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The Bikini is Destroying the Christian Girl’s View of Modesty

By: Kristen Clark

This piece of clothing was considered so scandalous that mainstream models refused to wear it. In 1946 a man named Louis Réard designed and introduced the bikini.

This small piece of swimwear was considered so risque that Mr. Réard couldn’t find a single model who was willing to showcase it.

The only woman who was finally willing to model Réard’s new bathing suit was an eighteen-year-old nude dancer from Paris. As the first bikini hit the public scene, it stirred up quite the controversial discussion. 

Wikipedia stated, “French women welcomed the design but the Catholic church, some media, and a majority of the public initially thought the design was risqué or even scandalous.”

What was once considered so risqué that only a nude dancer would wear it, is now the most popular form of swimwear available today.

It took less than 50 years for this “scandalous” swimsuit to gain international popularity amongst women.

So what happened? Well, even the most shocking things can become normal if you see them enough. The more the bikini was showcased on mainstream media, the more women softened to the idea. The more the bikini was worn by famous actresses and models, the more the average women accepted it.

Wikipedia stated that “by the early 2000s, bikinis had become a US $811 million business annually, and boosted spin-off services like bikini waxing and the sun tanning.”

So, here’s the obvious question. Is there anything wrong with the bikini? Well, it all depends on your worldview.

Personally, I see several major issues the bikini has created.

The bikini has single handedly destroyed the moral compass of the average woman today. The bikini has warped almost every woman’s view on modesty and decency. When a woman is told that it’s completely normal and appropriate to uncover 90% of her body, she is being taught that nakedness is totally normal.

And here’s the biggest problem of all. The bikini has lowered the “modesty” bar so severely, that very little is now considered inappropriate. The bikini has initiated a moral domino effect that will eventually lead to mainstream cultural nudity.

If the bikini is appropriate and “empowering” for women today, how far will it go tomorrow? Europe reveals the unsettling answer.

It’s now considered totally normal for women (and men) to swim nude in Europe.

Why? Because that’s exactly where a worldview apart from God’s Word takes you.

When the idea of “modesty” becomes extinct from a nation’s vocabulary, there are no limits. No outfit choice can be considered “immodest” anymore because modesty itself doesn’t exist.

The only reason we, as Americans, still cover our intimate parts is because our country was founded on Biblical principles. Clothes were God’s idea. Modesty comes from God. Clothing was God’s specific design to cover the shame that resulted from sin.

The further a culture moves away from God’s Word, the less they’ll see their need for clothes.

Sadly, the bikini is a clear sign that America is moving away from God’s Word. The bikini has totally destroyed our view of modesty. We’re now one step behind Europe.

So here’s another obvious question. Should you, as a Christian girl, wear the bikini?

Well, it all depends on your worldview.

If you’re a practicing Christian, your worldview and beliefs should be built on Biblical principles. Your moral compass should align with God’s Word. You should have a solid understanding of God’s purpose for giving you clothes in the first place and you should act on that understanding.  

Your clothing should reflect your desire to honor God with your body.

Your clothes should reflect the purity and holiness of your Savior. Your clothing should display humility rather than pride. Your clothes should reveal your need for a Savior.

When a Christian girl says it’s “okay” to wear a bikini, she is essentially saying that uncovering her body is pure, appropriate, God-honoring, and modest. She is telling the lost culture around her that partial nudity is a good thing.

By placing her stamp of approval on the bikini, she is forced to lower the bar on modesty down to a few measly pieces of triangular fabric.

This is disastrous.

As Christian girls, it’s our responsibility to pull our lost culture toward God’s Word, not away from it. It is our obligation to raise the moral bar, not lower it. It is our duty to lead our culture towards modesty and decency, not away from it. It is our privilege to showcase the purity and holiness of Christ, rather than the nudity of our culture.

As Ephesians 5:1,8, and 10 says, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children…for at one time you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”

Our swimwear and clothing should be an obvious representation of our King. We are called to imitate (or represent) Christ in everything we do. Our modesty in the water (and out) should be an obvious sign of Who we serve.

It should be easy to spot a Christian girl based on her wardrobe.

I can’t encourage you enough to take your swimwear seriously. Don’t lower your standards down to the bikini. Don’t justify it simply because it’s popular. Don’t accept a piece of clothing that only a “nude dancer” was willing to wear.

