Saturday, June 18, 2011

Changing modesty..

no jk (google search)
Because Bahrain is an Arabic nation, there are different rules that we (as military and as Americans) have to follow.  Don't flip off people who cut you off (but waving your full hand at them in a violent motion is ok), if you are honking your car horn rudely you can get a ticket, dress appropriately (unless your a hooker), etc.

Because its summer.. in the desert... the fashion police are out.  Literally.  There are military and non-military out policing American clothing.  Your skirt is too short?  You have on a sleeveless shirt?  You have on shorts after dusk?  You are wearing a spaghetti strap (aka Teh Dad doesn't approve) top?  You are wrong.

Teh Bear and I have discussed this often.  Most of the clothes that I wore in GTMO I can no longer wear in Bahrain, despite the temps being about the same.  The weird part is, my modesty level changes too.

The time that Teh Dad disapproved of my top was a very rare day.  I didn't usually wear shirts like that, and given his reaction, you could guess why.  No one approved of dressing like that in my house.  You'd think I was raised conservative Southern Baptist with the way I dressed (I'm not Southern Baptist btw, just conservative).  I was even self-conscious wearing shorts in public because of how short they were (even the popular Sofee gym shorts).  Btw, that is such a horrible fashion fad, daisy-dukes or booty shorts, are VERY unappealing.  Keep it covered, keep some mystery, plus your junk (literally) ain't my business.

I used to go for most of the summer with wearing pants and finally capris when I broke down and accepted that fashion crisis.  The only time I would don shorts would be if I was going swimming.

When it was almost time to leave for GTMO I realized that I was in trouble.  I was going to the Caribbean and all I owned was pants/capris and shirts with sleeves (most of them long sleeve).  I had to go shopping like I was going to be living at the beach all year, which is way more difficult than it sounds.  I didn't want booty shorts (trashy) and I did buy more spaghetti strap tops, but also bought a few sheer/light tops to go over them if I was feeling particularly self-conscious that day.  I was finally able to find shorts that were of a modest length, and despite having to pay full price, it was worth not being self-conscious about my butt cheeks hanging out.
Teh GTMO Megan, see those short shorts and that tank top?  SO MUCH SKIN! ZOMY! (pic from Miss Reflective)
While I was in GTMO I even broke down and bought some skirts (soooo girly of me) and had Teh BFF send me more spaghetti strap tops.

Beachwear was perfectly acceptable in GTMO (since we were kinda at the beach, all the time).  I mean, I prob wouldn't have wore what I wore to party on F Block to mass, but I didn't have any issues going to the NEX.  I became more accepting of this way of dressing.. And I'm not so sure Teh Parents were ready for that when I took leave in April.  Granted, it was a little chillier in NC than it had been in GTMO so wearing more clothes was ok, but I was a lot less worried about "everything all hanging out" than I had been before I left.

Now, I'm in Bahrain.  Anywhere you go on base there are signs that display acceptable dress styles.  Conservative.  Good thing I had so much practice for 20+ years.  Its back to at least short sleeves and even my modest shorts are pushing the limits.  Yet, now that I've been here for a while, I (again) feel self-conscious when I put on a cute/potentially sexy skirt with a spaghetti strap top with an overshirt.  Even if I know I'm in regs, that doesn't mean that people aren't still staring.
Teh Bahrain Megan, and this isn't acceptable after dark. (pic by Will the Marine)
I've seen the way Arabic men stare at women boobs women, and its uncomfortable, so displaying them for everyone to see would just invite even more stares.

So my modesty level has changed again.  I'm back to that semi-conservative look.  I don't need the fashion police out after me...  until I go back home..  then I'll just pull out my spaghetti strap tops when I'm around Teh Dad to rile him up.  Isn't that the job of the oldest daughter?  :D

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