Lately modesty has gone out of fashion, killed by movies and television that want to convince us that if we want to be noticed we have to be sexy. And sexy means too much makeup and not enough clothes.
Actually the word modesty suggests not really reassuring images: for me a modest girl used to be someone who dresses like a sack of potatoes. Obviously I was wrong, but I still personally prefer to use the word classy. Coco Chanel used to say, “Dress shabbily and they remember the dress; dress impeccably and they remember the woman.” It’s the same with modesty: when we dress too provocatively, we distract men’s attention from ourselves and we concentrate it on our body. They will be too busy watching our legs to notice us. And they are right: if we don’t respect our body, why should they?
Obviously modest makeup is as important as dressing modestly. I think makeup is a very important part of a woman's appearance, both because the first thing people look at is our face, and because dressing modestly will be useless if our makeup make us look like Moulin Rouge dancers.
Don’t get me wrong, God wants us to be beautiful and attractive, but in the right way. We should always look classy and choose very carefully what we put on our face. First of all we must be appropriate. The same lipstick might be out of place in one situation and appropriate in another. Red lips are very beautiful for a party but at the office they can look a little weird. And also the same makeup can look beautiful on one girl and vulgar on another, depending on the shape of face, eyes and lips.
I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t use. I think you have to look at the mirror and try different looks to figure out what you feel comfortable in.
For my face, I decided to do that for school/office simplicity is the best way: foundation, a matte eye shadow, mascara, and a nude lipstick or a gloss are perfect. I want to feel beautiful but also professional because I’m here to do my job and I want my coworkers to respect me.
For a special event, such as a party, a friend’s wedding, or a date, I like to use sparkling eye shadows or pink lipstick. If I want to focus on the eyes, I leave the lip makeup very light, so I don't overdo it.
Once the outfit is completed I always ask myself: am I beautiful or hot? Will my dress and makeup make people respect me or will they think I’m inappropriate? Sometimes the answer means that I have to change something or add more clothes. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous, not naked or hot. Men watch girls dressed in a provocative way but they don’t respect them and don’t fall in love with them, so modesty is definitely the best choice if we want to be loved and not used.
Valeria Marta Sesenna is Italian, 22 years old and she studies law in Milan. She likes reading and writing about fashion and bioethics.