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Tuesday, January 11, 2005 

The Way You Look Tonight

I was at Kaycee's not too long ago helping work out some kinks with the new digital camera that she bought for her dear sweet fiance (uh huh, sure it's for him). While she was playing with buttons and figuring stuff out she snapped the above picture of me. A couple days later she emailed it to me and pointed out first how cute I was, and secondly how much cleavage I was showing. I think the words, "I've never been prouder of you" were used somewhere.

As I was thinking about this weeks topic, and therefore thinking about how I dress, I'm sad to say there was only one thing I could really focus on: my boobs.

I know this might seem a little strange, and even a little off putting, but honestly, just hear me out on this. I promise to try to make it as comfortable as possible... but let's be honest, we're talking about boobs, more specifically mine. I'm not embarrassed--and you shouldn't be either. I'm just saying.

For as long as I can remember I have had a love/hate relationship with my breasts. When I was first growing them (far before any of my female classmates), I hated them. I hated bras; I hated the whole idea of it. I thought (and really still do think) that they aren't that great, but there is something about them that makes me feel so freaking pretty when they are in the right bra and the right shirt. I'm just gonna come out and say it--I like showing a little cleavage. I'm not doing this for guys to notice me; that's not the point at all. The point is, I like how I look when I am showing "the girls" off a little. Not to the extreme the above picture goes to, but honestly, I'm a big fan of the low cut shirt.

Here's the thing... part of me thinks I shouldn't be a fan of the low cut shirt and my slowly but surely decreasing bust line. There is this part of me that wonders if people think I'm slutty (although, again, I have to admit, sometimes that's totally the look I'm going for) or think that I'm not a "good" Mormon. I worry that people will think I'm a terrible person because of the smallest amount of skin I dare to bare. But to be perfectly honest, most of the time I just don't care. I dress for me and how I feel in an outfit. As many of you know, I had gastric bypass surgery about a year ago. My body has been changing rapidly, and my wardrobe is having a bit of a time keeping up. When I wear something that is oversized, I feel frumpy and ugly. I feel so unsexy. But when I wear clothing that fits me well, that flatters my shape, that enhances what I got and down plays what I do not, I feel amazing - I feel sexy and beautiful. And honestly... I'm just not sure what is so wrong with that.

**Added at 6:30 am **

I just left this comment on Becca's post, and wanted to make sure you all read it, because I have SERIOUSLY strong feelings about this. Please... discuss. ;)

Do I think members judge others based on what they wear? ABSO-FREAKING-LUTLY! I was at a YSA dance over the summer and had on black slacks, a hot pink lacy cami, a black 3/4 length sleeve wrap around blouse over the top, strappy high heel shoes and some dang cool, but very dramatic makeup. I had a girl come up to me and a dear friend of mine, inturrupt our conversation and ASK IF I WAS A MEMBER!!! I looked at her and asked, "Member of what?" to which she cheerfully replied, "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints." I was shocked. I confirmed that I had indeed been a member for about the last, oh, SIXTEEN YEARS and asked her what made her think otherwise. "Well," she said. "You just don't see many members who dress like you." And honestly... there was not even a HINT of cleavage that night. I just think it is amazing how quickly we are willing to judge other people on the most rediculous of things. I am endowed. Have been for 6 years. I have NEVER once asjusted my garments to fit an outfit. But, you know, most Mormons don't dress like me.

I can't believe you posted this picture! Freaking genius.

"When I was first growing them..." That's just a hilarious thought.

Seriously, though, I think they way that you dress can change how you feel. I'm glad you make yourself feel good in this way.


Posted by Kaycee

1.) Do you have your Gs on? If so, and they're obviously not showing, then no problem.
2.) JP and I are going to have a hard time relating (no offense JP). J has a good rack though.
3.) Did you catch my brilliant answer yesterday?
If you've got it, flaunt it (within reason).
4.) With my 'girls' being so small, low cut shirts make me feel so naked and uncomfortable. My chest is ugly anyway, some color would help.
5.) I think you just wanted to show off what a hottie you are.

