Short shorts, tank tops and temptation

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Contributor: Emmarie Moon

I cannot dance. Seriously, ask any of my high school friends how good of a dancer I am and I promise they will all laugh, especially when it comes to freestyle. I’m pretty sure I did the sprinkler at my senior prom.

So when I found out that we had dance fitness (formerly known as Zumba) at my college for free, I was super excited. I can at least functionally do choreographed dance moves, and most of the other Dutch girls could move about the same as myself.

Along with having a great time working up a sweat doing fun dance moves, we have an amazing instructor. Jenna is an extremely fit, godly mother of three kids. She is not only a really great and encouraging dance instructor, but she likes to give us really great (sometimes uncomfortable) advice on female matters. She talks about her kids’ puberty issues, her gynecologist, and sex very openly. A few weeks ago, she talked to us about the frequently asked question “how far is too far?” She talked about how she dated a guy for six years before her husband, and although they hadn’t slept together, they did some things that don’t make her super proud. She also talked about how  it was hard for her to “flip the switch” when she got married.

The switch? What’s the switch? I have only heard about this so called “switch” for a few months. It refers to the mental change from being in a relationship to being married, the switch from telling yourself “no” when it comes to sex to suddenly saying “yes” and being expected to love it. Because Jenna spent time engaging in activities that were questionable, she often had to say “no” before things went too far. When she got married, she had to spend a lot of time changing the thoughts in her head when she was with her husband.

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Does it have to be itsy bitsy?

itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini

The itsy bitsy teeny weeny yellow polka-dot bikini…. we all know the lyrics. But do we know what these lyrics actually meant for bathing suits lining the seashore? With the turn of the fashion world and the women’s rights movement, the bikini became a tool used for female empowerment. But, fashion designer Jessica Rey reveals the shocking research on the male brain that shows otherwise.

Check out Jessica Rey’s fashion line for modest and super cute swimwear http://www.reyswimwear.com/

Photo Shoots… Good Clean Fun?

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It’s fun to take pictures with your friends. Candid shots of laughter can capture a memory. Goofy photos on the webcam never seem to get old. But what I’ve noticed a lot of girls doing lately are photoshoots…. a full session of photography with a few friends with different poses and different backgrounds often revolving around a specific theme. I’ve seen quite a few girls upload these photos to facebook… sometimes creating a whole new album with up to one hundred photos. The photos are usually fun and artistic, showing the creativity of the photographer by thinking outside the box.

Unfortunately, many of these photos don’t exude a sweet and innocent fun time. Sometimes these photos include seductive poses of teenage girls trying to look sexy. I’ve seen way too many pictures of thirteen year old girls and girls my age with pouting lips and heavy make up looking longingly into the camera lens. Even if they are fully clothed, photos like this create a sense of seduction and give the wrong impression.

But it’s easy to have a photo shoot that fun and creative without compromising your innocence. Getting a few of your friends together to create a series of photographs should be a fun and artistic activity! And it can be! A few of us from Across My Heart ministries got together to show you just how fun photo shoots can be!

We picked a theme, got some props from the 1970s, donned a few old school outfits, and made lots of memories! Check out some more of the photos from our 1970s photo shoot below!

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Fun photo shoot ideas:

Pick a decade like we did…. love the 1950s? How about the 1980s? Dress up in your favorite checkered dress or neon leggings and don’t forget the bouffant!

Pick a fun background… whether you are a country girl or a city girl, there is a place for you!

Blow bubbles or balloons… props can be a lot of fun to play with and add an awesome visual effect!

Recreate your favorite movie… take snap shots while acting out the plot line and role play as your favorite character from the film!

With warm weather approaching (okay… keep your fingers crossed on that one), girls will be wearing less and less clothing. Pants turn into capris which turn into shorts which turn into super short-shorts. Sweaters turn into tank tops, and parkas turn into bikinis. Too many girls throw out their winter clothing… and their modesty goes right along with it! It’s easy to be modest in the winter. But it gets a lot more challenging as things get hotter.
This blog post from “a single drop in the ocean” gives some great guidelines on dressing modestly as warm weather is on it’s way!

A Drop in the Ocean

It’s not easy trying to dress modestly in the 21st century. With the “anything goes” attitude toward clothing nowadays, it can be rather difficult to go against the tide and find clothes that fit, are beautiful, and not reminiscent of cotton sacks grain used to come in. Too often now, I see beautiful, respectable girls dressing immodestly. I know dressing modestly does take a little extra effort, but it’s worth it. You owe it to yourself and the world around you to dress nicely.

