Episode 57 – Modest is Hottest

Kainos Project
Episode 57 - Modest is Hottest

The topic of dressing modesty is an evergreen issue in Evangelicalism. But with the release of a particularly bad music video on the topic, it’s in the headlines once more.

Matthew West’s new music video entitled “Modest is Hottest,” which debuted at the SBC 2021 Annual Meeting, has been the subject of ridicule and criticism, so much so that West has removed the song from his YouTube account and all other streaming channels. Some have come to his defense, while others celebrate the fact that this song is no longer out in the world.

This week on the podcast, we dive into the idea of modesty culture and how it relates to purity culture, how it has shaped our view of women within the Church, the significance of a song like “Modest is Hottest” debuting at a meeting where sexual abuse allegations were one of the main points of conversation, and what biblical modesty might look like in a 21st century world.


It's disturbing that the whole reason for being modest is presented as making it so that boys will be more interested in you. Share on XThe line 'I'm just kidding, no I'm not' was a very meta line in the Modest is Hottest song. Share on XThere's a lot of vitriol on both sides of the modesty conversation. And it's been brewing for a while, particularly as the status quo has grown increasingly tenuous. Share on XAll Christians would agree that we shouldn't be dressing immodestly. But we tend to have wildly different definitions of what exactly constitutes modesty. Share on XI was brought up to believe that modesty was a central part of my role of being a woman. Share on XModesty culture actually has the effect of over-sexualizing you while also shaming your sexuality. Share on XModesty culture brings a weird attention to the bodies of teenagers at a time in life where you feel uncomfortable and awkward about your body already. Share on XWhen I was a 15 year old, I wasn't looking to wear what would get me sexual attention. I was just wanted to be trendy. And being told that could make someone else to sin sexually puts your mind in a completely different place. Share on XWe emphasize sexual sin in the church and make it out as like the ultimate sin to fall into. Share on XWe want to be perceived in a certain godly light, but that doesn't always translate into the ways we actually care for others. Share on XWhen you think about the context of sexual abuse allegations, a 'modest is hottest' joke is the worst joke you could make at that moment. Share on XWhen it comes to modesty, men should be held responsible for their own impulses, but women should be mindful. I just don't think that means wearing a turtleneck. Share on XWe need to find ways to show women and tell women that they are valuable and should be treated as such because they are fellow image bearers. Share on XA woman's modesty in the bible isn't about not making her brother stumble. It's about finding her worth in who they are in Jesus, rather than in her physical beauty. Share on XWe always need to bear in mind the inherent dignity of men and women. And where we have failed to uphold that dignity by objectifying women, we need to repent. Share on X

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