Bottom line: mormon's, while keeping covenants made, don't have to be prudes. I know of a mom whose daughter (the same age as you & JP) wanted some Victoria Secret Perfume for Christmas one year. The mom, against her own wishes, made the purchase, but quickly returned it because she couldn't handle the fact that she had been to and bought something at that evil store.
Hey, I'm G wearing, conservative, blah, blah, blah. BUT, I've got a drawer full of Victoria Secret stuff that would make ya'll blush. 

Posted by Jess

I just found your blog today and just wanted to say that I have loved each of you, individually, for a while now. Thank you for sharing your lives with me.

I only have one question....did you intentionally not include an investigator in your Various Stages of Mormondom? (I smell guest blogger here...)

You all are great and I can't wait to read more...


Posted by Sandy

Sarah, a wonderful piece and a beautiful picture and a great continuation to a discussion that heated things up last night.

Sandy, we ARE actually discussing the idea of a "guest" blogger due to overwhelming interest, more to come, or maybe not... decision in the works.

But I want no fault or credit in whatever choice the investigator makes... these be mere opinions, discussions we got going on over here =).

Posted by Rebecca

You keep me hip as I was stuck in "Polly Prude" mode for so many years. (Let's face it, we were stuck there together for SO long.) You're hot...great picture.

I love that you can show cleavage while I cannot.  

Posted by JP

Sarah, my darling, my darling. First, BLESS YOUR BABY HEART! GP surgery is a major deal! You are absolutely amazing...

I am SO thankful we don't live in Victorian times or in Pilgrim times where the female body was outlawed. Or in some middle eastern countries where it still is outlawed. I say there is a time and place for cleavage, and man, if you've got it, go for it, Lucky!

Two things this blog made me think about:

1) This will probably be discussed later but... why are we so afraid to be judged? Or rather, I don't think there are enough words to replace the nuances of the word "judge." I'm just thinking that one through...

2)Mormons in general are the WORST dressers I have ever come across. I cannot add enough exclamation points or capitalized words to emphasize this point. If Stacy and Clinton would come to Utah they would die. I have lived in a lot of places, and I give Mormons a hands-down, worst dressed religious sect just onle spot above the polygamists in Manti. Honestly, the girl at the dance...do you think she had any fashion sense? Probably not... She saw this glamorous creature and knew you could not be from her poorly dressed sphere. I am seriously more concerned with the fact that she approached you and INTERRUPTED a conversation. That's the weird part. She must have been a freshly returned missionary or something...she was having discussion withdrawl... 

Posted by Carrie Ann

P.S. Did I fail to mention that you are a hottie? 

Posted by Carrie Ann

I have never really met any mormons, up close and personal...but let me assure you; they canNOT dress any worse than the Amish that we find roaming Ohio.


Posted by SaNdY

EJ had a question regarding what garments and endowments are. For the sake of our non Mormon readers I think it would be wonderful if someone that has received their endowments and wears garments can define them in a way so that are readers can be more involved in this discussion and likely the ones to follow through out the week.

Suzie Petunia (I just love always turning to you!)... I'll stop if you ask me.

Posted by Rebecca

It's a good picture! I wouldn't worry about the whole bustline guilt thing, either; it's just that mormons have trouble accepting that women have b-b-b-b-breasts. 

Posted by Steve Evans


I've been endowed for 7 years, and I agree with you completely! I think it's important to dress in a way that makes you feel great. And feeling great includes being true to yourself as well as to the promises you've made to God. This is exactly what you are doing! (And, I personally feel that a little cleavage display is flattering). Again, I echo the "if you've got it--flaunt it" mentality.