We have to be different. The gospel is at stake. God’s glory is at stake. The morality of our country is at stake. When it comes to your swimwear, don’t be a cookie cutter girl.  

For more on modesty and swimwear, grab a copy of our brand new e-book! It’s called, Project Modesty: How to Honor God with Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process.  This post is a part of our two week series called #ProjectModesty. 

Now, I really want to hear from you.

  • Why do you think the bikini was considered totally risqué in 1946? What changed today?
  • Do you personally consider the bikini to be modest or immodest? Why?
  • Only using the Bible, how would you make a case for or against the bikini?

Photo Credit: Here 

Girl in Bathing Suit Wrap

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  • Sandra

    I think you’re right. People are not allowed to see us girls naked or in our underwear, but they are to see us in bikini’s. It’s pretty strange. I have to say that I don’t feel comfortable in a bikini and feel a lot better in a swimsuit. But I feel most comfortable with all my clothes on, revealing nothing.

    I have to say that now I wonder how you think of wearing a swimsuit (the old-fashioned ones, not the ones with parts cut out, like you can find them in stores these days)?

    Greetings from the Netherlands!

  • Grace O

    I personally don’t like bikinis, but I was wondering…. how do you feel about one piece swimming suits? I know they show off more of your legs and figure then would swim shorts and a shirt. But I wanted to know your opinion. Thanks. 🙂

    • Annalysa

      I have something to comment, but I don’t have time right now! I’ll try to soon. 🙂

    • CT

      I’ll give you a real-life example and let you decide for yourself 🙂

      I was once at a church camp at the beach. I was all for modesty and decided that my swimsuit would be a surf shirt and a pair of athletic shorts with a three-inch inseam. Normally, I would never wear shorts that short out on the street. But for some reason I thought it would be okay “just at the beach.”

      Due to time constraints, we went straight from the beach to a Bible study session indoors. Clearly, I didn’t have time to change out from my swimsuit. My friends just wore their cover-up to the session. One of my friends told me, “yeah, you should be all right!” and she meant it very positively! To her, it covered just as much skin as street clothes.

      So I’m in the session and sitting down in the chair, listening to the speaker. But my attention was divided. Half of my mind was concerned about how my shorts were hiking up and showing just about all of my leg. It was just as bad as wearing short shorts as street clothing.

      And from that day on, I decided that I would never wear those shorts as swimwear again.

      Note: I still haven’t found a good pair of long shorts. And I haven’t been to the pool at all this entire summer!

      • Emily

        I found a really awesome pair of board shorts from Cabelas. They are turquoise (I think they come in different colors) and they hit about the middle of my thigh. I love them for swimming!

      • Grace O

        Thanks for the example CT! 🙂

    • Hey Grace! Here’s what we think about one piece bathing suits: http://www.girldefined.com/ready-bikini-season

  • gdonner

    If I may, from (one) guy’s perspective, I agree that our moral compass is tanking rapidly (it already has, pretty much). But the bikini itself isn’t necessarily responsible for it. Part of this is cultural; in remote places where nudity is still the “norm” (i.e. where even missionaries serve), wearing jeans or even a bra has been considered racy among the people, because in that culture, it’s associated with prostitution.

    Don’t get me wrong–the bikini (and other revealing wear) certainly hasn’t helped; we are a different (and highly sexualized) culture, after all. But it’s impossible for a piece of cloth to answer to God for its actions. On the other hand, we will.

    Women’s beauty shines through even if they’re completely covered up. Showing more skin isn’t necessary to be attractive and beautiful. Women already are; that’s how God made your core form. Honestly, women can wear overalls and still be incredibly attractive and appealing to men. Where I live, Amish gals are very attractive and beautiful, and yet arguably some of the most modestly dressed anywhere in the nation. God is looking at our hearts (girls and guys) for why we’re wearing what we are. As you noted, our society is only going to get worse, and we need the right perspective of where the issue is–our hearts.

  • Clarissa

    I totally agree with what you have written. I will mention that it’s one thing to mention to your nonbelieving friends that you’re a Christian and dress modestly. It’s another to explain to your Christian friends why you don’t wear bikini. And even among the most Christ-loving crowds, it’s even more difficult to explain why you don’t wear tankinis and one-pieces — which they consider to be way more modest than the bikini. Another tough issue is when youth group leaders “set a good example” by “dressing modestly” at the beach — i.e. tankinis and one pieces instead of bikinis. And I wish I could tell them otherwise but the student isn’t supposed to contradict the leader, right? And also among my friends. I don’t want to ruin my friendships within the church. Is there any way to handle this lovingly?

