Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compare and Contrast

I can't remember exactly how I stumbled on this message board online, but I did. The question that had been raised was, "Should a tween be allowed to wear a bikini?" Some of the answers shocked me. I guess I'm just not used to how some folks think.

Now before I get started here.....let me first say that I grew up wearing swimsuits (bikinis were not allowed at our house) and we were expected to put a shirt on over it when we were just walking around. That's what my mom taught us. It is my personal opinion that little girls swimsuits have gotten a bit too grown up looking and basic ones like my sisters and I wore are harder to find. BUT, over the last few years I have been convicted about the huge difference between modesty standards at the pool and modesty standards outside of the pool. If I won't let my daughters wear shorts that hit mid thigh or shorter, why would I let them walk around in a swimsuit that covers no thigh? If spaghetti straps are not modest for us on a normal day, why are they OK at the pool? Just some stuff I've been dealing with.

Now, on to the comments:

From a teen (or tween): Bikinis are totally fine, I've been wearing them since I was like six. As long as they DONT show a good portion of your b**bs/b*tt they're fine!

OK. I think that's a pretty standard argument. Even from a lot of Christians.

When you tell your daughter that you don't want her to wear a bikini , that is just showing that you don't trust her as much.

I wasn't aware that trust was the issue, but apparently this allowing or not allowing is very tied up in good/bad parenting. According to these experts anyway.

I'm 15 and I've been wearing a two piece since I was little. It's fine because if my mom wouldn't let me I'd go behind her back & it's easier just letting them.

I believe by not allowing your child to wear a bikini they are way more likely to go out behind your back and buy the skimpiest one they can find. My parents let me start wearing the tank top two piece bathing suits first and then when I was big enough to fit into a bikini I got one. It was not appropriate for rough housing but for just spending the day at the beach or sitting in a hot tub it was great. The more you shelter a kid the worse they will rebel. My friend who was not allowed to wear anything other than one piece bathing suits till she was 16 has ran away from home multiple times and now has s*xy pictures of herself on facebook....(she goes on to describe exactly what her friend is and is not wearing in said pictures)

I'm 11 and I've never owned a one piece! They are much more feminine and everyone will think your daughter's got a too strict mum, which she has, and tease her. If her friends are still in full piece they wont tease her but if they are in bikinis then let her wear them. It's just mean if you tell her she can't. Just make her try it on at the shop so you can see if it fits properly. Good luck with the bikini.

I'm thirteen years old..... I think its the right age for someone to start wearing a bikini. My mom or dad won't let me and it unfair because EVERYONE wears one (I only know 1 person who isn't allowed to wear them) it doesn't seem fair because if I'm at a swimming party it means bikinis for everyone and a 1 piece for me.............. AND THERE AREN'T ANY CUTE 1 PIECES !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so after that last comment I started feeling mom -guilt. I remember being 13 and the ONLY ONE ON THE ENTIRE PLANET not allowed to do something. My sister and I were totally convinced our parents were the meanest known life forms around. I don't want my daughters to feel that way......

And then finally Mr. Dude got on the message board and spoke a word of truth:

Wives ask your husband or some male --- you should never allow such sexualization - you just have no idea what men are thinking.

Thank you Mr. Dude. Someone needs to slap some reality into these folks. And I don't expect the tween crowd to get or believe what he just said. But he speaks the truth.

THEN, we get to hear from some of the moms. I only saved one comment. Brace yourself.

People are too high strung! I let my daughter wear a bikini! She is very stylish and the boys are all over her! Your daughter must not feel very comfortable with you, because you do not let her express herself! I let my daughter shave and she is 7! The guys @ her school think that she is so hot and she already has a boyfriend that is as free-willed as she is! So I suggest that you find a comfortable bikini for her age and let herself look hot on the beach!!!

And please don't think that woman is alone in her thinking. It may be extreme, but it's not that rare. As for the other parents, I think for a lot of them it will only be a matter of time before they cave. They will decide "well, OK at 16 she can wear one but certainly not at 13!" or "well, this one is OK you see because it doesn't show near as much as these other ones do" or "all her friends are wearing them and there really isn't anything you can find different in the stores." These girls will persist until they win the coveted prize of wearing the bikini.

Now, let's hear from someone else:

I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. 1 Timothy 2:9-10

Oh I'm not here to do a study on modesty, but there are many good ones out there if you haven't studied it. This is a great, quick little study.

And if you have never looked over the results of The Modesty Survey, PLEASE take time to do so. If you are the mother of girls, it is invaluable. If you are the mother of boys, it will help you to know what your sons are up against and how you can help them (you have no control over what others wear, but TV, magazines, etc. are within our control).

One more thing. I do not hold unbelievers to the standards of God's word. It is utter nonsense to them. However, God's word is clear about the standards of believers---and I think that includes the pool.