Posted by Lizzy

Carrie Ann: do you think it's more of a "Utah" thing than a "mormon" thing as far as being the worst dressed? I'm asking sincerely, not making fun. Yes I have seen what you mean: straight, calf-length skirts, flats, I hear ya. But I know some great LDS dressers.
In my case, I'm not an Ann Taylor shopper, I'm still trying to hold on to my youth by shopping at Old Navy (I'm a has-been). But for several years, when my kids were small, I was too tired to care. As long as there were no spit-up stains on the shoulder, it was all good.

I'll tackle the garment issue in the next comment. 

Posted by Jess

Kaycee - I owe you so much for this picture... seriously.

Jess - I can't wait to get married so I have a REASON to have a drawer FULL of VS stuff :D

Sandy - Interesting idea to include someone who's exploring the possibility of mormondom... I smell a conference call here people.

JP - While you have no clevage to speak of just yet, I feel deeply that someday you will and oh my goodness... the showing off that will happen when you do :D

Carrie Ann - YOU ARE ADORABLE! Every single day I get more excited for our lunch. This is going to be great. I think that having a discussion about judgement is a GREAT idea... make sure you email that to Kaycee. And thanks for calling me a hottie... seriously... you're too kind.

Rebecca - The G's subject is a bit touchy... and I don't know who would be the best one to talk about it. It's kinda one of those things, ya know? I happily denomminate myself :D

Steve - Gosh darn it! Thanks! ALways nice to have a guy agree with something I say... it's just so rare.

Posted by Sarah Marinara

Lizzy - The more I hear from you, the more I like you. Thanks for the comment.

Jess - You know, I'm not so sure if it is just a Utah Mormon thing. I mean, take a look around any ward and you find women who are frumpy at best. I think there is a level of shame attatched to feeling sexy. LDS women aren't SUPPOSED to be sex kitten, bedroom goddesses. But gosh darn it, WE SHOULD BE! Sexuality, feeling senusual or beautiful or any of the rest of it is NOT a sin. NOT EVEN CLOSE! I think LDS women tend to down play themselves and their bodies because that's what they've always been TOLD to do. I like being sexy, I like being Mormon, I really think the two can coexist happily. :) 

Posted by Sarah Marinara

This might sound weird, but I think $ comes into play. It's easier to feel sexy or pretty when we can make fun purchases (ie: clothes, perfume, etc.). I think that there's a lot of LDS women who make personal (material) sacrifices so that their family can make it on one income. I've been there. Still, to this day, with me working almost full time, my shoe selection is very basic. 

Posted by Jess

My $ didn't turn out well (I meant money $). 

Posted by Jess

This is copy/pasted from lds.org
36863, True to the Faith, Temples, 170

"Once you are endowed, you have the blessing of wearing the temple garment throughout your life. You are obligated to wear it according to the instructions given in the endowment. Remember that the blessings that are related to this sacred privilege depend on your worthiness and your faithfulness in keeping temple covenants.

The garment provides a constant reminder of the covenants you have made in the temple. You should treat it with respect at all times. You should not expose it to the view of those who do not understand its significance, and you should not adjust it to accommodate different styles of clothing. When you wear it properly, it provides protection against temptation and evil. Wearing the garment is an outward expression of an inward commitment to follow the Savior."


Posted by Jess

Jess... thank you for answering the difficult question that nobody wanted to address... and doing it so well =). 

Posted by Rebecca

I'm not sure it's a mormon thing, or a Utah thing. I see other non-mormon mothers everyday when I take my sons (yes, that is plural, and no, they're not twins) to preschool. Some are dressed very stylish, some middle of the road, and some I have never seen in anything but sweats and a baggy t-shirt. I think anywhere you look you will see the various degrees. I think mormons might have a few more frumpy dressers, and sometimes I am one.

