Swimsuit season is officially upon us. Some people love this time of year. Some people dread it. (And who can blame them?) But it comes every year, whether you like it or not.
Today I was in Target (shocking, I know), and as I wandered around picking up all the things I didn’t need, I found myself in the swimsuit section. (Target seems to be the one store that never runs low on swimsuits, no matter how late into the season it gets.) I passed through racks upon racks of bikinis. As I walked through the maze, I noticed that all of the tankinis and one-pieces had been relegated to the back and side walls. As I looked at them, I was instantly disappointed. The selection was slim. Few suits were available in a variety of sizes. Most of them were, quite honestly, what one might see an older lady wearing.
I personally only wear one-piece swimsuits. I know tankinis can be modest as well, but I just haven’t had the greatest experiences with them. If you wear bikinis, I am not trying to put you down at all. But for me, this is an issue of modesty. I do not feel comfortable showing so much of my body in a barely-there swimsuit, and I do not think that Heavenly Father wants me to.
So, why are there so few options for modest swimsuits? This is certainly a gap in the market that some brands are addressing. Companies such as Kortni Jeane, Called to Surf, and Jessica Rey sell modest swimwear – but the prices aren’t exactly affordable. Cashing in at sometimes more than one hundred dollars, these suits are a far cry from bikini tops and bottoms that typically are priced at around twenty dollars, and even the forty dollar one-pieces.
I am not trying to call Target out specifically, nor am I trying to focus solely on swimwear. This is a universal problem. We live in a society in which you can pretty much wear whatever you want, whenever you want. Celebrities walk the red carpet in next-to-nothing. Crop tops, short shorts, and dresses that barely skim the leg are on-trend. And female musicians that little girls look up to perform in ensembles that barely pass for clothing.
Yes, I am disappointed by society. But I am also shamed by it. There are few things more awkward than being the only one at the pool in a one-piece, or at the mall in capris. While I believe very strongly in the importance of modesty and how it relates to our virtue, it is still difficult to stand out in this way.
The world is not going to change overnight. Women’s wear trends will not shift because one person speaks up. But that does not change the way I feel. That does not change the fact that I have published this post. That does not change the fact that I felt that it was important to say something.
Perhaps you have heard that dressing modestly is important because it will help the boys around you keep their thoughts clean. And that’s great. Because after all, we are all just trying to help each other on this journey home. But I believe this goes deeper than that. Modesty is about you. It’s about you telling the world that you respect yourself and your God.
“Modesty isn’t about a list of rules. It’s about reflecting God’s holiness and purity through our clothing.”
– Girl Defined
Our bodies were created in the image of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. If Heavenly Father were to make you a gift of some sort and hand it to you, how would you treat it? Would you let it get dirty? Would you not pay attention to where you put it? Would you simply not care? I certainly hope your answer to these questions is no. Well, guess what? Our bodies are gifts from Heavenly Father, given especially to us. They are the best, most valuable gifts we will ever receive. Shouldn’t we all take care of them?
“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.”
– 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Did you catch that? Your body is not your own. It is God’s. He created it, and for all intensive purposes, He owns it. You were bought with a price, the price of His Son’s blood. So why would you just reveal your body like it’s nothing? Why would you not care?
Clothing may seem like a small thing. It’s just what you wear when you shop or you eat or you hang out with friends. But it’s more than that. It is telling the world what you think about yourself, and what you think about the God Who so lovingly crafted your body just for you. It is making a statement, whether you like it or not. So, what do you want yours to say?
“You can dress attractively without being immodest. Within the Lord’s guidelines, there is room for you to be lively, vibrant, and beautiful both in your dress and in your actions.”
– Thomas S. Monson