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Wednesday, January 12, 2005 

Judge Not

Compared to the cute and fashion forward women who’ve had their say on this subject (Sarah and Rebecca), I am an absolute slob. Nevertheless, I will attempt to complete the task before me. This is how I dress and what it means.

Work Clothes
I taught my first year at a high school when I was 23. I got hit on. By students. A lot. I’m not saying this to boast (I’m no Mary Kay Latourneau), because filing a sexual harassment claim against a 16 year old is never fun, but rather to explain my work clothes philosophy.

For the past few years, I’ve been dressing frumpily. This suits my laziness, and along with my move to the junior high level, ensures that no student will EVER consider me good looking. I wear twin sets and khakis most days, jeans with school t-shirts on Fridays.

The most important thing about my school wardrobe is that I never, ever, reveal cleavage. I have an above average cup size and my breasts draw enough attention on their own.

There is nothing that the 13 year old boys love more than cleavage. Therefore, there are no v-necks and all button-ups are worn with undershirts. This stems back to the my second week of teaching at my current school when two of my strategically placed shirt buttons came undone… and none of my students told me.

Weekend Wear
Most of my weekend warrior wardrobe consists of jeans and T’s. However, during the summer time, I really live it up.

One of the best things about not being at BYU anymore and not being LDS anymore was getting rid of the knee-length shorts. I’m quite tall (I have a 34 inch inseam) and knee length shorts look absolutely retarded on me. I wore them, because the heat was unbearable and I always tried to appear to be a good girl, but I hated every second of it.

I also wore my first bikini last summer. Granted, I was only able to bring myself to wear it because I was in a foreign country, but I wore it. It was AWESOME! I felt self-conscious, but got over it as I realized that the looks I was getting were definitely not the negative ones I expected.

Finally, I must tell you about the halter top. I don’t know how the halter top got a bad name, but I think it must be the most flattering top there is. I purchased my first halter top for a friend’s bachelorette party last summer and loved it.

What it all means
But, for all my talk of these sexy-type clothes, I don’t usually wear them. I stick to my Mormon way of dressing, for the most part, and there’s just one reason why: I care about what people think of me, far too much.

This is a fault that I am ashamed of. I know that sometimes people judge me harshly and it hurts when they do. I know that I shouldn’t care, but I do. I know that what you wear isn’t who you are, but it does mean something, doesn’t it?

Your clothes convey a message, which you want others to pick up on. This is why I don’t show cleavage at work—I’m not there for that. This is why I dressed in a sexy way for the bachelorette party—I wanted to be daring and desirable.

The way I dress means that I care what you think.

Kaycee, I can really relate to "caring too much about what other people think". It is a constant mental debate: to care or not to care. In addition, being a teacher is a "whole 'nother ball game" when it comes to deciding what to wear in the morning, and I respect your choices on the matter. (By the way, can I say how much I revere people that dare teach junior high? I did it for a year and just about lost my mind. It takes honest-to-goodness God-given talent...which I obviously didn't have.)

Concerning cleavage... I can't let this whole discussion pass by without saying that I have NO IDEA what it feels like to even HAVE it. Let's just say I shop for my bras in the pre-teen section at Target --most stores don't carry sizes smaller than AA!  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

For people like JP, Sarah, and Kaycee, you know I cared far to much about what people though of me. You could probably label it 'obsessed' during the high school days.
I love that I have somewhat gotten past that. Maybe even more that I'll take credit for. Moving to another state helped tremendously.
I can honestly say: I dress for myself. I guess I dress for my husband, too.
I know that I don't dress as mature as others around me. I'll save it for when I turn 40. 

Posted by Jess

I understand your conservatism at work. I, too, do a similar thing.

And I'm sorry that you feel judged by others (I guess we're all judged, though). When I left the church (for a period of a little over a year) I didn't renew my Temple Recommend and my way of dressing dramatically changed. It took a little while for me to switch back to a garment worthy look after I decided that Mormonism was for me. But, until I made the full clothing tranformation, you can imagine the looks I got from some members!

Posted by Lizzy

To hell with fashion, it's 11 degrees!
Oh, just kidding. I have my apple green pea coat to keep me warm. 