On the other hand, I had a hard time growing up because I never knew what was appropriate. I have always been blessed with a slender frame, and believe it or not, that was hard growing up. I wasn't quite sure what to wear. I felt like if it fit me properly, it was "too tight". I wore baggy stuff alot, and that was OK because for a while that was the style. Now, at 29 years old, I have just in the past year or two started to feel comfortable in form fitting clothing, but I still have to think about it before I wear it to church.....or to the stake presidents house for a BBQ. Cleavage??....Maybe I would have shown a little before breastfeeding 3 boys, now it's a little shriveled. And I agree with Jess about the money issue. I always feel ugly and not put together when I have no money to buy cute new clothes when the seasons change. Maybe if I could stop buying diapers..... 

Posted by Jody

I'm already embarressed by my tirade. Of course there are Mormons who dress awesome, but I was jsut so mad about that girl at the dance... seriously. I was just trying to defend Sarah's fashion honor. 

Posted by Carrie Ann

Carrie Ann... the girl at the dance was dressed TERRIBLY. Seriously, jeans and a baggy t-shirt, no makeup, and hair in a pony tail. Now, for anyone who has known me during my high school years, you know that I just described EXACTLY what I wore EVERY SINGLE DAY! But I grew out of it, and with any luck, someday that girl will come to her senses. I would like this oppertunity to give a shout out to all the fashion forward women in my life who inspired me to just be better! I don't know where I'd be without you... well, that's not true... I do know where I'd be and IT AIN'T PRETTY!  

Posted by Sarah Marinara

CA! Don't feel ashamed! MOST Mormons (But definitely not ALL) are terrible dressers. You go with your tyrade, Girl!

I have to admit that I very much remember my hideous, bad clothes choices that I used to make. I think that this calls for my own shout out to those who saved me. You know who you are! 

Posted by JP

Ok, Fromage raises his hand and to no one’s great surprise admits confusion! Endowed? Sex Kittens? Bed Room Goddesses? The “G”? Let’s all talk about my boobs? I feel like I took a wrong turn at Winnemucca and ended up in the Sex in the Salt Lake City blog! Wow! And the only thing I’ve got to say from what I’ve read so far is that it looks like repression is alive and well in Utah!

Great picture, though with my grey matter I was intrigued by your expression, not just the cleavage. Which suggests there’s a mind thinking up there behind those mirthful eyes and no matter what the outer garments the real intrigue/complications/desires come from one’s thoughts and not even wearing a sack could dampen what your eyes seem to be saying!

Are we to outlaw thoughts?


Posted by Fromage

Oh Fromage, how I love you! 

Posted by Rebecca

I have been dying to address the question of endowments and garments all day, but I haven't had a free minute. I did pick up The Holy Temple by Boyd K. Packer (a current apostle in the LDS church for those who may not know) to research what he had to say about it. It is a sensitive topic, I believe because it is very sacred in nature to those who have chosen to take on the covenants associated with it. First, a little basic Mormonism 101 for any readers who are not too familiar with the faith: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints builds special buildings that are different than the regular church buildings we worship in each Sunday. We call them temples; whenever Christ's church has been on the earth there have been temples, even in ancient times. The ordinances that take place only in these temples are sacred in nature, not secret. We believe certain ordinances, beginning with baptism by water, must be performed for each individual to help that person progress towards returning to Heavenly Father one day. If the person did not have the opportunity to do it during their lifetime, a member of the church who lives by certain standards (and has a temple "recommend") may perform these ordinances in the temple on behalf of someone who has died. In his book, Packer quotes an apostle who died several years ago concerning the endowment (an ordinance that takes place after one has been baptized and has received the gift of the Holy Ghost). James E. Talmage says, "The ordinances of the endowment embody certain obligations on the part of the individual, such as a covenant and promise to observe the law of strict virtue and chastity, to be charitable, benevolent, tolerant (I love that part!), and pure; to devote both talent and material means to the spread of truth and the uplifting of the human race; to maintain devotion to the cause of truth; and to seek in every way to contribute to the great preparation that the earth may be ready to receive her King,-the Lord Jesus Christ. With the taking of each covenant and the assuming of each obligation a promised blessing is pronounced, contingent upon the faithful observance of the conditions. Not one jot, iota, or tittle of the temple rites is otherwise than uplifting and sanctifying. In every detail the endowment ceremony contributes to covenants of morality of life, consecration of person to high ideals, devotion to truth, patriotism to nation, and allegiance to God." That pretty much says it all. As I typed that it really became clear to me why everything that takes place in the temple is held so sacred. Some things are difficult to explain, but I think Elder Talmage did a nice job.