    • Hey Clarissa, thanks for your open and honest question. We agree that explaining modesty to Christians can be the hardest situation sometimes. Here’s what we’ve decided to wear when we go swimming: (This post might help you) http://www.girldefined.com/ready-bikini-season

  • Halee Westbrook

    So good! Thanks for this wonderful explanation of why bikinis are inappropriate. It’s hard to explain to some people why my family doesn’t wear them. I’ve never been allowed to wear bikinis (I’m 13) but I also didn’t want to. It made me embarrassed the thought of being practically naked in front of people that I barely knew! I wore tankinis up until about 3 years ago when even in that, I felt too “naked”. So now I wear a rashguard and some shorts with cut-off leggings underneath…I feel SO comfortable with this now! Knowing that I’m being completely modest but in something that doesn’t weigh me down like the “swim dresses”. I highly recommend it!
    Halee

  • Zella

    I have never wore a bikini out in public because I can’t stand having people look at my skin. It goes as far as my fashion where I wear pants and long sleeves almost everyday because I like covering up. Since I am rarely caught in shorts and t shirts, you would not believe how much people gawk when they see me at swim team in a one piece. Girls and boys just stare at me way more than others because out of the team I look the most drastically changed.
    It just goes to show that people do notice your fashion and especially if you are a modestly dressed girl, it’s even more shocking to see you expose skin.

    If there are any girls on this blog who are competitive swimmers like me, I hope you understand I don’t mean to condemn or put anyone down. I’m just sharing my personal experience.

  • Elisabeth

    Kristen,I love what you posted!!I feel the same way!!It’s like saying if you wouldn’t wear your bra and underwear outside then why wear a bikini?!It’s the same thing really the swimwear just has designs.We aught to want to showcase God’s glory with EVERYTHING we wear!!

  • SomethingBeautiful

    We have to realize what bikinis do to men as well. I feel so bad for every single guy in the world. Most of them just want to live life and then “Ahh! Cover your eyes!” I believe women are emotional and men are visual. Don’t get mad at them for seeing you as an object if thats the message your shoving in their faces based on your actions, and choice of wardrobe. If we want a man to be a man, give him a reason to start acting like a gentlemen.

  • Hannah

    May I add that the typical one-piece swimsuit is no more modest than a bikini? It’s still skin-tight and revealing. But yet, most of the “modest” swimsuits I’ve seen are not truly modest either. Modesty means much more than one’s clothing. A Christian girl should not stand out too much! “With modesty AND discretion. . . .” I’m not advocating revealing swimwear; but be careful in covering up that you don’t draw too much attention to yourself.

  • Laura J

    This is an awesome article!!! I love it!
    In the Old Testament the priests had to wear knee length (thigh covering) trousers to “cover their nakedness. So this must mean that the thigh, the WHOLE thigh, is part of our nakedness. Not just our breasts and bottoms. We are told to cover ourselves with “robes of righteousness”. (Along with modesty, discression etc.) and a robe will cover the cleavage area, the midsection, and around just below the knee. And it’s not skin tight! 🙂 I used to be uncertain as to what is “ok” and what is “not ok”. Now though, I’m soso thankful that I have a better understanding of modesty and I’m really relieved that (contrary to popular belief) the bible DOES give us clear instructions on specificity modest clothes. 🙂

    • tt

      Honey, I hate to mention this, although it does seem obvious, so here it is:

      You are not a pre-Christian era Hebrew priest. That passage does not apply to what you wear.

      • Greg Heath

        That is a true statement !

      • MichiganFreedom

        And if you are saved through the fulfillment of Yahweh’s covenant through Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection you are no longer under Jewish law. You are simply under the one law of “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent”.

  • Allyce

    Great article! Very good insights. Thank you for posting. <3 I would go a step farther and suggest that Christians look at some of the Jewish (& Islamic) sites for modest swimwear. Isn't is strange that these religions practice what they teach by making available modest clothing, including for the beach? Mormons also have sites for modest clothing. However, Christians have very few. It is not necessary for Christian ladies to be frumpy. The Proverbs 31 lady certainly was not! A good principle is: "It is not so much what we must conceal, but what we choose to reveal." <3

  • alice_inside

    I’ve had so many bikini discussions in my life, yet I am curious about one more as it seems. I get the points raised, but then again some seem kind of off. I am Swiss, I have lived all my life in Europe, been to different countries for holidays and I rarely to never have seen anyone swim naked. It is highly appropriate here too, except from special beaches or areas that most people would never set foot in cause private parts are private.

