they aren’t getting what they want. When a girl attracts a guy with immodest dress, the feelings she is stirring up in him are lustful, not admiration or respect, and nothing that even resembles love. Guys who are attracted in that way are attracted because they see an object they can use for selfish pleasure.

This is why, men who love the things of God, will actually be repulsed by immodestly dressed women. That is not to say they will not still experience temptation to give into their flesh, but the temptation they are fighting is lust, not attraction. As a guy I knew once perfectly summed up, “Something that is immodest is something that is designed to arouse lust within me. Attractiveness is a far more mysterious quality, a mixture of spirituality, personality and physical beauty.”

Modesty is putting the importance of others above yourself.

Modesty really is beautiful, and not so much the clothing, though that can be nice too, but it is the splendor of godly character. True modesty is putting the importance of others above yourself. This modesty of heart will bleed through to the surface, influencing a person’s actions and dress. Modesty must be worn inside out (1 Peter 5: 5-6).

Modesty also allows us to forsake our insecurities because we’re too focused on willing the good of others to be concerned about our own egos. Girls who are modest can drop the burden of trying to bring attention to themselves and attract a guy, because the right kind of guys won’t be interested in girls trying to pursue them anyway, either with immodest dress or immodest actions (although I understand how not being the one to pursue presents challenges of its own!).

Modesty is freeing, it is empowering, and it is infinitely more valuable and beautiful than the world’s definition of what makes an attractive woman or man. This is because modesty is tied so closely with love. Living and dressing modestly is one way we love our neighbor and honor God. There is no shame, there is no angst, just a peace in Christ and a will to see others enriched through Christ in us.

I have a long way to go in acquiring this Biblical modesty myself. Perhaps you do too, but that’s okay. But do continue to strive for it! Know that “modest is beautifulest”!

Okay, I don’t think that new slogan is going to fly…oh well. Hopefully you can think of something more catchy.

reagan ramm the arsenalWriter, speaker, musician, Reagan Ramm is the editor of Kingdom Pen, a Christian online writing community and e-magazine for teens. He writes on Christian worldview and lifestyle on his blog, while also writing for Coastal Conservatory, a website for families seeking to run a business from home. Additionally, he is currently in the process of writing an ebook on the topic of modesty. On top of his writing, he also produces music, and recently completed his 2nd full-length album with his electronic music project, Andromeda Coast. He will also be producing the debut album for the Long Family Singers. Reagan lives in Southwest Florida, and is the second eldest of seven children.  {, , }

  • Bonnie Smithies

    This is so well put. Thanks for a lovely post, Reagan.

  • So encouraging! Thank you!

  • Elizabeth Williams

    I always love getting a guy’s perspective on this! Thanks 🙂

  • Val

    A very good article!
    I understand why you say that ‘immodest girls’ are ugly and I agree that they present themselves in the wrong way, but I think that it is hard to understand why they do that if you haven’t been in their shoes. I was one of that girls several years ago, I desperately longed for love, I just wanted to be loved, cherished and protected by a good, honest guy but no one taught me the difference between love and lust, between being loved and used. I used to think that expose my body was the only way to get someone to like me.
    Usually an immodest way of dressing is a sign of something else. Are those girls not interested in God? Maybe, but I feel that the problem is bigger than that.
    Once they understand how real love looks like (I don’t mean just a ‘romantic’ kind of love, I mean love in general), they will want God too.
    Still loved your article,

  • YaSmina Grullõn

    Awesome!! I love this perspective! The modesty has a high connection with the dignity.. I love this article.. I’m agree 100%!

  • Love this article!!! And I actually like your new slogan, “Modest is beautifulest!” OH YEAH!!! That’s awesome!!! LOL Only thing I don’t agree with is about Jesus NOT being HANDSOME…I KNOW HE WAS!!! Hee, hee!!! Annnnnnd btw that scripture in Isaiah is a prophecy referring to Jesus during the time of the cruxifiction…he was beaten so badly and all that stuff…Jus sayin!!! :)))))

  • Estrella

    Totally agree with you with everything except the scripture you used to say Jesus was average looking. You know, what Isaiah is really refering to is how Jesus was left after enduring all the cruelties they did to his body, you can see this by reading the whole chapter. Now, I don’t know how he looked like before this event, but I just wanted to clarify that. I was interested by your article. You talked about many things and proved them with the bible. Thank you and may God keep on giving you grace to talk about this topics that many seem reluctant to talk about.

  • Happilypureinmarriage

    Love this!! Only thing is… whereas dressing immodestly intentionally (unintentionally is something else) is ugly technically, saying it like that is really along the same lines as “modest is hottest”: declaring a potentially technical truth that is more hurtful than helpful. Are their hearts in need of redemption? Yes. But all our hearts are. They are in need of a Savior, and speaking the truth in love. And bruh, that ain’t it.

    Just objecting to the phraseology, not the concept.