You

Modesty has to begin within yourself. Dressing modestly tells the world that you are beautiful, and you know it. You know that beauty is much deeper than body parts. You want people to see you for more than your body, so you draw attention to what you want people to see: your character, your sense of humor, your generosity, your passion in life, and so much…

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Showing her talent…. and then some

Why do talented women like Beyonce think it’s necessary to “flaunt it if they’ve got it”? It’s hard to appreciate her beautiful voice when skin-tight leather and provocative dance moves are flashing across the screen. Beyonce is good enough to get attention just with her musical talent, but she competes with her body for the attention when she flaunts it like that. Beyonce shows off a Superbowl

She knows how to entertain.  But, if entertaining is thrusting her body in suggestive positions and saying “whoa oh oh” over and over again instead of showcasing her beautiful voice… her true talent may be confused with her sex-appeal.

Over the past two months, Beyonce has had the chance to represent our nation. First at the Presidential inauguration and now at the Superbowl. The spotlight has been shining on her. She’s been given center-stage. And,without a doubt, her performances will be remembered. But rather than being remembered for an impeccable melody or a beautifully rhythmic dance routine, she’ll be remembered for her leather leotard and body language. Instead of gaining respect, she’s selling her body for worldly applause.

Not So Modern Fashion

It seems like fashion moves in cycles. From bell-bottoms to skinny jeans to bell-bottoms to skinny jeans and back again. They’ve always had different labels of course…. “peg leg” pants, “parachute” pants, boot leg jeans, flares…. but whatever you call it….

Fashion always makes a comeback.

Sometimes, it can be exhausting trying to keep up on the latest trends. So instead of buying the “latest and greatest” maybe you should go back to the basics. There are some things that stay in style because….well…. they’ve always been in style!

Audrey Hepburn’s “little black dress” never lost it’s fame and Grace Kelly is still a fashion icon today.Classic style and vintage fashions have a timeless elegance! The A-line dress and the patent leather shoe never grow old! That’s why fashion sites like modcloth are so great. Take a look for yourself and see if you like the looks of yesteryear!

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Topless Extremes….

Unfortunately, it is not uncommon to see Lady Gaga or Katy Perry posing half naked on the cover of a magazine. These women are known for being extreme and immodest just to gain a reaction from their fans. They choose to show off their bodies in a way that is degrading and insulting to the graceful beauty of femininity.

But Duchess Kate Middleton is a different extreme.

Topless photos of the princess have been published in a French Magazine WITHOUT her permission. A photographer spied on the Royal Family during a vacation getaway and snapped photos of her sunbathing at a private destination miles away from public eye. The Royal family is outraged! And they are demanding justice for the intrusion of privacy.

Whether or not the Princess should have been sunbathing topless is not my point…. My point is that she is responding in a way that demands respect for the graceful beauty of femininity! Unlike the pop star icons of America, she is appalled by the thought that topless photos of her were published. I am glad that she realizes the importance of protecting her femininity.

This is the statement published by the Royal Family:

“Their Royal Highnesses have been hugely saddened to learn that a French publication and a photographer have invaded their privacy in such a grotesque and totally unjustifiable manner. The incident is reminiscent of the worst excesses of the press and paparazzi during the life of Diana, Princess of Wales, and all the more upsetting to the duke and duchess for being so. Their Royal Highnesses had every expectation of privacy in the remote house. It is unthinkable that anyone should take such photographs, let alone publish them.”

The Fashion Princess…. literally

Princess Kate. She’s not just the Duchess of Cambridge. She’s an icon in the world of fashion. Whether it’s Time magazine or a British tabloid, magazines have made her a celebrity. Her pictures are everywhere, and her sense of style seems flawless. But Princess Kate doesn’t simply dress to be famous or to please herself. She dresses to represent her country.

A friend of mind once pointed out the amazing responsibility of the Princess.  Everyday when she wakes up, she can’t just throw on a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt and hit the streets of London. She has to carefully determine (with the help of personal stylists, of course) what she’ll wear that day. Her outfit isn’t about showcasing HER personality or HER sense of style. Her outfits must portray the elegant class and traditional garb of English society. From the length of her dress to the size of the hat on her head, certain elements of her wardrobe are dependent on the expectations of the royal family. Their diplomatic decisions and national reputation are at stake with the way she represents herself in the public eye.

Seems like a lot of pressure…. doesn’t it???!?!!!

What if I were to tell you that we have the same responsibility? In many ways, we are just as responsible for the clothes we wear. As followers of Christ, we have the incredible responsibility to show who God is by the way we live, the way we talk, and even by the clothes that we wear! So what are Christian clothes exactly? Well, we’ll save that for another blog post. But I will say that Princess Kate does a pretty great job at representing her country, and we should take our jobs just as seriously to represent our Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”