Posted by Jess

I used to feel very judged, and I used to worry about what people thought of me. I don’t know what happened, I think maybe I went through the worst where I knew people were going to think the very worst things about me and after that I didn’t care any more at all.

Of course I prefer people to think well rather then ill, but really I don’t think people think about me much at all because they are too busy thinking about themselves.

I respect that you take into consideration the young boys budding sexuality into you daily wear. There is with out a doubt a time and place for different outfits.

AND you looked absolutely divine when I met you… even your fiancé was concerned when you stepped out of the house…

Posted by Rebecca

Kaycee, SO smart on the no cleavage at school thing.

My favorite cleavage story is about a friend who was baby sitting while wearing a V-neck shirt. She was leaning over the little boy and he looked up at her as if she were the biggist idiot on the face of the earth and said, "Why do you have a butt on your chest?" It's all about perspective...

I really appreciate your honesty. There are so many people who couldn't/wouldn't admit that they care what other people think. We've all been there.I think this is a great discussion.

I want you intelligent people to get down to the essence of caring what others think. I am honestly asking for comments here: What is the thought process for worrying what other people might think? What are the imagined consequenses if you think someone thinks ill? Why, specifically, do you feel judged?


Posted by Carrie Ann

It's the sick desire to want to be included. To be thought special of.

Loved the butt-chest story. 

Posted by Jess

As a freshman MANY YEARS AGO I took Honors 200 at BYU from the wonderful and amazing Marnie Asplend-Campbell where she had us read a paper by a VERY INTELLIGENT BYU professor that discusses self-image and religion. You can find it at http://jamesfaulconer.byu.edu/ under selected papers. It is titled “Self Image, Self Love and Salvation". I think it applies to our discussion.  

Posted by Rebecca

I think different people are motivated by different things. I want to be liked and approved of because I had times in my childhood where I was despised, made fun on, ignored.

A lot of the things I do, whether it be taking leadership roles in every one of the 8 committees I'm on, or applying some lipstick in the morning, are all about me wanting to be approved of, admired and paid attention to.

Anyone else out there have similar experiences? 

Posted by Kaycee

FAR TOO MUCH EFFORT is put into fashion. There is a difference between dressing nice and dressing fashionable. I by no means dress fashionable. I have far better things to do with my time and money and effort. (I do own a sweet Tommy Hilfiger suit that comes out once in awhile for church). I would hate to say that I derived my acceptance by a group of people or friends based on what I was wearing. If people are letting others dictate how they dress or act, because they are worried about an image or being judged, then I would have to say that the problem lays as much with that person as it does the person doing the judging. (No offense intended for those who have stated such a thought, I will let you know when offense is intended).
I believe it is important that you present yourself in a descent manner, for the appropriate occasion. I have a hard time with the slothful or scruffy look, not saying that I do not own any clothes that are not a little tattered, or that I shave perfectly every morning. There is a time and a place.
As to the dressing sexy, I ask why? The girl next to me at work dresses in that manner and I asked her why, she said it made her feel good about herself seeing how good she looks dressed that way. I just said oh, and let it drop. I really wanted to tell her there are better ways to build your self esteem, but for those of you who know me, know that que sera sera, or maybe it would be better stated like my mom would say, to each there own. I guess when it comes down to it, I could careless how she, or anybody else dresses. However, I really would not like it if my girlfriend started wearing mid-drifts, or low cut shirts. I would want her to have enough self respect to not want to bare her body to the world. She is an incredibly beautiful girl, with a great body if I am allowed to comment on that, but it would offend me if she dressed sexy, because I would think that if she was dressing sexy, she was trying to get the attention of someone, other then me. That would scare me, because come on lets face it, I aint that good looking, so when I get a hold of a great looking girl with a great body, who is way out of my league, I gots to stand my ground.

Now having said my piece, I move to the part of intending offense. PLEASE TAKE NOTE! Can we please stop all the bra buying and cleavage and breast, and other talk of similar nature? I feel a little squeamish. Or maybe we could talk a little about jock itch?
Don't forget I still love everyone one of you, no matter how you dress, and if that involves fishnet stocking and nothing else, SO BE IT. 

