I have a lot to say about modesty. When I was younger I ALWAYS wanted to wear a bikini or those short shorts because it was always so gosh darn hot during the summer and I didn't know how to cope with it well. However I never wore them knowing that it wasn't the right thing to do and didn't send a very good message to those whom I would be in contact with.
My Dad was one of the biggest influences in my life when it came to modesty. My Mom was a great influence as well but the most vivid conversations about modesty come from talking with my Dad. One day as a Junior in high school, I was running late for ballet. I hurried to get changed and ran up stairs. I was in a t-shirt, leotard, tights, and short shorts (or biker shorts). I think I was making a quick bagel when dad walked in and stopped me dead in my tracks. He flat out, calmly said to me, "You are not going out like that. Go put on pants or some other shorts because that isn't acceptable." I of course challenged him with some sort of response that explained I was only going to be going out to the car, and then getting out of the car to go into dance. Then the process would be repeated as I came home. I asked him, "What is the big deal?" That is when I remember him looking at me with pleading eyes and asking me to please change. I was confused. And was about to say no and that I was in a rush, but he started talking again.
"Kaitlin, I don't want to look at you like that. I don't want some man to look at you like a piece of meat. What would you do if your car broke down and were dressed like that? I wouldn't want a mechanic to see you like that. I want them to look at you and know that you respected who you were and what your values were. They will respect you more and will not take advantage of you in any way." Well, that is never going to leave my mind. I had never thought of it that way.
The ironic thing is, a year later my car broke down and I had to walk with my friend until someone offered us a ride to my house. I was wearing modest clothing and I am afraid that if I hadn't been they wouldn't have stopped and helped us.
Something my Mom helped me realize is that I should never wear anything that I couldn't wear after going through the temple. So the short shorts and tank tops were ruled out. I came to respect my body and the bikinis never happened because of that. Modesty wasn't all about helping out the men in my life. Modesty is about respect for your own self. I will always teach my daughters and even sons about respecting their bodies and I never will allow the skimpy clothes that I see all around me, even and especially at BYU, to show up on their bodies.
When I say BYU I really do mean it. There are a lot of girls that don't seem to understand that concept. I cannot tell you how many girls I have seen this past week (at any time actually) where I am afraid to look at them because I may see their butt. No joke. I wish this wasn't a problem with all my heart.
Modesty is showing respect for yourself and for the love you have for the Lord. Don't wear things that hinder you in spirit. Wear clothes that you would not feel bad seeing the Lord and Savior in. That is what it really comes down to in my humble opinion.