Friday, November 30, 2012

How does the Media Influence Women?

Hello, beautiful ladies! I did my senior thesis on the influence of sexual exploitation in the media on women. It was very eye-opening for me on how much influence the media has on us women in how we view ourselves, concerns for our weight, and how it affects relationships, etc. Speaking for myself, I still find it a struggle to keep at the forefront of my mind my identity in Christ, and that it doesn't matter how the world views us. The world's idea of beauty is always changing, but Godly beauty is lasting and perfect.

Sunday, July 29, 2012


The most common insecurity among woman has something to do with their appearance. We all want to look good. We all want to be beautiful and desirable. The world is telling us that we are too fat, we're too skinny, we need a nose job, we are too tall, too short, our bust size should be bigger, our skin should be flawless, our eyes should be bigger, we should only have beach waves or straight hair, and the list goes on and on. Obviously, this is not the only insecurity of women, but this is the greatest insecurity among women. We see apparently flawless people through the media and begin to feel depressed that we are not that pretty.

 What we don’t realize is that we are being lied to. Nobody is perfect! Everyone has their flaws. If we were all the same the world would be so boring. Your uniqueness is what makes you special and beautiful.

We can’t waste our lives comparing ourselves to others. We can’t waste our lives trying to gain people’s good opinion. What matters is God’s opinion. He created you and loves you. A priest told me to pray this to help me overcome my insecurity and I want to share it with you.

Jesus, I believe in your love. I believe that I am your precious daughter.

I prayed it over and over and I still pray it. The priest also told me that I needed a right self-love so that I can reach my full potential and become who God has called me to be. Having a right self-love is seeing yourself in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing less. Be confident in His love and in your worth. Confidence is so attractive, but something many of us have a hard time achieving because of our insecurities. Let go of them!! We need to trust in God’s love and find our security in His love.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


For most girls, prom is a pretty big thing. You need to have the perfect dress and date and have the perfect night. As a Christian, how should we dress and act at prom?

As far as dresses go, a Christian girl wants to look gorgeous, not sexy. There is a large selection of chic modest choices out there. Some girls will spend hundreds of dollars on a prom dress. If this is your price range, I suggest:
Twirl Prom
The Yellow Rose
A Dressy Occasion
Simply Elegant
Bridal Image
Lorna's Bridal
Kathleen's Bridal
Modest By Design
Beautifully Modest
A Formal Choice

However, if you're like me and want something a lot cheaper, JCPennys and Macy's have a variety of nice choices. My dress is a silver knee-length bubble dress from Macy's. (I'm going for an elegant look.)

The trend now days is the mini dress. What is this communicating to guys? I don't think girls realize the seriousness of dressing modestly, especially at places like prom (and homecoming). Guys are not thinking 'beautiful' when see see a girl in a mini dress; they are thinking 'sexy'. I know there are a lot of really cute mini dresses out there, but there are also a lot of really cute knee-length and floor length dresses too.

Another problem we face as girls is showing cleavage. Is it ever okay? NO! This is not helping our guy friends get to heaven. An attractive style that will pretty much guarantee not showing cleavage is the one-shoulder dress. Spaghetti straps, which are usually adjustable, are a great style to go with also. Modest strapless and v-neck dresses are trickier to come by. I pray that all of you will find your dream dresses!

What should prom be all about? Well, you go to hang out with your date and/or friends and to dance. What actually happens before, after, and during prom? Basically, this is when teens do whatever they feel like doing just because they can. Most teens will be grinding during the actual dance. How do you avoid this? Surround yourself with Christian friends who have the same values as you and are committed to being pure and dancing modestly. Before prom, recognize your weaknesses. Tell your friends and hold each other accountable. Another thing that I would suggest is to learn the basics of dancing (on youtube or by taking dance lessons). Learn the waltz, rumba, swing, cha cha, hip hop, etc. Dancing at prom can be totally fun and pure at the same time.

Pray about your decisions in going to prom and every detail of it. We are called to be lights in this dark world, but, in order to do so, we also need to guard are hearts and our purity. Christ may not want you to go to prom because He knows you better than you know yourself, and He doesn't want to see you hurt yourself and others by sinning. If you decide to go to prom, stand strong in your faith. In whatever you do, follow Christ's lead and He will take you on the dance of your life.