  1. Good post, Brenda. The comments from the girls do not surprise me. I wasn't allowed to do anything either when I was a teen; I was SO deprived (said with sarcasm.) Of course, now, as a parent, I totally understand! That understanding only comes with age and experience.

    However, the comment from the mom completely shocked me. Yes, I agree with you that non-believers should not be held to follow the Word of God; it IS nonsense to them. But really? A seven year old? Shaving? Looking hot? Having a boyfriend? Believer or not, I would venture to guess that this goes against most parents' thinking. I would hope.

    Going to check out that modesty study and survey today.... thanks for the links!

  2. You know how hard it is to find a one-piece for a little becomes a day out of shopping to try to find one, but we eventually do. Before we moved last year, we had a pool; you wouldn't believe the looks I would get from parents when I would say "no 2 pieces please". You see, I have 5 boys that get targeted with 'eye candy' at every commercial, checkout stands, and magazine you may come across, but I can set a standard in our own backyard. and after all, how thrilled would the parents be if my husband were to flaunt around in a speedo? (even if i were to think he was hot? lol) So, I always had color T-shirts on hand for those who wanted to join the fun in our pool, but didn't own a 1-piece. :^D

  3. We view the issue of bikinis like this:

    We would never wear our bra and panties outside, so why would we wear them at a pool?

    Let's face it: A bikini is nothing more than a bra and panties with a colorful pattern. In many cases, it looks like even less clothing than a bra and panties!

    Our girls do wear one piece suits with board shorts on bottom. (Board shorts are the shorts surfers wear for those who don't know what they are.)

    Hollinger family: Shopping for one piece suits can be difficult but a sporting good store is a good place to find one pieces with a high neckline because they sell suits geared athletic swimmers rather than sunbathers.

  4. Yikes! Those were some doozies! I heard Steve Maxwell (from at a conference once and he said that if any of his children ever said "But Dad, don't you trust us?" he would say "Yes, I do trust you, but I VALUE you even more". I thought that was an excellent distinction to make. Its a scary world we live in, isn't it?

  5. Forget tween bikinis -- I was gifted TWO bikinis for my toddler daughter last summer!! No way. Little girls should look like little girls. Plus, the suits afford absolutely no protection from the sun.

    Actually, I think it was JulieMom's advice that led me to discover the uv sunsuits that are now the staple in our house. I bought one for my daughter for our trip to Florida last year (from that was supercute -- purple with butterflies on it. Just do a google search for uv sunsuits and you can find a lot of cute options for all ages (even has some now).

  6. One more thing: about the woman who thought it was cute that boys found her 7-year-old "hot".

    As a parent of kids in school I can tell you that it is quite common for mothers to support or even encourage romantic relationships for their young girls.

    I remember when I was helping plan my twins' (now 14) 5th grade graduation party at school. This was a simple celebration with games, food, and an awards ceremony at the end. There were moms so excited that their daughters were being asked to be someone's "date" to the party. Which was absurd since the whole thing took place during the school day!

    When my girls were in 6th grade, one of them was on the basketball team and at the game there was a girl, whose parents are considered by many to be strong believers, sitting in the stands with a boyfriend who was rubbing her back during the whole game. And her mother was sitting right there! These were 11 year old kids!!

    So no, it doesn't surprise me one bit that there are moms who let their girls wear a bra and panties to the beach. Apparently most of theses fathers are either absent or have been rendered impotent of their authority. It's sad.

  7. Terry is right--stores like Academy sell one piece swimsuits that are even good for the well endowed. Ahem.

    I found my girls shirts and shorts at Land's End last year. We paid a pretty penny, but I thought they were worth it. I'm starting to see those in stores more. The Children's Place had shorts the other day but no attached "panty" underneath. So, they would purely be for going over a 1 piece. And they sold the shirts too. But they all seemed to go with either a bikini top or bottom. Know what I mean?

  8. Wowee. I am sick with shock at what some parents are saying. I think if you start from a young age teaching your girls what modesty is all about, that's it's a way to honor God, and that it isn't pruDISH, but pruDENT they won't have as many of those feelings of depravity when they get older.

    Oh I know hearts are deceitful and children rebel and all that, but ALL of them? Every girl you quoted said she would go behind her parents' back and buy a skimpy suit if she weren't allowed by them to have it.

    And they wonder if their parents trust them? I agree with Terry that the fathers must have no authority in those homes. That's sad indeed.

    For myself, when a girl is wanting so badly to do whatever everyone else is doing at the pool/beach/whatever, it does not lend toward my trusting that child as far as I could throw them...but that's just me.

  9. I do know that in our home, IF, we had a daughter that she would not be allowed to wear a swimsuit resulting in little more than a bra and panty type thing. I also agree with covering extra to be modest. Good post. I am just in shock at some of the comments.


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)