Posted by Cameron

Great suggestion, Rebecca. That paper pointed out several things I don't usually associate with good self image.. your dad is AWESOME!

All my life, when I wanted to be included, when I wanted to belong, I had to conform. Isn't that counterintuitive? It's a crying shame...

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be damned if you do, and damned if you don't."

Elenore Rooservelt 

Posted by Carrie Ann

Well, if you’re taking a vote, then I’m for “fishnet stockings and nothing else”!

But I do think that you’re missing the point which is self expression and if that is the person’s intent then the morals, or more to the point - your morals that you are using to judge her morals don’t apply and don’t translate into self esteem issues or nudity vs. beauty or corruption of others or obscenity vs. art or any of the judgmental/moral/legal issues that are used to instill other’s views against another who feels differently! Its not as though she is bleeding on you at work now is she? And maybe you should look at why you are afraid of the thought that here ‘skin’ evokes in you! And then maybe do something about it in a healthy less repressed way…

Just a thought.

Posted by Fromage

Fromage... Seriously... I adore you.

Kaycee... I too appreciate your honesty. And I have no idea WHY being loved and accepted is so important, but I think my reasons are similar to yours. Want to be ignored? Try being morbidly obese... THAT is invisable my friend.

Cam... what if your girlfriend wore a low cut shirt out on a date with you... would you say something? would you tell her you disaproved? I'm totally thinking about my wardrobe right now and just WHICH shirt I'll wear for out FHE dinner. :)


Posted by Sarah Marinara

Fromage: I can agree with you if, you are willing to see your argument in reverse. What I read is if someone does not have my morals, then my morals can not be considered here, and its a freedom for people to do whatever they wish, and I say sure, but lets say that my morals do exist and are true and correct, divinely appointed then wouldn't the reverse be able to be said.
Like I said, I am willing to say yes, you do not believe the same as me, so I need to respect you and the way you want to dress. But at the same time I would like someone on the other side of the arugment to say to me, "OK, I see your point even if I do not belive what you believe, I can understand how your beliefs help shape your thoughts, and I can respect that".  

Posted by Cameron

Fromage: PS Good Vote on the Fishnet stockings
Sarah: This is the biggest cop out, but Megan actually is a sports fiend, so there is rarely a problem there. She is a very modest dresser. However, if she did, I wouldn't say anything, (Partly because if her mom caught her Stand Back)
We do have a very open relationship, and she would expect me in a private time to make a comment about how I felt regarding that. And in the same manner, if I did something that she did not like or agree with, I except her to talk to me about it at another time when it can be discussed logically and openly. (Which she has no problem doing to me, wink wink)

As to FHE dinner, tight and slanky, and fishnet stockings. Kidding. But think what I said earlier, Theres a TIme and a PLace. Thai food takes a special type of clothing, so come prepared! 

Posted by Cameron

Cameron: It isn’t a question of respect, it’s a question of facing one’s fears! As to: what would happen if you didn’t think that it was wrong? Whether the woman next to you is naked or not matters nothing to me and in the end I can still have a clear conscience as to what I/you/we witnessed whether I approved, liked or was appalled but what I saw because I do allow anyone the right to express themselves, even those that feel persecuted by logic that threatens their beliefs!

Your god did not create man/woman with a fur coat as he did an animal. Wonder why?

Posted by Fromage

Fromage: What are people trying to express? Express themselfs? I believe that the "themselfs" is completely wrapped up in morals, even if they do not acknowledge it, or accept it.
Can you restate "it’s a question of facing one’s fears! As to: what would happen if you didn’t think that it was wrong?" I aint no smart man there, and need it stated another way so I can understand what you are saying. (Put it in dumb persons talk for me could ya)

As to your last comment, my God did not create furs on us like animals, however scriptures teach us that God did create coats of skins to cover their nakedness. 

Posted by Cameron

Kaycee asked:

"A lot of the things I do, whether it be taking leadership roles in every one of the 8 committees I'm on, or applying some lipstick in the morning, are all about me wanting to be approved of, admired and paid attention to."

