I just officially had the best weekend of my life.
Yes, my bachelorette party has come and gone in the blink of an eye — and it was absolutely the most fun I’ve ever had.
Right now, I’m at the airport waiting on our delayed flight to fly home to Cincinnati.
Miami was absolutely the most fun, ever. We stayed right on the beach in Miami Beach in one of those iconic art deco buildings with the cafes on the street level and apartments above. We were literally across the street from South Beach’s “Muscle Beach.”
There’s something really incredible about having all of your best friends in one place. It was surreal to have all the friends who have each helped shape who I am throughout my life, all coming together to celebrate this exciting new chapter in my life.
I am very grateful.
OK — pivoting here…
I wasn’t the only one out here in Miami having a good time.
Nope, Ultra Music Festival was ALSO happening, just across the bridge in Brickell, which is a neighborhood that is only a 5 minute drive from South Beach, Miami.
Miami was absolutely crawling with festival goers. Ultra Music Festival is the largest EDM “House” music festival in the world. (Think techno). Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta and a slew of other famous DJs performed. And people came from across the globe to convene right here in Miami for a three day weekend of loud, pulsating electronic music, hypnotic light shows, and…let’s be honest here: drugs.
EMD — aka Electronic Dance Music — is known for being the music you listen to when you’re on drugs, because it’s suuuuper repetitive, ear-worm type beats that is consistently high intensity, high energy, and almost hypnotic. And the light shows that go with it are amazingly impressive, multi-million dollar spectacles…however seizure-inducing.
Clearly, I don’t listen to EDM…because I don’t do drugs. (Nor have I ever). And frankly, listening to that music when you’re not on a trip is just…I’m over it in about 7 minutes.
**Caveat here** — I am not insinuating that ALL people who like or listen to EDM are pro drugs. I am only speaking about the very specific sector of the EDM culture to whom EDM and drugs go hand in hand.
Let’s just say…I got an eyeful.
EDM festivals are a place to see and be seen, quite literally. I saw more nipples and butt cheeks than I care to discus on here.
And we’re not talking like…a few random, gutsy girls decided to go against the grain and put their goods on display in public.
No, this is 98% of the women in attendance.
Festival standard attire for women is basically lingerie with neon fishnet tights, combat boots and face rhinestones.
When I say I saw more buttcheeks…I mean A LOT. Women just parading in thongs.
I know, I know, I sound like some scandalized church lady right now…but it was jarring to see that this is what women wanted to wear.
Leather bondage gear. Pasties, barely covering their breasts and that’s it.
It left me feeling really sad for humanity.
And now look, it’s not like I’m some saint that wears a turtle neck at the beach. I was walking around the beach in a bikini and cut-off jean shorts.
But the intensity of these sexual outfits these young women were wearing…I just couldn’t help thinking about how our society has fallen so far that this is acceptable now.
There is a beauty in modesty. And to be honest, I’m talking to myself: I need to hear this, too. I know that I can wear some things that are a little too short or a little too this or that. But there is a beauty in modesty.
As you know, I have saved myself for my husband. And I’ll try not to get too far into the weeds here, but Steven’s eyes are the only ones who will get to see those parts of me.
And that’s not because I’m some kept woman or part of some fundamentalist extreme religious cult that treats women like property, shunning them from the world. But it’s something that I have chosen to do.
And again…**caveat here** I know that is not the mainstream choice. And to each their own, there is absolutely zero judgment here. This is just how I’ve chosen to live my life.
But my decision to wait for Steven is out of respect and love for him.
I have been praying for my future husband ever since I was about 14 years old. And it has always been my commitment to myself, to God and to this mystery man (at the time) that I knew God was preparing for me, that I was going to save those intimate parts of my body/soul for him, in marriage, as an expression of love, commitment, and openness to life, and as a physical expression that I completely give all of me to him.
That is the beauty of modesty: it’s expressing simply thorough the clothes I choose to wear (or avoid), aka — through action — that I respect this man and myself enough that there are parts of me that are not just for anyone to enjoy.
And I know, like I said, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs on that. But personally, seeing all the bondage lingerie walking around in Miami this weekend, I just felt really sad for these women that they feel they have to dress like that to be attractive, or to be “normal” or to be desirable to men, or to fit in.
I just wanted to say…”Love, if you’re trying to attract a man, the ones that want you to wear that in public, is the wrong man for you. You’re barking up the wrong tree with that one.”
Our culture has become incredibly numb to scandal.
As Steven and I have been consuming more and more faith-based content, it really illuminates the stark contrast between the holiness of Jesus and decay of the world around us.
I kept thinking to myself…what would “The Chosen’s” Jesus think or say if he was walking around downtown Brickell this weekend?
But my first thought was, “Jesus just simply would avoid this scene all together.” My next thought was that He would “wrap these women up in towels.” But I realized I was wrong all together. And that what He would really do is love them.
It’s really easy for me to sit here and think this and that about the outfits — or lack there of — worn by these women. But at the end of the day, I’m not called to do any of that.
I can do my thing and they can do theirs. And in the meantime, pray for the culture that we return to a place where respect for women is given in abundance.
At the end of the day, this world is not our home: Heaven is. And though scenes like this weekend made me yearn for that which awaits us, our job while we’re here on earth is to love everyone and live our lives as a way that points to Christ.
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18 responses to “Festival Culture and the Beauty of Modesty – Ultra Music Festival”
[…] Festival Culture and the Beauty of Modesty – Ultra Music Festival […]
thank you for the link up Tonya! Hugs and love xox
You can’t say that you “feel sad for humanity” because of what other women wear, but then a few sentences later claim “there’s no judgement here”. That kind of hypocrisy is what turns people away from religion.