Another website article I suggest reading is

© Teresa Mattingly. All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Interior Beauty

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."
~Proverbs 31:30~

Are you beautiful on the inside?? When God made us, he said we were very good, and we are. However, he also gave us free will to be or not to be beautiful on the inside. So often we miss this type of beauty and only see the outer appearance of people. What is inner beauty anyway???

One of the first aspects of inner beauty we see in others is their smile and conversation. If getting a smile from someone makes you feel loved, why aren't you giving one to everyone you meet? Smiles, as well as all your facial expressions, tell others a lot about yourself. Of course if your having a bad day, no one expects you to smile, but every other day, you should be smiling because God made you and loves you and wants to be with you forever! We have every reason in the world to smile. =) Not to mention people are definitely drawn to happy people. In addition to smiles, caring words like "how are you?" and "how was your day" can really impact others. But you have to really mean it when you say it and actually listen to their answer. Sincere loving words change others and point them to Christ whether they know it or not.

Loving deeds are the most significant sign of beauty. It makes people stop and say "wow, I wish I were like that." How often do you do kind deeds?? Beauty comes from love. It may just be helping someone with homework, sharing a piece of candy, holding the door, or saving a seat for someone, but everything we do for others we are doing for Christ Himself. Is that not awesome!! However, when we perform acts of kindness, we can't expect anything in return; otherwise, we are not truly doing it in love. "They made me see that the world was beautiful if you were beautiful, and that you couldn't get unless you gave. And you had to give without wanting to get." (488, The Once and Future King) True acts of kindness are a small reflection of God Himself who is love and has perfect beauty.

I have one last question. How often do we tell other people that they are beautiful? Every girl longs to know she is beautiful. People who think that they are ugly feel horrible. They feel like trash. They try everything they can to change the way they look. Encouraging others and reminding others of their beauty is so important. For a long time, I did not believe that I was beautiful. I was always comparing myself with other girls’ outer appearances and thinking to myself "she is so much prettier than I am. I have thick, curly red hair and acne. How could anyone think that I am beautiful?" Last summer, a guy told me I was beautiful, not because he liked me or anything, but as a friend. I cried afterwards for so long and I felt so different. He told me I was amazing and beautiful. No guy had ever said that to me before. I didn’t just know it anymore, I believed it. After that, I didn’t compare myself with other girls anymore. Tell someone they are beautiful. You may just change their world. The awesome part is that by doing so you are showing your inner beauty as well.

Beauty of the heart is demonstrated in many ways: smiles, kind words, charitable deeds, and encouragement toward others. At the end of the day, when you say your prayers, take a moment to reflect on the beauty you saw during the day and thank your lover for his gift to you. Take a moment to reflect on your actions and words. Were they beautiful? Did you do something kind for someone today? Did you say something loving to someone? The more we become beautiful on the inside, the more we shine on the outside.

© Teresa Mattingly. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Models of Modesty

Since most celebrities today have lost their sense of modesty, who can we look up to? There are so few women out there who have the courage to keep their dignity with all the pressure the world puts on us today. Two singers whom I really admire are Francesca Battistelli and Britt Nicole. Both singers are young, stylish, and modest. I love their outfits!!:) A Christian actress whom I look up to is Erin Bethea. Playing roles in Fireproof, Letters to God, Facing the Giants, and On Mission Xtra, she radiates pure beauty. Most actresses just put on whatever they’re told to wear and don’t even think about modesty, but Erin keeps her dignity despite what others think of her. Following these examples of modesty, we can show the world what true beauty really is.

© Teresa Mattingly. All Rights Reserved.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Swimming with Modesty

Are you looking for a cute, modest bathing suit? has several different really cute tankinis. Plus you get to design it yourself. This was my favorite website for swimwear, and I actually just bought a turquoise halter top tankini from this website. Another website with some cute swimsuits is and have some nice swimsuits too. All my life, my family has had the rule of wearing swim-shorts with our bathing suits. I've had plenty of people ask me why I was wearing shorts which sometimes made me wish we didn't have this rule. But now, I don't feel properly clothed unless I'm wearing swim shorts, and I take pride in the fact that I am dressing with modesty. It isn't that hard to find cute swim-shorts or a swimming skirt, and it is a lot more comfortable too.,, and have a large variety of nice swim-shorts. I've also found that many sports shorts work well for swimming also. Have an awesome summer!

