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Alternative Title

How female practitioners articulate Christian womanhood in the blogoshere

Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Project




Modesty-Religious aspects-Christianity, Christian women-Blogs, Christian women-Clothing, Clothing and dress-Social aspects, Feminism, Modesty, Christianity, Religion, Gender, Sexuality, Clothing, Dress, Blogs, Internet, Communication, Sociology


In this thesis I conduct a content analysis and virtual ethnography in the Christian modesty blogosphere. To ascertain how the embodied status of gender is performed in the disembodied domain of the internet, I analyze the social media personas of thirty Fundamentalist Christian modest dressers on various blogging platforms including Blogger and Instagram. I posit that the modest dressers in my sample articulate the archetype of the Christian modest woman through both visual and verbal proclamation, and in four primary ways: (1) by positioning the differentiated female body as sinful and dangerous, thereby necessitating modest dress as a metric of bodily discipline and religious repentance (2) by claiming a set of idealized characteristics and identities (congruently gendered, sexually virtuous, heterosexual) through repudiating abject designations (the Illegibly Gendered, the Harlot, and the Homosexual), (3) by submitting to male authority figures such as God, the Husband, and the Father as the arbiters of modesty, thus reifying the subordinated female social position, and (4) by deliberately interfacing with dominant American culture in a connotatively feminized way, such that the practical and cultural problems of modest dressing are partially attenuated through blogging about modest dress.




130 pages : color illustrations. Honors project, Smith College, 2016. Includes blog citations (pages123-125) and bibliographical references (pages 126-130)