    Another point I can raise is that I have been to a mission’s trip to a party island twice in my life, where we were supposed to wear swimsuits, or “one pieces”. The problem with that rule was that some girls took it to the next level and wore very revealing monokinis. I wore a well sitting bikini top and swimshorts. You can guess who was covered more. In addition to that: can anyone imagine who was eyed up more? People wearing a bikini, which is indeed standart in Europe, or people wearing badly sitting one piece swimsuits. I was basically invisible, my friends were stared at.

    Finally, and this is a personal thing: Bikinis are way easier to wear. You can go to the toilet witout a fuzz, you can change into a bikini and take of a wet bikini that much easier than a one piece. I am practical and that is my weakest point of them all.

    In addition: I disagree, it should not be easy to spot a christian girl at her clothing. Yes, only a nude dancer wanted to wear the bikini, but remember when it was inapropriate to uncover hair, show any part of the leg or arms? How scandalous must it have been when the first woman wore trousers. I don’t know what exactly your stance is (i.e. only skirts/dresses to church etc) but depending on where you are from and how you are raised, modesty can range so much. I believe that being modest is more inside seen than outside seen. Yes, if I wear really short skirts and low cut tops that is not what I see as modest, but it can go into tiny details that are hard to decode. If you want to serve the lord, do so in trying your best to please him the way you think is best, in your thoughts, in your acts, in your clothes.

    • Hirstina

      I agree with what you said about European beaches. I go to Greece and Bulgaria on vacation often (because I have family there) and I have never seen anyone fully nude. Its not as accepted as the author claims. Unless its a special beach (which we have in America too)

    • Hey Akikinova! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! The purpose of a Christian girl is NOT to intentionally look different than the culture, but to honor and reflect God in everything she does. Since the culture is so far removed from God and his holiness, we, as Christian girls naturally go against the grain when we choose to honor God with our wardrobe. We can dress fashionably, and modestly without drawing extra attention to ourselves. If we’re swimming and there’s virtually no difference between us and the lost culture around us, that’s a problem. We (Kristen and Bethany) have chosen to swim in board shorts and surf shirts because this provides modest and fashionable coverage. We don’t stand out like a sore thumb…we just look a little more sporty. 🙂 Whether we’re swimming in the water or living regular life, our modesty standards should always remain the same. We shouldn’t have a double standard for the wet world and the dry world. Why is a bikini top okay in the water but not okay for going to a movie? This doesn’t make sense. What we wear in the water and in the dry world should be consistently modest. You can read more about why we don’t wear bikinis here: http://www.girldefined.com/ready-bikini-season

      • Abby

        we don’t wear bikini tops to the movies for the same reason u don’t wear board shorts to church. There is a time and place for everything, it’s not about being double standard it is appropriation. But we still however should try to cover the necessary areas regardless of where we are.

      • Jaq

        It makes me sad that you demean the concept of modesty by defining as the number of inches your clothing covered. In the BIBLE (you’ve been seriously lacking scripture to back up any of your opinions on the subject) modesty is talked about as decent and appropriate attire. Different attire is appropriate in different circumstances. That’s not a “double-standard” it’s applying basic common sense to the Bible. If you feel you should wear board shorts and a surf shirt, do so. But don’t go around saying those who do not have the same personal convictions as you are sinning because they don’t dress according to your (personal, non-bible-based) beliefs. When you place your personal convictions on the level of scripture, you are a false teacher, attempting to add your own opinions to God’s Word.

        The Bible says that by their fruit you will know them, not their clothes. So you see it as “wrong” that Christian women don’t dress purposely different from non-christians women in the pool, but I think it’s wrong that you’re ignoring the Bible and judging people on appearances, rather than their actions.

  • Ayla

    Thank you for the post!! I completely agree! I’ve never been allowed to wear a bikini, but also have never wanted to. Almost any girl i know wears a bikini to the beach, but i always wore a rash vest and long shorts.