"Anyone else out there have similar experiences?"

Lizzy replies: Yep! And I think, for most of us anyway, it's just a part of being human and wanting an acknowledgment that we are not alone, and therefore, strange (At least, that's why I think I seek acceptance).


Posted by Lizzy


Ok, forget the god created thing, I knew that was a dead-end street! Sorry!

Bottom line: If a woman is naked next to you then the very fact that she is naked is in no way physically threatening to you. So, by logical deduction then some thing that someone taught you at sometime in your life and that you still hold to be true is making you uncomfortable/threatened/fearful of her nudity! What would happen if you said – Ok, she’s naked! And went about your day as if she had been clothed?

Answer: The earth would still rotate, the sun and moons would set and all of us would still be here as it was just a naked human being!

So my friend are you really that afraid of a little tit being displayed?

Posted by Fromage

Apparently Fromage missed my post on UPS

Plus trust me I lived in Brazil, I do not think most Americans know what nudity in public is. 

Posted by Cameron

No actually I saw it and the preceding scroll space provided for the “timid” “untrained” “under-aged” not to see it.

Telling that even though it was a pair of FAKE BREASTS you were still threatened enough to warn the world!

Cameron: I am only arguing my views and there is nothing wrong with you having yours!

Posted by Fromage

No actually I saw it and the preceding scroll space provided for the “timid” “untrained” “under-aged” not to see it.

Telling that even though it was a pair of FAKE BREASTS you were still threatened enough to warn the world!

Cameron: I am only arguing my views and there is nothing wrong with you having yours!

Posted by Fromage


Posted by Fromage

Just another two-bits...I think my tab is at about $4.75.

My all-time favorite argument is between the "open-minded" person and the "closed-minded" person. It is often the case that the CM is more conservative than the OM, but the OM condems the CM with the same zeal as they percieve the CM condems them.

I have met very few OM people who are truly "live and let live" types. Does the OM person just want the CM person to think like them? Or do they think the CM person just hasn't weighed all the options, that somehow they are ignorant of the "ways of the "world"?

What if the CM HAS weighed all the options and is very intelligent and trusts is a certain beautiful spiritual aspect of humanity (that the OM person perhaps believes in, too), and that the CM came to the conclusion as a result?

I'm still not clear on who is judging whom? And can we even come to a decision about anything without making some kind of judgment of "is that true according to me" or "is that not true according to me?"

Keep going, I love this...! 

Posted by Carrie Ann

I don't think it is the little tit that is the fear... I think it is the bigger tits!

Personal Fact: When I am at home in Provo I find myself doing something I don't do in San Francisco... and that is accessing a person's outfit and then figuring out what this outfit says about this person's various stage of Mormondom. I don’t even realize that I am doing this until half way through the process… this act makes me more conscious about my own clothing and what it says about me… something I can honestly say that I don’t do where I live now.

Why do I do this? Because it was something I learned while living in Provo, while living as a practicing Mormon. It isn’t something my parents taught me, it was just part of being part of it all. It was the result of a community that says, “you should dress this way.”

I don’t think it is wrong to follow the standards the Mormon church has set out for you. But I do think it is wrong to judge others, those that are not Mormon or no longer practicing, by standards that ARE NOT theirs, but rather your own!

AND I absolutely agree that it is not MY duty to keep male raging hormones in check by covering myself, hiding parts of me that I find beautiful and feel comfortable sharing. I am who I am and the clothes I wear or don’t wear are part of this me. (Of course teaching a group of junior high boys is separate to this statement… STILL time and a place).

Posted by Rebecca

I am so sorry you feel judged. Truly. But I know that you understand WHY our Mormon parents taught us to dress a certain way. I don't think that the intent of most parents (or vicariously the Mormon faith) is to create a judgment system for their children by which all others are judged. I tend to agree with Cameron on this one that if you feel judged by someone else's standards not your own, then it is something to be worked out on your own. According to dress standards in Iran, I dress like a whore, but I know that I am not one. And I am not offended that thier social/religious visual cues would indicate that I am one. I respect their beliefs and if I went to Iran I would dress to respect their culture.

