Saturday, June 22, 2013

Swimsuit Modesty-- Judgemental or Just Common Sense?

So, I just saw this video talking about modesty in swimsuits.  It was interesting and had some good points but, what was most interesting was the popularity of it on my Facebook feed.  People LOVED seeing support of modesty in swimsuits! She talks about where bikini's come from (basically from a lingerie designer who could only get a stripper to model for it because it was so scandalous) and that bikini's promote bad thoughts in men.  She is promoting her swimsuit line and has the tag line "Who says it has to be Itsy Bitsy?"

I have also read a blog post here that opposed it.  It also made some interesting points. She thought that women should wear what they want and others shouldn't judge her for it.  They shouldn't notice it and men should control their thoughts.  That's a great idea in theory-- but in our reality, I don't buy it. 

Society has certain norms.  Things that are acceptable and not acceptable.   There are some things we do or don't do because it draws attention to the body rather then our mind, or our ideas (both men and women). I mean, the reason it's socially unacceptable to never shower, or pick your nose, or crack your knuckles in public is because its so DARN DISTRACTING! I mean, how hard is it to listen to someone if they start picking their nose?  Really hard! Sure, if someone starts cracking their back, or their knuckles while talking to you, it's not harming you.  They are doing what they want with their body.  But, it instantly takes your thoughts away from what they are saying to what they are doing with their bodies.  The article above says women should wear what they want and be comfortable. Okay, if we all just did what we wanted to be comfortable society might be a little gross. I'm glad for one that gentlemen avoid scratching themselves in public. That would be distracting!  And it has nothing to do with any sexual thoughts!  It just draws attention away from the important, valuable things.  I think one reason women and men should dress modestly is just so it's not a focal point. Even if people can (and should) control their thoughts and actions you can't deny that it can be a major distraction.  Think how distracting it would be if men walked around with every crevice, curve and bump shown under a tight, thin tiny piece of cloth of their crotch area-- wouldn't it be distracting?  Not distracting because of any sexual thoughts, but just because it draws attention to the body in a way that is not a social norm.   Just like good manners are essential to being taken seriously, good dress is the same. I don't believe it has anything to do with judging others or men not controlling their thoughts-- I think it's just necessary to avoid physical distractions so people can focus on what one is thinking and saying.  

Simply put, women should not believe their intrinsic value is based on their bodies.  Thus, any and all avenues to promote focus on what is of true, lasting value is the way we should go.  Immodest dress isn't intrinsically bad, but if women want to be valued for their minds, their spirits, and their unique personalities-- stop using your scantily-clad body as a distraction! 

**Note: I do understand that other cultures from all other times and places have different societal norms. I'm talking about our culture here and now.  And also, we can CHOOSE what is good for our culture, and I believe things that focus on our brains are better then things that overly focus on our bodies.  Let's choose those things. 

Photo Credit


  1. This is great. Thanks for your thoughts :)

  2. Well said. I have often tried to explain to myself why modesty is so important. . .that it is just to keep men from having bad thoughts never sat right with me. . .because only they can really control their thoughts. I really like what you said. Thanks!

  3. So great! I might be sharing some of your ideas tonight with a group of young women. Thanks!

  4. I really like this comparison.

  5. Well said! I thought her Princeton studies were interesting. I need to find them and learn more!

  6. Well said! I thought her Princeton studies were interesting. I need to find them and learn more!

  7. And this business of naive girls saying that men should just control their thoughts is truly ignorant in my opinion. Girls aren't subject to "that feeling that won't go away" as men are. That ego-centric view of the universe belies her immaturity along with her ignorance. Just as we don't taunt starving people w food and we don't spit water in front of parched people, it is similarly unfeeling to parade immodestly before a normal, redblooded man and say "control your thoughts". The predictable physiological response should not be manipulated for secondary gains. Basic humanity requires some consideration for others in each of these circumstances rather than selfish, heartless taunting.

    I really feel for some of my clients struggling to deal with sexual compulsions who are triggered by immodesty. They really suffer a blow to their recovery when they fail to keep commitments. Something as simple as a billboard or National Geographic magazine can at them back ( and their wives) for years . Most people are not aware of that vulnerable segment of society.