“Whose adorning [let it be] the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” (I Peter 3:3-4)
The girl is the woman to be, and girlhood is the dressing room for womanhood. The perfect woman has graces and powers of body, mind, and soul that make her able to be the mother of men and to guide them into the right paths of life. Her example and influence are unbounded, not only in her own home but in society in general. No girl can come to this perfect womanhood unless she uses the opportunities of girlhood rightly. If she does not develop a healthy, active body she is handicapped through all her life. If she does not come to womanhood with a mind and soul that are clean and clear and properly directed she cannot rightly fill her place. A vain, silly, giddy woman is just as unfitted for the responsibilities of life in mind and soul as a sick woman is in body. A right attitude toward her dress will not only help a girl to grow strong and vigorous in body, but will aid her in growing strong and beautiful in mind and soul.
Let us always keep in mind that the perfect woman is a Christian woman. To be a true Christian is to take the path in life that was mapped out for us in the life of Christ and to show daily in life and manners the graces and the spirit of Christ. He was “meek and lowly in heart,”* (Matthew 11:29) and showed always the opposite of vanity and pride. Paul speaks to Christian women of the “ornament of a meek and quiet spirit.” And the girl who is growing into a perfect woman is noticed for her kindness, sympathy, gentleness, sweetness of spirit, and her willingness to be of service. There is about her a humility that makes you feel that she does not despise you and think you below her, that she is rather thinking of your happiness than her own personal appearance.
These beautiful graces—kindness, sympathy, humility, gentleness, purity—are the real ornaments of beautiful girlhood. But it is in the ornaments that clothe and beautify her soul and mind that make her a lovable and desirable creature who carries happiness and cheer wherever she goes. Seek first the more beautiful inner ornaments and then clothe the body so that those more important ornaments are not hidden.
Your clothes should not be conspicuous among your comrades, either as old-fashioned or odd, nor as being smart and daring. It is not a trait of beautiful girlhood to expose the person in a way to call forth coarse remarks and criticisms. It is impossible to point out certain things that are wrong, for a fad that is causing strong comment today may in a few years be forgotten, but this principle always holds good: that our girls who are striving for a beautiful girlhood and a clean and useful womanhood should always dress so as to appear modest and quiet and inconspicuous in their environments. The same thing is true of the use of jewelry and any ornaments. For a girl to be wearing jewelry and gems gives her an appearance of pride and haughtiness that is not at all in keeping with a Christlike spirit nor with a girlhood beautiful. To drape herself with jewelry makes her appear silly and vain. But any girl can easily settle these matters for herself if she will keep in mind that her business is always to keep in evidence the true ornaments of mind and soul and then be careful that in clothing and beautifying her body, she does not dim her more precious ornaments.
There is yet another angle regarding dress that our girls should keep in mind. Good girls behaving as they should are one of the strongest influences for good in the lives of their boy associates, and every girl striving for a clean and beautiful girlhood should not in dress or action do that which in any way lowers her in the estimation of clean-minded boys, nor causes her to become a temptation to those who are weak.
|Main||<< Back||Forward >>|