  • Abby

    I do not think modesty is about how long your skirt is or how long your sleeves are, it is about how much attention you are (purposefully) pulling to certain parts of your body. I might be wearing jeans shorts and a short sleeved top and i look modest but a girl may be wearing long tights, or a maxi skirt with a long sleeved top and I am seeing all parts of her. Also it is all about appropriateness: in the winter i wear alot of clothing but in the summer i wear less because summer is hot and i do not see the need to be boiling up just to make a point. Of course i would not wear my swimsuit to school, but would you feel sensible wearing pyjamas to a fancy banquet? No, i for one would feel stupid. I do not like to show cleavage, and so do many other girls and while we should try our best to cover there are some things out of our control. Just the fact that a girl has large breast or large bottom makes a guy excited and the size of these body parts are out of our control, we try our best to cover up but sometimes it is not enough to ward off perversion, and i do not need to put myself to extreme lengths to ensure that guys are not tempted. I might try to be covered but there is only so much a girl can do. Lastly you cannot look at the fact that bikinis used to be frowned upon because pants were outrageous for a girl to wear too. The idea of a man’s clothing is based on the culture, because robes and things which resemble skirts were the type of clothing men would wear in jesus’ time and honestly if i saw a man wearing something like that without having a knowledge of history i would think he looked outrageous. That verse that says a woman should not wear a man’ s clothing (this also applies to the other gender) is referring to cross dressing where someone of a certain gender dresses a certain way so as to be perceived as/confused with the opposite gender.

    • Hey Abby, you’re spot on…modesty has to start in the heart. We actually go in depth into what modesty is and isn’t in our new e-book. I think you would really enjoy it. We’ve love to hear your feedback on it as well. You can find out more here: http://www.girldefined.com/shop

    • I agree with you about the pants…that’s WHY I do NOT wear them!!! (:

    • Avi yah

      Totally agree with you on the issue that some people claim “woman should stop wearing pants” based on that verse about cross dressing, which is a bogus argument. I know in Jesus time the men wore robes, and I had the opportunity to see a man in a special long skirt which looked awesome and not less manly at all (just saying). Though most of today’s skirts are designed for women in pattern and design, so a guy wouldn’t look good in them.
      I not so much agree with the “still seeing all parts of her” if it refers to accentuated clothes for the woman’s waistline or something, I still believe a woman should be recognizable as a woman, and not hide her beauty by dressing well, like in sack-shaped clothes or the like.

  • jr023

    its not what you wear and yes there is a point of too much, but its the attitude and circumstances of where something is appropriate. a swimsuit at the beach or pool is appropriate but to wear one to school without covering is not. some of the most amoral people i met wore corporate conservative clothing and some of the most moral shorts and braless tank tops.. and shorts on women have bee worn for 85 yrs and bikinis 60 ant 2 peace 75 years you talk if its something new.

    • There was a woman who wore a bathing suit that was like a long leotard, with long sleeves and pants, and she got arrested around the turn of the century for indecency! Certainly culturally appropriate things should be taken into consideration if someone wants to be modest, right?

      • MichiganFreedom

        No, only if someone doesn’t want to be arrested. Those are choices in how to deal with this world.

    • Avi yah

      Actually, I have to disagree. I see it as double standard and just learned behaviour if people are offended by bikinis in school and not on the beach (and the same goes for budgie smugglers and anything likewise). If you take off all the sunglasses it’s the same amount of nudity revealed to others.
      I heard this sentence many times “the circumstances define if something is appropriate or not” in regards to modesty. But honestly, there is something wrong about it. The bible says we shall not be conformed to this world’s standards. The culture can never be our guideline of what is appropriate or not.
      And as I understand that this is a journey, may God lead us into all truth as we seek to please him, because he has our best interest.

      • Jaq

        If culture isn’t your guide for modest clothing, what is? Do you only wear long robes, as in the Bible?

        • Avi yah

          Simply put, what God says is the standard.
          What God deems adequate covering of nakedness is a garment from the shoulders to the knees. Gen 3:21, Ex 28:42, Isa 47:2-3

          • Nick Ch

            You really didn’t answer Jaq’s query. If you are using Exodus, then you must also wear a head covering, and only blue. Furthermore, What you cite above refers to priestly garments.

            Genesis you quote only states God made coverings for Adam and Eve from animal skins. The meaning of that verse really has nothing to do with clothing, but presages the Crucifixion.

