As May cascades into June and the temperatures turn balmy, we begin to fill our pools and confirm summer vacation plans. Swimsuit season is almost here and it an increasingly competitive time among teenagers and women in many social circles. It’s not just about seeing your friends to chat and eat pizza by your friend’s pool but you can’t help but notice your friend’s abs or you start comparing who has and who doesn’t have a “thigh gap” – such body slang going around now among millenials and younger generations to communicate and define thin figures. We purchase expensive diet and exercise programs and buy another bikini every year even though last year’s swimsuit was still in perfectly fine condition. Some girls even take pride in their bikini collections.
I dread this time of the year – and it’s not out of bitterness. How many times have you went shopping and were asked to sign up on their mailing list? It turns out what little interest these companies have about you but want to entice you to keep spending more money. Shortly afterwards, you begin to get bombarded with promotional emails and catalogs. I remember one particular department store that would send me a different catalog every week before I unsubscribed. As many of us probably aren’t ordering something every week nor are we obliged to, these catalogs lie around our kitchen countertops and in our bathroom racks in easy reach for children.
Parents need to ask themselves how they can protect their children. They also need to instead of condemning the matter to use this as a teaching moment about modesty for how they can teach their children to keep their minds, hearts, and bodies pure for their future spouse if the Lord wills them to marry one day? And most importantly, how can you live a daily life out of purity and love honoring God?
95% of a woman’s body is exposed in a bikini and this does project attention onto men who aren’t our significant others which gives a woman power for a man to see woman less of a person and more of as an object. Is this bravery? This is making you vulnerable. Is this rebellious? Only if you don’t care about what your husband thinks. And with the rapid changing landscape of the twenty-first century, women are taught that wearing a bikini is some sort of brave, rebellious accomplishment in society today. It’s the ultimate achievement to a perfect body. The holy grail. But even when you’re just lying out in the sun with your girlfriends (or friends) on a balmy day, it’s hard not to even mentally pick apart your bodies imperfections. We have bikini competitions where we feel our best temporarily but we’re challenged to unhealthy extremes. It all makes me want to eat pizza. After considering these factors, you have to ask yourself: Is there anything really healthy about wearing a bikini?
I am not by any means suggesting women shouldn’t go swimming but modesty should be taken under consideration. I can feel some women are already rolling their eyes at some of the above statements. Go ahead. You’re entitled to feel as you wish. I also invite you to share your opinions in the comments below. And for those of you that know where I am coming from, I challenge you to think twice before you wear something that’s sacrificing modesty and respect.