The truth as I know it:

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life. But those who make their journey home across time & miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them, are carried on the wings of destiny and placed among us by God's very own hands. ~~~ Kristi Larson

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Breasts

Now that I have your attention, I have to climb up on my soap box for a minute.  A good friend of mine has a blog.  On her blog, she has a picture of herself in the header.  In that picture, she is wearing a v-neck T-shirt.  It's not revealing, it's just a v-neck... not particularly low cut, just a plain old v-neck.  She is a very big blog figure, has thousands of followers.  You, in fact, probably read her blog.

Recently, on Facebook, it came out that several people think her shirt is "immodest."  One person even said that she couldn't let her husband read the blog because of the photo.  I promise you, the photo is not revealing.  In fact, I have never once noticed what she was wearing in the photo until it was pointed out. I just saw her full beaming smile and her contagious enthusiasm, the shirt was short of shocking or even noticeable.

So, my question is this.... and those of you in other countries will probably laugh about this because I think it's totally an American thing.... why is it that we sexualize breasts to the point of obsession here in this country?  Yet we segregate and shame people who are using their breasts for what they were designed to do.  I can't tell you how angry it makes me to see "nursing mothers" areas with doors.  Putting a mother in a closet, separating her from the world because she needs to feed her baby, is not sending the right message to our children or our brothers and sisters.  Worse yet, even my OB/GYN office has a "nursing closet."  YET, we tolerate Victoria's Secret parading half naked models around on commercials that are run at 8 PM.  We tolerate soft-porn bra ads on the billboards and covers our of catalogs.  We don't make the lingerie retailer at the mall wrap their windows in brown paper, even though the mannequins are in the "doggy position" and my kids always ask me why the girl is crawling on the floor in her underwear.  (To which, by the way, my response is, "She probably dropped the back to her earring while she was getting ready.")

If that is the way we live, why would we attack someone who is living boldly for Christ because she's not wearing a turtle-neck in the process?  If you can't let your husband read her blog because she's in a turtleneck, I guess you can't let him watch TV or look at the billboards on the interstate either.  Why on earth is a breast something that we should be so obsessed with anyway?  Seriously, I truly get the modesty movement.  I don't want my daughter running around in tight, revealing clothing, even at 3, much less 23.  I want my children all to be mindful of what they are wearing, the reaction they are causing from the opposite sex, and respect themselves enough to have some modesty.  HOWEVER, if my daughter chooses a v-neck over a crew-neck, I don't think I will obsess about her lack of taste or question her commitment to Jesus.

I guess this post was really spurred by a fealty to my friend.  I get my back up when someone criticizes her.  But it's also about how backwards our values have become in this country.  I could be wrong here, Lindsay and Barb please tell me if I am assuming something incorrectly, but I bet in most of the European and other countries around the world, nursing mothers are a natural thing to see in public and there's not as much fuss over a booby as we make here.

Get over it people!

17 comments:

Julie said...

AMEN!

Oatsvall Team said...

You go girl !!! I agree 100% ... You would have to blind 95% of American men if what Katie has is to revealing and then tell them to keep their eyes closed at the mall, at work, on TV, on billboards and at church TOO !!!

Lindsay said...

Oh boy I think I'm going to rant on this one :) sorry!

I sat happily with a colleague the other day in a planning area in our school while she breast fed one of her twins (she is on maternity leave and in visiting). Her elder daughter sat reading her book, while E, I and 3 other colleagues chatted about the twins and life. I have seen a parent visiting our school for her elder child's assembly sit in a student social area and breast feed. As the period changed and the kids left for their next lesson, no-one bat an eye lid. It is normal and common and perfectly accepted for women to nurse in cafes, restaurants, while eating with friends or family etc. Women are discreet in that they tend to simply lift the top to free the breast - noone is walking around topless for Heaven's sake, but noone is recoiling in disgust either. It. Is. Natural!!!!

And like you say, in the meantime MTV videos are virtual porn with rappers in bathtubs with multiple women, Lady Gaga revels in the sexualised violence of some of her videos, lyrics scream mysoginism and objectify women etc.

And hmmmm - thongs or high heels for children. Please!

