(Screenshot is from the original "Is This Modest?" blog.) Among modest fashion blogs that were online when Fashion Belle began reviewing them in 2010, "Is This Modest?" was one of the most extensive. It stood apart from other modest fashion blogs in that it was written primarily by a husband and father in his early 30s who came from a fundamental Christian background, with his wife and other females as occasional guest authors. He never posted his real name but called himself MInTheGap, short for "I'm in the gap," a reference to Ezekiel 22:30, "I looked for a man from among them who would repair the wall and stand in the gap before me on behalf of the land, so that I would not destroy it, but I found no one" (NET Bible). This verse has been a battle cry in recent decades for people who see themselves as "standing in the gap" against the onslaught of social pressure toward immorality.
MInTheGap posted that he had graduated from Bob Jones University and held to the King James Version of the Bible, both indications of the kind of conservatism that promotes modesty in dress, especially for women. He ran a companion blog that focused on Christian doctrine and family living. The "Is This Modest?" blog received a wave of online attention that peaked in January 2013 about how it was mostly written by a young, married Christian man holding forth standards some women thought too restrictive. I actually loved his perspective, as it came from a different angle than from what most female authors offer. Shortly after this criticism that spread to multiple sites in a matter of days, both the "Is This Modest?" and the Christian life blog were shut down. My guess is that this step was taken as a direct result of the surge in criticism from women who want to dress as they please in public regardless of temptations they create for men who see them. So many articles were archived on the "Is This Modest?" blog that it would be wonderful to see the site return. However, it is understandable that the personal attacks aimed at the man who authored most of the content could create too great of a risk to make reviving the site desirable for him.
Is there a lesson for us in the forced disappearance of a great modest fashion blog? One of them could be that people hold differing values. While most of us who frequented the "Is This Modest?" blog appreciated the male encouragement toward dressing modestly, liberal women viewed the blog as a man's affront to their right to their own choices. The Internet has changed the way we interact by reducing the courtesy that we naturally employ in interacting with people face-to-face. The online criticisms of MInTheGap and his work were unshackled, severe and personal. The same people who disagreed with the intent of "Is This Modest?" would certainly disagree with the work being done on the Fashion Belle website. Constructive comments are always welcome here, but anyone who aims to destroy the foundation of faith that guides the choices of women who value modesty will not succeed. Consider this: we who value modesty engage in constant efforts to encourage others toward what we view as beautiful and pure. In the process of doing that, we respect people who choose differently, even when we disagree with their choices. If people on the other side fail to offer the same respect to us as human beings, then what does that say about their character? So, work to keep your comments constructive, wherever you post online. A blog that you may dislike could be an oasis to someone else, and your criticism could deeply discourage the blog's author. The words of Philippians 4:8 serve as a motto to guide online interactions, "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of respect, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if something is excellent or praiseworthy, think about these things" (NET Bible).