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A Model's Modest Proposal

Article Published: Aug. 19, 2010 | Modified: Sep. 7, 2011
A Model's Modest Proposal

2009 Mrs. North Carolina Rachel Carter speaks about modesty Sunday at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church.

Photo submitted

A model for more than 10 years, former Mrs. North Carolina Rachel Lee Carter doesn't just strut the runway, she owns it, and, come Sunday, she's bringing a combination of high class morality and first-class fashion sense to Boone.

Jet setting to Miami one day and off to North Carolina the next, she's too busy to be a slave to trends. Instead, she's about inspiring women to take control of fashion and to never let fashion rule their modesty.

"A trendy, fashionable woman can be in style, but still dress modestly and with integrity," Carter said.

And she should know. The model counts Cover Girl and Neiman Marcus among her credits.
"I love fashion, but I just think there's a way that women can do both," she said, maintaining their sense of style and sense of modesty.

Modesty isn't about religion. To Carter, it's not even about morality when it comes right down to it, it's about self-respect and, as she plans to tell the crowd gathered at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, the idea that you have to wear short skirts, and cleavage is as destructive as it is a lie.

"It's just the media, the things that we see in front of us, the peer pressure that's around us, the clothing in the stores, it's just force fed to us," she said.

Despite what Seventeen might tell you, you don't need that cleavage to make an impression. "My wardrobe is living proof of that," she said.

In fact, cleavage can be counterproductive. "It ends up taking away from your own self image," Carter said.

The first step in regaining control of your style? Recognize what modesty is and isn't.

"When people hear the word 'modest,' it conjures up some type of image of their grandmother and something that's archaic," Carter said. "It isn't. It's something that shows integrity of a woman and shows she has confidence in who she is without having to expose everything else to draw attention ... does it mean floor length skirts or a burqa? No."

Think shorts, skirts finger tip length. "Just covering yourself up and doing it with style," she said.

And it's anything but plain Jane. Take Carter's personal favorite fashion accessory: Earrings.
"There's so many more ways that you can show off your sense of style and individuality, with accessorizing," she said.

With fashion, accessories can get you everywhere.

"Flash it up with some jewelry or some high heeled boots," she said. "Save sexy for the bedroom with your husband."

While she's not debating that cleavage can get girls attention, it's often the wrong kind of attention, she said.

"It's attention to their body and not their soul, not who they are and their dreams and goals and their humor and all the wonderful things they have to offer," Carter said.

With cleavage in a guy's face, "it's very difficult for him to get past that and see the heart of the girl," she said. And, until the magazine racks change their definition of trendy, it's up to people like Carter to spread the word.

"Save all of those other things," she said. "Save that outward appearance of that sexuality for the man that you marry, but use the opportunity to dress well and maintain your self image, and it will ultimately boost your self confidence."

Carter's talk will be followed by a fashion show that she says will further prove her point. Check out her website,

It all happens Sunday, Aug. 22, 4:40 p.m. at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church (3505 Bamboo Road) in Boone. Tickets cost $5 per person. Moms of school-age daughters pay $5 for the first daughter and any others at no cost for a maximum cost of $10 per family. Dessert follows the event.

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