Manufacturers produce mini-adult lines of clothing which sexualise little girls and warp their self image.

Aaaargh - I feel my blood pressure rising just thinking about it.

So yeah, there is a peculiar obsession in America (and Britain to a lesser extent) that the breast is only a sexual object.

But maybe even worse there are people who can only ever feel good about themselves by trawling around until they find something - anything - about someone else to attack. I suspect your friend is being attacked in this way because the originator of the campaign feels inferior and, not liking this, decided to attack that which she is jealous of, rather than taking the more difficult path of raising up her own behaviour or self esteem. Women are so often more critical of one another than any man. So much for sisterhood!

Good for you for sticking up for your friend. And shame on the mentality of someone who wouldn't let her husband read the blog because of her halter top. She is clearly an idiot (sorry but she is) and her husband is a fool if he allows himself to be controlled in that way. Does she think her husband is so weak that he will dump her? Clearly she is very insecure.

Anyway I've ranted enough :)

The world is full of people with too much free time on their hands! Perhaps if this woman used her time to volunteer instead of mount campaigns on FB she would have a higher sense of self worth and be less inclined to attack others.

Lindsay said...

Oh and can I just say - the American Beauty Pagent industry and tiny little baby girls in strapless dresses, high heels and make-up, parading up and down for adults to gawp at.

Seriously - is there *anything* right about it?

suzanne said...

I AM LITERALLY LAUGHING OUT LOUD!!! Since I was the ignorant person to start the whole big mess for our sweet friend, this is encouraging for me! You preach it girlfriend! can i copy and paste this to facebook? hahahahha

carolinagirl said...

hahaha...please, please, please send me the blog link so i can see this photo!

seriously, we need to get over it!

Bethany said...

Wow...I only wish I had enough time in the day like 'that woman' to be worried about some other person's shirt! LOL! I know who you are talking about and literally busted out laughing! Too funny! If she doesn't want her husband reading her blog then it's because the writing is SO great that she's afraid he'd become jealous!

BTW...kinda funny story...Your blog is right below "Bakerella's" blog on my list and as I was reading down the list, I saw 'breasts' and immediately thought that she was baking up breasts cupcakes or cookies! Now that's FUNNY!

Barb said...

First of all, it took me awhile to figure out whose photo you were talking about - it had NEVER occurred to me that someone might think that top was risque (she's living in Africa for pete's sake . . .). Secondly, I'll comment on the Scandinavian view of the body in general (instead of just breastfeeding) because it was a bit of a culture shock for me when we first came here . . . There doesn't seem to be so much sexualization of the human body here. Pretty much all women wear bikinis at the beach, irrelevant of body shape (oh yeah -the men are wearing speedos!). It doesn't matter how you look. At the swimming pools, there are no individual cubicles in the change rooms (men & women , of course, have separate change rooms), no curtains in the showers and no bathing suits allowed in the saunas. Families often have saunas and shower together in the nude (of course, as children grow older that changes).

So, a little bit of a difference. culturally, for me . . .

Mercy said...

It's all so true what you said. I like what you tell your daughter about the manequins. Makes perfect sense.

Nicole said...

I am shocked! I just figured this out. Never would I ever look at this wonderful person and think anything other than respect.You are right.You would never even look at the photo and think that if your are truly reading the words of her life and her work.
I have to tell I love your response to the victoria secret window display! Ha!

Anonymous said...

While I kind of agree with you...America is as it is and the photo you are talking about is a little revealing...even the guy seems to be looking there (could be wrong)... raising boys, it's difficult for me to think that those kinds of low v-necks are appropriate....how are you going to change all of america...it is what it is...and so I don't want girls wearing this kind of clothes...it covers "not much". It leaves not much to the imagination.

Sorry, just my opinion. And I guess the bottom line is...do this person feel in their heart...we have a world of sin...sexual sin and we MUST do our part regardless of where we live to be modest as not to turn the eyes of men...no, we cannot change their hearts but we can make it more difficult for them to look.

Jewels of My Heart said...

