A young woman is sharing her modest take on fashion and why she chooses to cover up: to show dignity and honor God.
Fashion lover Joana Sosa, 25, moved from her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Miami, where she works as a content creator and social media manager. She found her personal relationship with God as a teen and found a community in a modest group of young Christian women who choose to keep their bodies covered.
"Society has played such a big part in making us feel the need to love our bodies, which somehow means to show off our bodies, but I don’t want to do that," Ms. Sosa told The Epoch Times. "I love my body; therefore I want it to be covered, hidden from the eye of the one who doesn’t want to love me out of pure intentions.
"I see lots of girls wear very revealing clothes, but ultimately I’m not one to judge or point fingers. I was them in the past, and all I can do is pray that the Lord works in them and lets his love grow in their hearts and lives.
"I define modesty as something that is a result of finding the Lord and seeing that you’re but dust without him."
She said she loves wearing lots of skirts, long sleeves, and high-necked items. "I, for myself, see modesty as a way to cover my body and let the Lord glorify himself through me. I want his love to speak louder than my outfit. I truly believe that style, and the clothing choices that are made, always reflect something about our values and what we uphold as individuals."
"I do not dress to glorify my own body, I dress to glorify my King," the recording says, in part.
Surrendering VanityMs. Sosa described herself as "very much just a church-goer" until the age of 16, when something shifted.
"I kept battling between seeking God for myself or just doing what I was doing up until that point," she said. "At 17, I remember, I prayed, and the Lord placed on my heart to surrender what I loved the most: my vanity. I started dressing modestly.
"After surrendering my external appearance, I started noticing how he started working internally."
Growing up, Ms. Sosa had little money for herself, so she opted for hand-me-downs and what she could get from thrift stores and clothing swaps with friends to curate her outfits. Today, she shops at thrift, vintage, and chain stores and also rents clothes so that her wardrobe options change from month to month.
She said she dresses for her "mood over the occasion" most of the time and gravitates to color when she feels confident. She loves to dress up rather than down and said, "Clothing is an extension of what's inside, for many."
Since she started dressing modestly, Ms. Sosa said she has paid attention to the way she's received by the world.
"I may be an anomaly, but I didn’t have much of a shift in how men treated me or saw me," she said. "Thanks to my parents, I’ve grown to be confident in myself and never let people’s external beliefs about me affect me. ... I have been treated with respect and haven’t experienced hate or backlash in person or online. I thank God for that."
Honoring GodMs. Sosa, who has been "happily single" for many years, said she has recently started thinking of marriage and the type of kind, Godly man she would want to head their home.
"I want a marriage that follows the hierarchy God laid out," she said. "I want God to be the head of the man, for the man to be the head of the woman, and then the children. It might seem backward to the world, but I just want a peaceful home in which everyone loves and serves God. Traditional or not, I think it’s the best way to create a home."
"Not everything has to have a dark undercurrent," she said. "Sometimes, finding God and letting him change your life means changing how you dress, and that’s OK."