  • Ashleigh

    Kristen,
    I definitely love how you addressed this topic! It is very encouraging to me, since it is definitely hard for me to be different from most of my Christian friends at the beach, especially since I love the beach and live in Florida!
    However, I have always been secretly afraid that my future husband would prefer most of my body to look evenly tan, like most girls have it when they wear bikinis. I want to be modest, and I usually dress that way! But, it is still hard to accept not getting sun on certain parts of my body that is done by every other girl when they wear bikinis…

  • I’m also not sure I agree that women are partly responsible for how men and others would see them (modesty), but it is easier to wear shorts sometimes because I don’t have to shave any sensitive areas.

  • ModestyIsFromWithinNotSwimwear

    I struggle with the question of modesty a lot. A girl at my church was criticised for wearing clothes that were ‘too revealing’ and I thought so to. However, when at the beach I will wear something nearly as revealing…
    Modesty is a cultural attitude. Society decides what is ‘modest’ or ‘immodest’. Are we forgetting ankles used to be the most sexualised female body part? I would argue that when people wear revealing clothes (crop tops, bum flasher shorts) to a situation like church or even day to day life, it is because they know that our society considers this scandalous, and they want attention.
    The beach is different. Everywhere there are all sorts of varying degrees of body on display. I live in Australia, and believe me bikinis are not the worst thing to be worn at the beach (google budgie smugglers to see a REAL modesty issue). I choose to wear what I consider to be modest bathers- not only because I wish to be modest but also because I don’t want a swimsuit malfunction. I think as well that classifying all bikinis under the same banner is unfair. There are many styles I see that are highly modest, with high waist bottoms, and tops that come up to the neck etc.
    I agree with you that men are responsible for their thoughts, but that women should not purposely tempt them. My argument is, that wearing a bikini at the beach, a place where it is socially acceptable to do so and therefore not in any way shocking, is not immediately immodest or impure. The navel is not that exciting, or men would surely be wearing shirts while they swim!

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  • Karen McSpadden

    I don’t think the bikini is modest but I am curious…..what supporting arguments can you give for your claim that the bikini has “singehandedly destroyed the moral compass of the average woman” ? That’s quite a bit of causation for a piece of swimwear

  • the_hobitt

    As a guy, I just wanted to add… I do feel that girls’ clothing in the US is far from being modest. I moved to the US a few years ago and that’s one thing I find it hard to digest that most young Christian girls don’t think their clothing is immodest. Girls here have grown up culturally with this clothing, but the Biblical perspective is more important than cultural norms and what is comfortable. I’ve often heard girls say that its because its so comfortable to wear shorts during summer months. Well, if that’s the case, we guys wear much longer shorts and we feel comfortable as well. Loose clothing is whats comfortable, not short clothing, because it gives better air circulation. I cannot imagine how a tight small short is not only immodest, but also seen as comfortable.

    Also I do agree with the OP that the cultural and moral decline is tied to modesty in dressing. Look at countries where they don’t have loose moral lives and you see a correlation between the way women dress and the moral lives. I’m from India and the lifestyle there is also becoming less moral now and I remember that about 10 – 15 years ago, it all started with sexy and immodest dressing. The fact that girls have gone from wearing long dresses to extremely short dresses whereas guys pretty much have been wearing the same thing for decades, does show that there is a sexualization in women’s dressing. And yes as you mentioned the bikini does play a big part in it. All you have to do is look at a woman’s fashion show or the red carpet where woman literally bare all..

    I’m glad and encouraged to see that you guys are standing up against the cultural norms and even in the face of opposition from other young Christian girl. After all following Christ means opposition and disapproval from friends and fellow Christians. So continue to trust in Christ and follow his ideals!

    • Jaq

      1. Men’s clothing has changed just as drastically as women’s. Watch an old movie and you will see all the guys wearing swimsuits that cover their upper body. A few centuries ago, men would hastily don their jackets if a woman was present, now they wear jackets as they please for their own comfort.
      2. It seems to me that you are seeing “immodest” clothing and immorality as the same thing. So of course you would view “immodest” clothing as a harbinger of immorality.
      But you’re ignoring centuries of immorality that existed long before women wore short dresses. It seems like you might have looked that your country’s past through the lenses of some VERY rose colored glasses.

  • scott

    Thank you Christain women for standing up. Just remember: there will ALWAYS be those self righteous, godless individuals who will oppose. Bless you!

    • Adam

      Amen to that !