Hi Carly, I understand how you feel. While I love God, I’ve never felt more judged than after I got divorced. There is this myth of how we women are supposed to be defined as. I truly think Caralyn is a wonderful person. I respect and understand her point of view. Unfortunately, all too often women are blame-shamed for what they wear. Truth is men who are not gentlemen don’t care if a woman dresses modestly. It’s complicated to say the least.
This is a very beautiful post, Caralyn. I love that you’ve saved yourself for your husband. So very respectable. I agree, Jesus would indeed wrap these scantily clad women up somehow. I’ve been single since 2016 after the last divorce and want nothing to do with a woman in my age group wanting to dress like that. God bless you two and your soon to be marriage! 🙏🏻❤️ I’m so glad that your party was a great success! ❤️
I love your honesty with your feelings here, Caralyn. I embarrass easily, so I can’t imagine walking around a city with people that scantily clothed 😆 I am getting so excited for your big day coming up, and I am super excited for the beautiful, very special honeymoon week you will have. Much love and prayers and blessings to you and Steven ❤️
The depravity is truly shocking to me and that’s saying a lot considering my past experiences. Don’t ever stop being shocked by sin.
So glad you had so much fun!! The location sounds amazing!
I love the life you and your special man have chosen! It’s a beautiful path, filled with life and love that only Jesus can provide.
The culture, and what you saw is just the metaphorical tears of a people in crisis. So sad.
Lord, help us value each life, every person, and include ourselves. Until we understand the depth and richness of what You have given us, what You’ve done for us, we won’t get this right. Help us. Awaken us, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Former sex trade worker here (in what seems like another lifetime), 26 years sobriety and I was wondering the same recently after a trip to Mexico. Has open minded me become a complete prude or is it a legitimate thing to be embarrased on these ladies behalf as they are parading around half naked in front of everyone including young boys in an all inclusive, family friendly resort. Clearly I have become either too old or too spiritual or a combination of both, but the bottomless bathing suit makes me squirm.
There is such a tension between us learning to live holy as He is holy in a world that seems to spiral towards everything that’s not….But I loved what you said Jesus would want you to love them, and there is nothing wrong with feeling like you want to cover up them up for love’s sake. That’s the most loving response…You sympathized with their brokenness as well as seeing sin for what it is…It’s not hypocritical judgement …it’s righteous judgement.
God bless you for sharing your story on waiting to share that part of you with only your soon to be husband. It’s a rare thing to find! You convinctions are refreshing Caralyn!!
Blessings on your upcoming marriage❤️Praying for you and your beau Steven.
Xoxo hugs and love Lucy.
I actually like EDM because it forces me to stay awake while studying for exams. When I was in university, I listened to a lot of EDM along with Dubstep and it’s tamer cousin, Chillstep.
I’ve never been clubbing and I’ve never done drugs. I rarely drink alcohol and the only medication I take is Tylenol. No prescription meds.
You’d be surprised how many people listen to EDM who aren’t into drugs and loud parties.
There are to types of judging. One is to condemn, which is solely God’s to do. In that sense, Caralyn is right not to judge. But then there is judging to evaluate, to measure against a standard, which in this case is God’s standard. If God says that promiscuity and drugs are wrong, then to judge/evaluate to that standard in a spirit of love and correction is the right thing to do. Indeed, it is an obligation no less than steering someone away from a cliff they are about to fall over.
Caralyn has been burned pretty heavily on this blog in the past, so I understand her reticence to judge and bring down people’s ire once again. However, Carly’s comment at the top is understandable given Caralyn’s effort to walk a fine line between the two types of judging I describe here. She could have explained that the behavior/dressing she described is against what God says, showing that she is not personally judging anyone. She could have introduced God’s standard with Scripture and done so with concern for people who are going against our Creator’s design for us.
As the mother of a daughter who just turned 11, it is appalling some of the clothing choices I see in mainstream stores. I’m a person who has been anything but modest in behavior– former drug addict promiscuity, etc.– but I’m almost Puritanical about the way I dress! Whenever I see these high school girls scantily glad, I have to resist the urge to grab a jacket and cover them. Sometimes more really is more….
Really? Sad for humanity? There is beauty in freedom and joy in exhibiting a body freely in certain circumstances, particularly in Festivals, and Carnivals, Burning Man, Coachella….People there exhibit their bodies and would never do it elsewhere. Nothing wrong about it…
There is beauty in being unapologetically yourself, being self confident, feeling sexy. Again, it is about the context…and at a Festival in Miami beach. I actually feel glad that we live in times where women are able to free themselves enough to wear what they want or wear nothing at all. Would you be shocked if Men were walking half naked? You did not mention them…No because we are just used to it. I think we have to stop basic puritanism here for a minute and be open minded…God does not judge and never established any dress codes and you can be fiercely catholic and in certain circumstances go to a Festival and show your nipples in public and I hope you do one day because it is actually very freeing.
Thank you Caralyn for sharing these memorable events and wonderful pictures.
And thank you for pointing to modesty and godliness, therein are true beauty and freedom.
So excited for your big event and looking forward to your posts!!
“Indeed, … wicked people and impostors will grow ever worse, deceiving others and being themselves deceived. But as for you, stand by what you have learned and firmly believed, because you know from whom you have learned it. Gain wisdom from the inspired Scriptures. Also remember that from the time you were a child you have known the sacred Scriptures. From these you can acquire the wisdom that will lead you to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (NCB)
Yes, our country seems to be turning a blind eye to scandal… there is too much of it, just as there were too many buns and boobs exposed and you were appalled… and I would have been, too. Like you, I believe there is beauty in modesty. Stay with it, Caralyn. You’re so right… And I agree, “There’s something really incredible about having all of your best friends in one place.” I’m so glad you and your girlfriends had such a great time together!