Now, concerning the temple garment Boyd K. Packer in the same book says, "Members (of the LDS church) who have received their temple ordinances there-after wear the special garment or underclothing (underwear). Garments are manufactured by an agency of the Church - and are generally available to members throughout the world through a distribution program operated by the Relief Society (our "Women's charitable society" of sorts). The garment represents sacred covenants. It fosters modesty and becomes a shield and protection to the wearer...Those who have received their endowment know what the garment symbolizes and the sacred nature of the covenants connected with it...The garment, covering the body, is a visual and tactile reminder of these covenants. For many church members the garment has formed a barrier of protection when the wearer has been faced with temptation. Among other things it symbolizes our deep respect for the laws of God - among them the moral standard."

I would add that it isn't that garments posses supernatural powers, but because it is always there one is constantly reminded of who they are and what they have promised before God. It protects the wearer insomuch as the person respects what it stands for.

I warned you I might be lengthy, but this is such an important subject that revolves around modesty and what people know about mormons in general, I thought those who were truly interested would appreciate an in-depth definition of these things.

I have now missed half of the finale to "The Biggest Loser" to write this! If you've read my blog you would know this is significant! I love this discussion! 

Posted by Suzie Petunia

Uh Sarah, when were we having our FHE Dinner? I totally can not remember.

Now to all this Mormons are the worst dressed people blah blah blah, I have lived in Utah most my life. I have lived in So Cal for awhile, I have lived in Brazil, I have travelled to Chicago a lot, I have been to San Fran, most of California, Canada, Florida, and several other states. Maybe not a lot compared to some people, but I can tell you this, THERE ARE A HELL OF A LOT OF WORST DRESS PEOPLE THEN MORMONS. SOmetimes in an effort to be fashionable people end up making themselves look pretty stupid. I think if we all think about some of the fashions that were popular in the 80's, yeah.
Trust me there are a lot worse things then being a mormon dresser. 

Posted by Cameron

Well, you all probably know me quite well . . . that is if you read Sarah's website. I think that my ultra-mormon and mostly innocent comments have appeared more than once despite my pleading, "NO!!!!" in the background while Sarah skips toward her laptop with a mysterious, pleasure seeking grin of excitement! Yes, it is I - Jilly.

To be honest I love to dress to impress. I love the feelilng of being pretty. I like to see heads turn. I love it because I think that pretty is an attitude that radiates from the inside out and clothes and make-up are mere manifestations of how you feel about yourself. You don't need to dress expensively to dress attractively (I my be the number one fan of Ross Dress for Less). When you dress frumpy you are not reflecting that you are a daughter (or son) of God.
We are all beautiful in our own way but packaging does make a difference.

I'll be honest and say that I personally don't like to have my cleavage showing and it's not because I don't have any to show. I feel more modest when "my girls" are covered . . . but I have no qualms with Vickies, perfume and all the good stuff for the right guy at the right time. 

Posted by Jilly

Well take about a post that proves the old adage.....SEX SELLS.....you put a picture on the blog of a bit of cleavage (as nice as it is mind you) and you get a record number of comments....strange that isnt it :)
whats the next pic 1 of you with your thong hanging out of the top of your jeans????....NO CAMERON NOT YOU PUT THAT THONG DOWN AARRRGGHHHH!!!!!!

Posted by Aidan

I'm just so laughing over here....so very funny... 

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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