  • Nick C

    You are conflating modesty with appropriateness. What may be appropriate in one setting may not be in another. What may be modest in one setting may not be in another. A woman wearing the same business suit may be modest sitting behind a desk and immodest sitting on the same desk, wearing the same business suit!

    Why do you think the bikini was considered totally risqué in 1946? What changed today?

    Cultural norms change over time and place. “Modest” swimwear in 1946 France or N. America was risque in 1926, 1926’s was risque in 1906. This applies to men as well. Frankly, I would not want to wear what looks like long underwear as I would have been socially required to in 1906. What was modest in 1926 is still risque and forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Which decade is the correct one, and which country? None of them. At a gym I would not consider changing and showering in a common room in Saudi, but I will walk about completely nude in a changing area in America or Europe.

    Do you personally consider {wearing} the bikini to be modest or immodest? Both.

    It isn’t an either or proposition. Why?

    It depends on the circumstance. On a beach in Saudi Arabia, completely immodest. On a beach or a pool in N. America, modest. Anywhere else
    other than a beach or pool in N. America or immodest. Modesty is not
    about so many square inches of fabric, but about the person and what is in his or her heart.

    Only using the Bible, how would you make a case for or against the bikini?

    I won’t make direct quotations, as we all have a translation which we prefer.

    John 21:7. To paraphrase, Peter had “stripped for work.” but he “put on his tunic” when Jesus arrived. Without adding to Scripture, it is safe to assume he was wearing either nothing, or very little.

    The point being, it was appropriate to be nude or nearly nude for the work he was doing, with or in front of the other fishermen, but he felt it was not appropriate, and quite possibly “immodest” as well, when he was not working and in the presence of Jesus.

    2 Samuel 11.2. To paraphrase David saw a beautiful woman “bathing.” She was not simply taking a bath, but performing a ritual of purification. She was obeying the commands of God. Nothing in the text suggests she was following the dictates of God anywhere she should not have been regardless of David being able to see her. She was exactly where she should have been. It was not inappropriate for her to be doing what she was doing and therefore she could not have been immodest even though completely nude. Nothing in 2 Samuel 11 suggests Bathsheba had done anything wrong.

    1 Timothy 2:9. The admonishment to dress modestly specifically states clothing that should not draw attention. It is the drawing of attention that is at issue, not the fashion. There is scholarship that suggests he was also referring to specific women wearing the fashion which was also preferred by pagan women who worshiped at the Temple of Artemus and not the other women of the congregation.
    The issue was the attention gathering of the fashion, not the fashion itself.

    Would you wear a ball gown to a ball game? Would you wear whatever you consider to be “modest” swim attire to a ball? Do you insist that women not braid their hair?

    I often use this illustration to make my point. A long time ago, I was at the
    beach with a particular church group. Most of the children were younger. There was a young woman two years older than me. I can’t remember if it was 13/15 or 15/17. That is no longer important. Her parents insisted she wear a ludicrous swimming outfit consisting of a long sleeve shirt (which ironically was although in now way “tight” did betray the fact that she was female) and a pleated skirt which hung about ¾ of the way to her knees. I can’t imagine it was even safe to swim.

    She was, in effect, the Pharisee praying loudly. She was the one who was immodest.

    Your line of reasoning is dangerous. By focusing on clothing, and so much so on women’s clothing, you dehumanize the woman, and sexualize the body. This ultimately leads to shaming women, and victim blaming in sexual assault as John Pollard does in his treatise wherein with absolutely no authority from Scripture, he actually blames Bathsheba and makes her culpable in her own rape.

  • eyeamnicegirl

    Face it. Girl/women’s swimwear is form fitting — be it a bikini or a one-piece, there’s little left to the imagination. Guys get an eyeful. But do know that is how certain wardrobe items are. The leotard worn by gymnasts? The skimpy ballet outfits? Nobody seems bothered by those things as a moral issue to be discussed, even though there are guys all over the place (at least in the audience) seeing every nook and cranny (especially true for gymnastics). I’m not worried about it. Guys will look. But know that I look at guys, too. We are made, literally made, that way. We like to look. And while it is disconcerting when some creepazoid is staring at me, I find it sort of positive when a normal guy checks me out.