But please do not feel like you have to dress to repect ours unless YOU YOU YOU decide that you want to for your personal reasons. We need your good style infuence here! You are a gem! And WAY cute, too, because I made Kacy show me your picture. 

Posted by Carrie Ann

The Iran example was maybe not the best analogy... 

Posted by Carrie Ann

Fromage: Unfortuantely I have not read your blog enough to know where you are at religiously/spiritually, maybe a few words about that?

Carrie Ann: Please forward said cute picture of Becca.
Becca: Several times you have reference in other blogs and comments about me in an incident involving you., cheerleader tryout, and dog food. But if you think about it, I was only at PHS with you 1 year, and I don't think you tried out for cheerleading (I thought you were a band nerd) But if you did, Freshman cheerleading was not something that was a public viewing.

Sarah: Can you please let me know what you are wearing so I can among other things Pre-Judge you? Actually I just want to make sure we don't clash. 

Posted by Cameron

Cameron... I was thinking about the top from my picture yesterday... thoughts? Feelings? Let me know. ;) 

Posted by Sarah Marinara

Thank you for the compliment Carrie Ann and don’t forward the picture to Cameron he has enough already!

I don’t really feel that what I want to say is coming out correctly. I don’t really care if anyone judges me based on what I wear or not, really I don’t... I don’t have time for others concerns towards me… I am too busy blogging!

I respect and understand why the Mormon culture raises their children to dress a certain way and I respect it and actually dress rather conservatively myself because conservative is fashionable right now and as shallow as that sounds it’s the truth.

The reason I write for Various Stages is because when I left the Mormon faith I worried that people would drop me, judge me and see me as no longer important by people that I loved. I no longer care about that because the people I worried about most, my family, didn’t do this at all. They love me unconditionally, they support me, they hold me up when I am down and they even respect me for who I am. BUT I have friends who don’t share in this experience, okay I have one friend. I write for her. I write to tell people that really we are okay over here on the other side, even respected by some. I write in hopes that people can see that regardless of our differences we are all the same at heart, in our minds. We all seek happiness, we all have struggles and we all need others to help us through. Unfortunately… on both sides… there are judgment calls that are made. Come on, now religion is as harshly judged as the LDS religion. All I want is to find a middle ground where we all can be accepting of our difference and focus on our similarities… That is it! 

Posted by Rebecca


As resident "Middle Ground" person of the group (or Queen of Mediocrity...whatever) I just have to say this:

Not ONE PERSON who has commented is wrong or has the wrong opinions. We have our own opinions for a reason and I think we all know where we stand on these issues. I think its beautiful that we all have very specific reasons behind our choices. There is nothing wrong with the way we all feel.

THAT is what's wonderful about this site. I love it. 

Posted by JP

OK JP whatever, we all know that I am 100% Right and everyone else is wrong, even those that agree with me!
You are always trying to be the peace keeper! Its time for you to stand up and shout sister.

PS I just made the connection between you and Jess, too much bickering going on there. I never claimed to be smart 

Posted by Cameron

I really can't believe that no one has talked about how awful knee length shorts are. Where are your priorities! 

Posted by Kaycee

Hey I didn't mean to stop the discussion... I still want to discuss our differences so that we can all have a better understanding of how human each and everyone of us is...  

Posted by Rebecca

Also check out BCC, their discussion correlates with ours. Very interesting. http://www.bycommonconsent.com/2005/01/can_you_feel_th.html#more 

Posted by Rebecca

Not to stop the discussion, but I have a request...is there a way we can number the comments like on Sarah's site? I got interupted a lot at work today, and had a hard time finding my space in the lengthy comments. =)
Imagine, people at work giving me work, when I'm knee-deep in blogs.
Kaycee: knee length shorts are awful! Especially when someone tall puts them on. My solution: this summer I had a long khaki skirt and a long khaki green skirt that went under the knife. I was in control of the length. No cheesy hem, the skirt bottom got nice and frayed after I washed it. My Gs didn't show, and I felt like a hottie (sort of) with the bare (but tan-enhanced) legs. Too bad my spare tire won't go flat. That would have completed the outfit. 