© Teresa Mattingly. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Modest and Beautiful?

"Modesty is important because it is the fort that protects the castle, but it is also the frame that enhances the picture." You may not have known this, but clothing speaks a lot about us. What we wear will either reinforce or change other’s ideas about us. What image of ourselves are we portraying? What image do we want to portray? The purpose of being modest, the history of clothing, and knowing how to be modest are three topics that need to be looked into.

Why should we be modest? My sister once said “Every girl wants a guy to view her as a person, not an object, someone to be treasured, not toyed with.” You are a child of God, the King of all Kings. That makes you a princess. You deserve respect. Our bodies are beautiful and holy because we are temples of the Holy Spirit. “ The good of our soul is more important than that of our body; and we have to prefer the spiritual welfare of our neighbor to our bodily comforts…If a certain kind of dress constitutes a grave and proximate occasion of sin, and endangers the salvation of your soul and others, it is your duty to give it up…”(Hammond, 65). It is extremely important to note that guys are stimulated by sight while girls are stimulated by touch, physically and emotionally. Our goal, which is to get everyone to heaven, is aided by dressing modestly. On the other hand, immodesty produces a near occasion of sin. These reasons to be modest show us that we have dignity, and we need to learn to look beyond our own needs and wants.

Clothing didn’t really change at all for a long time, but when it did, that change was drastic. “Women wore loose, flowing, feminine gowns that reached the floor, usually with long sleeves and some sort of head covering or hair ornament” (Hammond, 43). Before original sin, Adam and Eve were pure and innocent, and they loved and respected each other. Because of original sin, they were tempted by the world, and the cravings of their bodies, and the devil. God dressed them properly, and people wore long tunics after that. In the 1920s clothing totally changed. Skirts became knee-length, shirts were sleeveless and overall, the clothes had a boyish look. Coco Chanel was responsible for a lot of the new clothing changes. She introduced pants, bathing suits, and a lot of other things. Later on she introduced bikinis in 1946. Most people were appalled at these new clothing ideas, and she ended up spending 15 years in Switzerland in exile. When Coco returned in 1954 her popularity rose. In the 1960s and ‘70s, skirts shot way up, and wearing pants became normal. The 1980s continued to be more casual and were all about huge shoulder pads, huge earrings, and huge hairstyles. The 1990s were casual in a new way; some called it sloppy, but others just called it business casual. Clearly, fashions have changed greatly during a short period of time.

You can be fashionable and still have a modest style. Here are some clothing suggestions. Shirts shouldn’t show the stomach, cleavage, or be see-through. Cami’s are a quick fix for low-cut and see-through shirts. Jeans are really tough. When you sit down, nothing should not be showing and try to get jeans that don’t grip your body, or have rips on the top half of the jeans. A good length for skirts and dresses is to the knees. Just because you are swimming, it does not mean its OK to be immodest. The same rules for shirts can be used for bathing suits. Many stores sell cute swimming shorts that you can wear over your bathing suit. Tops of bathing suits that are low-cut can usually be fixed by a little sewing. These are just some of my suggestions, but you should talk to your parents and other adults who are strong in their faith. Being fashionable and modest is definitely possible, but it does take effort.

The purpose of being modest, the history of clothing, and knowing how to be modest give us a clear image of the virtue of modesty. God truly made us beautiful and our beauty is best seen by dressing modestly. We do not simply want to show others our outer beauty, but we want to show them our inner beauty. Modesty and beauty really do go hand in hand.

© Teresa Mattingly. All Rights Reserved.

Works Cited
Catholic Modesty. Web. 29 May 2010. .

Hammond, Colleen. Dressing with Dignity. Rockford, IL: Tan and, 2005. Print.

"Modesty Teen Bible Study Discussion Guides." United Church of God, an International Association - Preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Kingdom of God. 1999-2008. Web. 30 May 2010. .