We have largely avoided the whole modesty firefight at Keepa, mostly because it is so thoroughly, uh, covered elsewhere. Here is a data point I found in a 1967 issue of the Church News, though, which makes it historical and therefore topical for Keepa:
The Church News reprinted on its back page a UPI dispatch datelined Baldwin, Michigan:
In the day of the mod, the mini, the pop and the twig, some girls at Baldwin High School have developed a style of their own.
It’s mod, all right – modest.
Ten girls showed up for classes in skirts that had hemlines four inches below the knee. In addition, they wore loose-fitting blouses with long sleeves and high neck lines.
The counter mod movement was started by [seventh-grader] Thyra Sweet of nearby Beitly.
“We are tired of being embarrassed by showing so much,” she told her mother recently. “We are tired of tight fits and we are tired of looking at girls with knobby knees. We like long dresses.”
Because this originated with UPI, the story, such as it is, was reprinted around the country: in Lawrence, Kansas, under the headline “Hem Revolt for School in Michigan”; in Reading, Pennsylvania, as “Long Dresses Coming Back?”; in Florence, South Carolina, with the headline “Tired of Knobby Knees, She Leads Revolt on Mini Skirt”; in God’s Missionary Standard, out of Penns Creek, Pennsylvania, as “Mods Show Difference in Hemlines”; and in uncounted other publications. Some papers carried a photograph showing two of the ten girls surrounded by their knobby-kneed peers.
Some points that stand out to me:
* These are not, so far as we know, LDS girls.
* Although the other girls’ knees may be in view, the girls are wearing high necks and long sleeves, and nothing – top or bottom – seems particularly tight-fitting or form-revealing. The other girls’ sleeves, in fact, are longer than the “modest” girls’ sleeves, and they are all wearing layers that tend to “pad out” and obscure their bodily shape. The other girls are wearing straight skirts, which if I recall correctly were sometimes considered less modest than full skirts, even when they weren’t tight.
* The “modest” girls don’t just bring their skirts down a couple of inches to hit their knees, in what would have been considered amply modest then and now. Rather, they exaggerate their difference with hemlines that, in one case, comes to the very bottom of the knee and, in the other case, falls to the ankle.
* The *modest* girls are wearing completely different styles than the other girls are – dresses, rather than skirts and blouses or jumpers – and although it’s difficult to tell in the grainy photograph, the longer dress seems to be a little frilly, with ruffles of some kind at the elbow. In other words, they didn’t just adapt the current style to be a bit more modest; they adopted a radically different style. Instead of blending in with slight fashion variations, they stand out as very different.
The Church News endorsed this bit o’news with approval and a challenge:
“Have Latter-day Saint girls and women the courage to do as well?”