There’s no denying that it is very rare to see women wearing modest skirts or dresses, that is, that fulfill their function: to dress and not to undress. It is likely that our grandmothers or great-grandmothers did not wear pants or even refused to wear them, thank God; but unfortunately that generation is becoming extinct.
There is a very beautiful and precious virtue, which is intimately related to prudence and temperance, because it moderates our movements both internally and externally: powerful modesty. As a virtue it is very broad, therefore, it is not exhausted or reduced to the garment we wear, however, it is likely that the dress is its most visual expression, because of its relationship with sight —one of the senses that God in his infinite wisdom has given us and that is not excluded from the “Ad Maiorem Dei Gloriam”. Eyes have also been wounded by sin, therefore, it is our duty to act as Catholics in order to cultivate such a valuable virtue.
In opposition to virtue is vice, sin. Thus, it does not require supreme effort to realize that we live in a society that increasingly exalts individualism while propagating the poor mindset of “I do with my body as I please”, “I am not to blame for the thoughts of others”, “only I matter”; however, is it really true that we should not be interested in whether others have impure thoughts? It is essential to remember that loving our neighbor is not an option, it is a duty. In this sense, it is not coherent to wash our hands, not to help him in his struggle for sanctity, that is to say, if my actions are sinful and added to this, cause my brother to sin or expose himself to sinful situations, with greater reason I will have to question my selfish actions. Certainly, this situation is the result of living in automatic mode, everything happens quickly, we run without reflecting on apparently irrelevant things, but which have great transcendence; this is the cunning of the enemy’s attack, it is also the result of living in Gesellschaft mode, before what really is and should be: living in a Gemeinschaft, in a community, where traditions are appreciated and transmitted with a complete simplicity.
Thus the world is becoming more secularized every day, and having forgotten God, its decadence is accentuated, which is expressed even in clothing. In the book of Genesis it is narrated that after Original Sin, “God made for man and woman tunics of skin and clothed them”. In his infinite love God gave them clothes and everything he does is perfect, in contrast, the devil who hates beauty is continuously attentive to cunningly strip us of everything that God has created for our well-being. Beauty par excellence is God, therefore, the evil one artificially masks ugliness, adorns it with ideologies, and fashions so that it may go unnoticed and be acclaimed. The enemy has managed to convince us that beauty is subjective, this is false. St. Thomas Aquinas taught that beauty demands integrity, proportion and splendor.
Beauty and modesty are also visible in symbols, how important they are for people. The symbol of a dress, of a well-made dress is an inconvenience, because it does not keep pace with liberal interests, nor with their agendas and company; since the symbol distinguishes, it does not seek egalitarianism, much less massification. Therefore, those who sustain those interests are not interested in women wearing modest dresses or skirts, consequently they will spare no effort because they seek to root out everything that leads to and reminds us of the Creator. It is no mere coincidence that it takes more time, dedication and good taste to find a dress that is beautiful (integral, proportional and splendorous) and modest; as opposed to the hasty and overabundant supply of pants for women, which usually lack the characteristics taught by the Saint and Doctor Thomas Aquinas.
The enemy is very clear about the goals and means to be used. The ideologues of feminism know very well the potential of introducing the use of pants by women as a symbol of egalitarianism —no wonder that in the mid-nineteenth century feminists used them as a provocative and rebellious element— according to them as a sign of power and equality. We know then that this harmful and normalized ideology, gender ideology —presented to us in everything possible, under the banner of this so desired and illusory equality— is unnatural, since it is common sense, so scarce today, that men and women are different, equal in dignity, but biologically and psychologically different, with different interests, tastes, preferences, etc., but all of this is torn out and discarded to make us believe that “you are not born a woman, you become one” as the perverse feminist Simone de Beauvoir said. This eagerness of wanting to make us like God, or playing that we can and should alienate ourselves because “we are free” will definitely end up taking its toll on us as a society and “be the weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
There is another fashion that is closely related, “jeans”, “denim”, that dates back to 1860. It is a symbol of revolution, of massification, a garment that was created for work, which was later denaturalized to become the most mundane everyday clothing available. If we stop for a moment and observe with a little critical eye, we will notice that most people look uniformed, just a part of the crowd. It is true that wearing jeans is comfortable, easy to combine, even in that we don’t use our intelligence! A “jean” will easily combine with a colored shirt, or with a blouse; being quick and simple, we will have knelt down and reduced ourselves to the standard of practicality. Faced with this, and I think that, in this, female readers who have started to wear dresses will agree with me, wearing a dress and putting together a beautiful outfit at the beginning is challenging, because we do not have that habit, that tradition has not been passed on to us. It is challenging to combine them, to find the cut, and design that best suits us, and at the same time makes us look like the worthy daughters of God; but this is how we practice beauty through the small details.
Wearing a dress is not a simple whim to look pretty and that’s it, wearing a dress is to show that we are women by nature, to show our femininity, in other words, to express what we are inside, because no one can give what they do not have, a woman will always be a woman and a man will always be a man. Wearing pants, making us equal to men, does not really “empower” (that horrible modernist term) but rather impoverishes us, because we do not highlight those delicate and special brushstrokes with which God wanted to paint women.
It is possible that girls, adolescents, adults find it difficult to wear a dress, because whether we want to or not, we suffer from some degree of modernism, but it is courageous to suffer and be uncomfortable, to be modest and look modest, to be feminine and help others to appreciate beauty and to think virtuous and not sinful thoughts. It is a great opportunity to exercise ourselves in virtue, to be persevering, to forge the will and not to be followers of fashions, because as Our Lady said in Fatima “fashions drag you to hellfire, dress decently if you want to save yourselves”. Because yes, everything we do, even the smallest thing must be A.M.D.G.
Dressing with beauty and modesty is a delicate but, paradoxically, potent symbol of counter-revolution.
Mariana De Los Angeles Quispe Verástegui, Margaritas Hispánicas
Translated by Daniel Rodríguez Guerra, Círculo Carlista Camino Real de Tejas