Beau sits on the stool next to me, studying for the Professional Engineering exam.
I'm not wearing a bra. It's not obvious with both a t-shirt and a sweatshirt on, but I'm sure if anyone in his family looked too closely earlier, with my sweatshirt discarded, they might have noticed the droopiness of my unsupported boobs or the pointiness of my uncovered nipples.
My wardrobe thus far has been a steady rotation of three bikinis, two cover-ups, and comfy pjs completely stolen from Beau's wardrobe: Super Mario pj pants, a t-shirt from ThinkGeek, and a rotation of the three sweatshirts he packed for us to share this week.
According to the original bikini post, my "immodest" clothing choices this week cause the men around me to lust.
The way we dress impacts those around us, especially guys. I don’t really want a guy to look at me and notice me for my butt, upper thighs, or chest. I’d rather him notice my smile or God-loving personality...
But she, and other modesty advocates, actually say more than that.Girls are walking around all the time with barely any clothes on at the beach or pool! Guys can never get a break from it, even if they’re trying to see past all the bodies to find the smiles and personalities within the girls.So really, how hard is it to not wear a bikini? If you’re like me, it might be a little disappointing. You also might have to save a little more babysitting money to buy a cute (yes, cute ones do exist) tankini or one piece. But honestly, a little disappointment and a little extra cash aren’t that hard to swallow. Especially when such things are to fulfill a God given responsibility. In his Theology of the Body, soon to be Saint John Paul II said, God has assigned as a duty to every man the dignity of every woman. He also assigns to every woman the dignity of every man. Let’s make a commitment this summer to ditch the skimpy swimsuits, earn self respect, and help our brothers in Christ.
According to them, when you read their words with a critical eye, my clothing does not cause lust--my body does. Just my revealed stomach--the main difference between a bikini and "modest" swimsuits--apparently causes lust. If a guy happens to notice my body before my personality, then he's lusting after me, and it's my fault for not covering up those curves. If my body can't be covered up to prevent lust, then my body is sinful.
I vehemently disagree.
My body is not sinful. My body cannot cause a man to lust.
One of my favorite Bible verses is Genesis 1:27.
So God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.
How can my body be sinful when I am made in God's own image?
At this point, I can see the modesty advocates rushing to tell me I just don't understand. They're not saying my body is sinful; they're saying my God-given beauty can be twisted and made sinful by man. Don't I just want to be the more gracious Christian and avoid that by not wearing a bikini? Being modest isn't being ugly. I can wear a cute tankini or one-piece bathing suit and help my struggling brothers not to lust.
But it is not I who does not understand. The modesty advocates, in their rush to control women's bodies in the politest way possible, have forgotten that although women are all made in God's own image, we are not all identical.
My body is currently slender, with my collarbones sticking out and my ribs faintly outlined on my chest. Yet my unusually thin body has not lost all of its curves, with my hips, butt, stomach, and boobs still soft and rounded.
My favorite black and white Freya bikini is now well-known to any friends and fans of my anonymous identity. Explaining the comparative sizes of this bikini top and bottoms would not illustrate my point, however, since my Freya top is based on bra sizing, and relatively few people understand that very well.
My second-favorite bikini is a coral and white one bought at Target in June, a spontaneous gift from Beau for my birthday, when we realized our hotel had a pool.
|On the pontoon with Beau, an afternoon away from his family, just the two of us.|
The bikini bottoms are a size Small. The top is an Extra-Large.
When I was still in undergrad, I went bathing suit shopping with my mom, who was somewhat alarmed at my still-expanding chest. I found plenty of cute one-piece bathing suits and tankinis. I spent hours trying them on, to no avail. Either the bottom half fit, allowing my boobs to spill out on top from the too-tight fabric, or the top half fit, allowing the loose folds to flap around my body and reveal my lady bits to anyone watching. Finally my mom relented and bought me a halter bikini, the only kind that offers me any sort of coverage and support. At least, the only kind not sold for $100 that offers me any sort of coverage and support.
My biggest problem with Modesty Culture is that it tells women like me that our bodies are sinful because they are feminine. You cannot look at me without knowing that I am a woman, unless I wear clothes that are much too big for me. I have curves. God gave me these curves. God blessed me with curves, just as She blesses all Her children with different features that make us all unique.
My curves are not sinful. My body is not the problem here.
Modesty Culture is the problem.
"Modest" bathing suits are based on a skinny white woman's body. Women outside of that mold are automatically immodest if they wear swimwear that fits them.
|If you wear this, you don't win the Modesty Game, but instead receive concern-trolling over your Oppression.|