The past couple of weeks they have had some very inspirational women and this has truly been a blessing since I am trying to work out who I am as a woman and what my womanly role is.
Sister Miriam James is a young nun who came out of the whirlwind of a sinful life and has now dedicated herself to the religious life, thanks to the prayers of her parents who never gave up on her. Sr. Miriam is not your stereotypical nun, she loves sports, movies and blogging. She has a rather cool blog and I recommend it. She spoke about femininity and the dignity of being a women. She stated that society is trying to convince women to give up their dignity and femininity by contracepting themselves and trying to act like men.
Leah Darrow is another inspirational woman. She first made her appearance on season 3 of America's Next Top Model. I used to enjoy watching ANTM when I was a little younger because I do like fashion. I may not be considered to be the 'most fashionable' person, but I do enjoy shopping and looking nice. Heck, what woman doesn't! Eventually I stopped following the show because, like a lot of reality shows, I felt it stopped being real and began to be more staged. People arguing for the sake of drama and gossiping about other lost it's appeal for me, plus I began to dislike Tyra Banks, thinking she was doing the show more for the money and for the sake of doing a show rather than doing it for the fashion and models. I also started to become disillusioned with the kinds of things she was making these young girls do, and there are only so many cat-fights you can take.
Now, for those of you you may have read my previous posts, I wrote a big portion of my last entry on The Real Housewives. Yes, I do sometimes watch that reality show to unwind at the end of some stressful days, and I do think that some of those shows are staged and fake. But just like ready a trashy romance novel helps you relax, so does watching stuff like the Real Housewives. Yet, I think there is a difference between the Real Housewives and ANTM. Mainly being, the young women on ANTM typically come from poorer families and they are trying to find ways of reaching a dream. The producers of that show take advantage of them by making them sign a contract saying they must do everything they are told or else they will be sued, and coming from a poorer home, that is a terrifying concept. They go as far as having camera's in the bathroom's of the house these ladies stay in and having clear shower doors and no doors to the bedrooms, and the camera operators are men. So, here young ladies are being exposed to the public while men videotape them. I believe this reduces their dignity. The Real Housewives are already rich people, and while they may be creating drama for the sake of drama, their privacy is not being infringed upon.
But, ANYWAY, back to Leah Darrow who I think is an awesome lady. Leah, like I said was a season 3 contestant on ANTM and after she was eliminated continued to try to make it in the modeling world. Coming from a devoutly Catholic family she eventually had an epiphany during a photo-shoot where she was, as she puts it, 'anything but modest' and she realized that that was not the life she wanted to live.
Now, Leah travels around the world giving lectures of what it means to be a woman and dressing modestly. Like the Modestia blog, Leah shows that modesty does not mean frumpy! Leah is a beautiful woman, both inside and out, and she looks great!
I have had a complete change of thought when it comes to how I dress. While I was away from the church, I really didn't give a thought about modesty. I don't think I went overboard with provocative dress, mainly because I was very self-conscious about my body and I don't wear things like shorts, short skirts, or knee-length skirts without pantyhose. However, I did not think twice about showing off the boobs. I liked wearing low-cut dresses or blouses, or tank-tops that showed some cleavage. Now, since I am more conscious about how I dress, I always try to dress more modestly. I will always go to Sunday Mass wearing a dress/skirt and I make sure my shoulders (and boobs) are covered.
Now, here is a little funny story. My grandmother and I went shopping for my birthday. She asked what I wanted and I told her that I wouldn't mind a dress to wear to Mass on Sunday's. So we went to our favorite place, Dress Barn, and I saw this beautiful purple, vintage looking, V-neck dress. She bought it for me, along with a pair of purple earrings to match. Since it was a sleeveless dress, I bought a shrug to match. I looked in the mirror, and I thought I looked nice. Then I get into the car, look down, and because of the V-neck, my boobs were about ready to pop out! Standing I looked fine! Sitting, however, was a different story! Never the less, I was very self-conscious during Mass. However, it all turned out ok. I just made a mental note to wear a lacy camisole under the dress from now on.
Leah and Sr. Miriam James are examples on how you can live according to the teachings of the church and still be cool. They are great examples women and I think that you should check them out!