Ugggggggggggggggggg! Never in a million years would I have guessed what person, picture and top you were talking about had I not gotten all of the clues from the comments.
Having said that, I have seen the picture in the header I do not know how many times...... Each time I have seen it I see BEAUTY... The photograph is truly beautiful.... the joy and love of the Lord and for each other is so beautiful that moves my heart. I could have looked at it another 100 times and never noticed the v-neck top.... I look at her smile, her love for the people God has sent her to and I see Jesus.....
She is bent over in the photo which makes it appear a little lower cut than it truly would be.... but the part that I find disturbing is that there have been a group of people talking about her negatively on facebook because of this picture. WOW! That breaks my heart.... I just don't get it.... I am glad that I have not been privy to it. I will say that the attacks of the enemy comes in many forms.... sometimes even from fellow believers. I wonder how many times I have fallen prey to his wiles and taken part of an attack on someone because I didn't agree with how they were doing something, etc...
There is definitely a life lesson in this from the Lord... Because it hurts me for her... Keep Shining Bright Beautiful Woman of God.... I see Jesus in you and I think you are beautiful.... and I encourage my husband to read your blog!
Thank you for sticking up for her!

Melanie Hollis said...

So beautifully put, Ondrea. Having raised two daughters, who are now 11, I can say they recognized when a woman was wearing something to "draw attention" when as young as age 5. Case in point: Lydia and I were at a mall when she was 5....she noticed a woman of similar age to me wearing high heels, earrings dangling to her shoulders, plunging neck-line & very tight sweater (with store-bought boobs), and a super mini, mini, mini skirt. Lydia says to me: "Whoa, mom, I wish YOU looked like HER!" Little Lydia's attention was drawn, and she thought what she was seeing was similar to what she would see on billboards around town---this woman appeared to be a "movie star figure" to her because of the clothing. The woman walked to draw attention and dressed to draw attention-----HUGE DIFFERENCE between a woman like this and the sweet gal you are talking about in your post. After chewing Lydia out for thirty minutes about WHY she should NOT want a mom like the "hussy lady", Lydia, from that point on, would announce loudly: "That woman is not honoring God with her body, momma", each and every time we would go out in public and see such a site. Hilarious.

Anonymous said...

I have no comment about the picture, but I must comment on one thing. A big deal is made about breasts because to men, they are a big deal. Even the Bible speaks to that. They are sexually driven by sight. We as women have a hard time understanding that, but that's the way it is. We as women need to go above and beyond when it comes to being careful how we dress so not to cause men to lust. Again, I'm not talking about the picture in question, but it seems some of you aren't thinking how men think. Sure, you may have noticed her smile, while a man would notice her chest.

Calee said...

Katie's blog has CHANGED my life, she is my number one read... my husband and I read it together... and I think she is beautiful because she loves the Lord and what she is doing. It's sad to me someone is trying to be critical on a girl who is doing so much good. Tell Katie she has followers in Charleston and I am thankful for what she is doing, such an inspiration!

Jesse said...

I love Katie but have always thought the photo was inappropriate. I DO care how all of America dresses or how sexed up our culture is, b/c it affects my children, husband, etc. I DON'T care, though, what standards American society has. We can't say "Oh, well, she is showing SO much less than Victoria's Secret models, so it's not that big of a deal." We are to be held accountable to different standards as FOLLOWERS of Jesus, especially very public ones.

Modesty is a lost art, and it's a huge big deal to me. It's not a legalism thing; it's a purity thing. My question would be WHY wear it? If it causes ANYone to stumble (either in sexual temptation OR because they look up to Katie), then Scripture commands us to avoid it.

Turtlenecks in Africa? No, but it doesn't have to be extreme. Just put on a dang shirt. We don't want to see your boobs...either AA or FFF.

Amy said...

I have a dear anonymous too!! I hate when people make women responsible for men's feelings of lust, lots of men lust after big boobs even if they are totally covered up (I'm big and they look stare matter what). Women lust after men's bodies too and nobody ever tells them to cover up. Plus like previous people said every culture is different! For example my friend's husdand is latin and he greets everyone male and female with a kiss on the cheek, my mom saw him kiss me like that and about had a panic attack till I told her why! This is the same kind of thing!