Sunday, July 08, 2012

Itsy, Bitsy, Teeny, Weeny...

PART 2 (Part 1 is here):

I never got the yellow, polka-dot bikini...mine was lime green with black polka-dots and I wore it the summer I turned 14.  With ruffles on top (to enhance, my, ahem...blossoming bosom), and a detachable strap, my bikini was my favorite outfit that summer.  I still have a picture of myself sporting it and perhaps the darkest tan of my life.  And my stomach turns now at the torment possibly brought on to my then friends that were boys as I baked in the sun along side my girlfriends at the pool.

FACT:  God gave all of us bodies designed to be beautiful to the opposite sex.

FACT:  If you do not cover your skin, people can see it.

FACT:  Most swimwear is not modest.

FACT:  If you live where it's HOT, swimming is a popular activity.

So what is a woman to do?  I've been taking mental notes at the public pool we go to and have observed that the answer to that question varies greatly from person to person.   

My intent is not to judge your decision, but is instead to spur conversation and thoughtfulness about what kind of swimwear is appropriate on an individual basis.

Have you thought about it?  If you are married, have you asked your husband what he thinks about what kind of swimwear you wear? 

For me, I have thought about it a lot...and here is what I have decided.  

If I am in public...meaning just about anywhere besides the privacy of a backyard pool with my husband being the only man present, I will wear a full-coverage one piece suit, preferably some kind of swim dress or shorts (this one is from JCPenney).  

One of my suits (not me)
If I am with Eric alone (thinking a romantic get-away to a private beach--hey, a girl can dream & I sure know it can happen--ahh, Italy & our private balcony)...then a bikini would be fine.  

I've simply decided that I don't want anyone seeing more of my body than is necessary.  I also do not want to flaunt my skin in front of other men, giving them the opportunity to fall into an unnecessary struggle to NOT look, NOT lust.  (NOT that I'm "all that" just doesn't take a super-model to make a man look...practically ALL women hold the power to intoxicate with our bodies--quickly.)

If you "don't care" what other people think...why not? 

If you don't think it's a struggle for men, try asking a few like your husband, brother or close friends.  Your husband may say "Oh, yeah, baby!  Bring on your bikini!"  But ask if he cares if you wear it to a reunion party with old college friends-without him around-and see if his answer remains the same.

If I had to state my main reasoning in one sentence it would be this:  As a Christian woman, I think I should do everything in my power to keep my brothers-in-Christ and other men from conflict.

As a random pool-goer, I really don't want to see other people in less than their underwear--men OR women.  So even if most everyone at the pool is a mom...wouldn't we be more comfy talking to each other without comparing stretch marks?  Oh...and don't forget the life guards...those young boys aren't immune to middle-aged women baring much skin.

Do you have a daughter?  Have you talked to her about modesty in clothing and swimwear?  Does what you say to her line up with what you model?

I often wear sundresses with spaghetti straps and low-cut fronts.  Hmmm...but I have a nine-year old whom I've been telling to make sure her tops don't come lower than a hand-width down from her collarbone.  I need to work on that, though I do feel that age makes a difference for that specific issue.

Wow, that's a lot of questions and a lot to think about.  Now you know what I've been mulling around in my brain during my hours of sleepless nights lately (dang chiggers).  Sure wasn't a bunch of organized thoughts, but, once again, it can't hurt to think about things like this...everything matters, you know! 

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