Posted by Jess

Rebecca- That comment certainly does relate to ours. Title of my post: Judge not. What's being done there: Judg-ing. I put my $.02 in.

Jess-The knee length skirt (with props to your frayed edge) is a much better option. Good job. 

Posted by Kaycee

I love chicks, I mean girls in knee length shorts Hot Hot Hot. My real theory on that is that only about .026% of the population should show leg, the rest of us, no no. That .026 is all women of course, I think ALL men should not wear shorts, to much chicken leg. 

Posted by Cameron

I very much appreciate your comments. I think it is incredibly important to get the male perspective on this topic. It could be said that you represent 50% of the population's opinion (I could be wrong...)One of the huge sub-topics of dress and modesty is how the opposite sex perceives (judges...whatever you want to label it) the person wearing the clothes. I don't know if there are any non-LDS men reading this, but I sure would be interested in their opinions regarding how they perceive women depending on what they choose to wear.  

Posted by Suzie Petunia

Well, Fromage is ceratinly one non-LDS man... but he and Cameron have already had it out on the issue.


Posted by Kaycee

Unrelated to modesty- I think that almost all of the time guys look absolutely stupid in shorts much shorter than knee length.
Conversely girls usually don't look good in knee length shorts- although I think that a cropped pant can be absolutely cute in casual circumstances (because really in non-casual environments who is going to be wearing shorts any way?)

Have I mentioned I really enjoy this site? I hardly read times and seasons or BCC any more- but I feel I need to check this out every day. 

Posted by Mike

This is GREAT! I loved every word. Now its my turn...though I wonder if anyone will even see my comment so far down the line!!

I believe the human body is beautiful...but I believe a hoochy is a hoochy no matter what. There is a time and a place for everything. I am not going to hooch it up at work, this is a very conservative office and I want to be repsectful of the people here. I dress for myself AND everyone. Does that make sense? I try to dress in a manner that is not offensive to the people around me but still makes me feel good about myself. I own more then one hoochy outfit and I LOVE them. But I would feel incredibly stupid wearing any of it to work, the grocery store and the rare occasions I grace my parents church with my presence.

While I do not believe in religion I do respect others beliefs. I wouldn't hooch it up hanging with Cameron, however, if Cameron was hanging with me I would hope he would respect my right to hooch it up when it feels appropriate for me (dancing?...and uhhh...no...not the Sat night mormon dance ;-) )

I love this discussion, and I love that you are all so willing to have it.

This place makes me feel good about my own beliefs and gives me an even great respect for yours. Thank you. 

Posted by EJ

EJ... you are beautiful and I am glad you stop in and comment... and link us. It makes me smile. Thanks! 

Posted by Rebecca

I agree that the linked-to article at BCC got pretty judgmental, I'm glad that Kaycee pointed out that fact.

As for shorts on women: I was kind of sad the day Sumer (aka super-spouse) went to the temple, because then all those fabulous short-shorts and shoulder-bearing things became inappropriate to wear outside of private play-time. That's too bad, I think, because I think women have the right to wear whatever makes them feel comfortable and sexy. Men already enjoy that right on a daily basis. 

Posted by Steve Evans

Steve... it's a matter of fashion differences, I think, that men get to "wear what they want."

Mike... I'm glad you love the site. I've been lurking at your hilarious site, also.

EJ... I'm with Rebecca... beautiful. 

Posted by Kaycee

EJ, thank you for that thought (This place makes me feel good about my own beliefs and gives me an even great respect for yours. Thank you.)

That is amazingly awesome.

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Posted by JP

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This Week's Topic:

  • The Sabbath Day

Various Authors

  • Monday:
    Kaycee opted out of Mormondom 4 years ago. She calls herself agnostic.
  • Tuesday:
    Sarah is not your average Gospel Doctrine Teacher.
  • Wednesday:
    Carrie Ann comes from pioneer stock, and lives in Provo, but is open minded and fair.
  • Thursday:
    Ned Flanders hasn't been to church in a while, but maintains an interest in all things Mormon.
  • Friday:
    John C. is an academic with a sense of humor and a testimony.
  • Saturday:
    JP's not going to church and feeling okay about it.

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