    • Avi yah

      Oh, well, I seem bothered. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
      Gymnasts, ballet dancers, whatever, it is fact that with the hellenisation through Alexander the Great the whole idea about olympic games and worship of the body was introduced together with public baths and such, immodest clothing was part of this right from the start.Our western culture is deeply soaked with the philosophy of the glorification of the body and we have inherited lies.
      Physical activies nowadays go hand in hand with immodesty because it’s considered ‘normal’ in sports. But the spirit of God is concerned about modesty and sports are not really that important, given that the people know how to stay healthy anyway. “Bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable unto all
      things, holding promise of the life in the present and in the one to come.”
      Also there is women’s swimwear even if only a small percent available, which hold up the idea of modesty from the bible.

      • MichiganFreedom

        Modesty is described, in the Bible, as showiness and flaunting wealth; “not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what
        is proper for women who profess godliness” and is referring to dress to worship. It seems more to refer to too much clothing, rather than too little. Nakedness was not seen as indecent, but as vulnerable. It’s not the dress, but the behavior that conveys modesty. Victimization of the lesser dressed comes from the assailant, not the victim. Females should be aware of their surroundings for their safety, but nakedness in the proper context and behavior is just as holy as full dress with no skin showing.

        ‘In Paul’s day, Greek hairstyles for women were fairly simple: hair was
        parted in the middle and pinned in the back. But a culture change was
        sweeping the region. Women in the imperial household were wearing their
        hair with elaborate curls and braids, covered in expensive ornaments.
        The elite throughout the empire copied this style.’
        ‘Paul says women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel with
        “self-control.” This might be better understood as “self-mastery,”
        being of sound mind or sober, being in control of one’s impulses and
        appetites. In extra-biblical literature, this word has sexual nuances:
        being able to totally control your romantic and erotic desires.’
        ‘Ironically, it is not just those who are scantily dressed that are
        enslaved, but even those who pride themselves on their modesty. “Modest
        is hottest,” they say, unaware that in their own hearts, they are still
        enslaved to a preoccupation with their physical image, still defining
        their worth by their outward adornment.’ – Luke Gilkerson, Covenant Eyes.

  • OrangeGirl

    “The bikini has single handedly destroyed the moral compass of the average woman today.”

    But didn’t you guys say in other articles that abortion and birth control did this instead? Or what about LGBT people? Feminism? Anti-depressants? Which one is it? The generalizations you guys use are hysterical.

    • Heather Hemsley

      All of them do. It’s not just one thing. Multiple things can destroy the average woman. If it was just one thing, let’s just say bikinis, would everything else be considered “helping” the average woman? Anything that tears away from God’s design is harmful for the women today.

    • Esther Sentosa

      all of those things destroy a human. They did not generalize. Its plain truth! I mean seriously, a bikini shows everything! the bikinis they make today are so revealing. You can consider them just wearing a bra and underwear nowadays.

      • Katie

        “The bikini has single handedly destroyed the moral compass of the average woman today.”

        Saying one single thing did something is a generalization.

  • D.Annu

    “Sadly, the bikini is a clear sign that America is moving away from God’s Word. The bikini has totally destroyed our view of modesty. We’re now one step behind Europe.”

    Actually, many of us Europeans are much more okay with nudity than Americans. We actually think that when it comes to nudity and sexuality you are acting little silly sometimes.
    That being said, there’s nothing inherently wrong or even sexual in nudity: it is people (mostly men, but women too) that sexualize normal, everyday things (like swimming or bathing). None of that has really anything to do God or faith. It is a cultural thing.

  • Saltasaurus

    Well if you think of it that way then society started crumbling when women started showing their ankles.

  • MichiganFreedom

    And why is it immoral to swim in the nude? What is the view of nudity in the Bible? It’s not seen as an affront. It’s seen as a vulnerability. “When I was naked, and you clothed me”. One of the prophets was directed by God to walk around naked for several years as a show of how Vulnerable the Nation of Israel was. Do you think parents were pulling their children inside because of the scandal? It’s not the nakedness, but the perspective of the viewer, that causes consternation or acceptance. Modesty is not a physical condition. If you’re living in The Spirit your authentic life is not physical.

  • Aaron Chalupa

    Girl u said that clothes were God’s idea. According to ur own mythology clothes weren’t a thing until the fall of man when they used leaves to cover themselves. In God’s paradise, they were nude.

    Someone probably already said this but there was no way I was reading those long as s comments

    Just let people be

    • Aaron Chalupa

      Wait nevermind I read the comments lol there’re all terrible people who want to control the behavior of strangers lol

      They seem good at it tho but the only way to influence cultural change in this era

      is nudity


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