In defense of bikinis and beautiful

According to just about every article I read online, I’m doing pretty much everything wrong. From cleaning my oven to how I slice watermelon to how I talk to my kids. Who knew telling my kid to hurry up was the wrong thing to do?

As I check off the list of all that I do incorrectly, I notice that I do two things that are consistently the wrongest of wrongs—I tell my girls they’re beautiful and I let them wear bikinis.

Poor bikini. Why does my old friend keep getting such bad press? Just because we’ve parted ways and I can’t fit into one to save my life right now, doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t put one on in a heartbeat if I could. I don’t like how limited my options are at the moment, but I am working hard to change that problem. Somehow though, my physique is not cooperating with all the effort I’ve been putting in to taking care of it. So heartlessly cruel this body of mine.

Hold on, I feel a bit of a rant coming on.

I have bought bikinis for my girls since their first year of life and I’ve let them wear bikinis ever since. Why? Because summer. Because why not? Because cuteness and babies. Because summer. Because I was always allowed to wear bikinis growing up. Because I see nothing wrong with it. Because summer. If you think that somehow I sexualized my daughters as babies, as toddlers, as young girls, then the problem is in you. It is summer. It’s appropriate. There is nothing sexual about it.

If you have a strong conviction against bikinis, then by all means live it out. Just know that not everyone shares that conviction and if you are at the pool or beach, expect to see girls in bikinis. Expect to see men in Speedos. Expect to see skin. Expect to see people in all kinds of clothing that, quite frankly, they should never even consider wearing simply because of good taste and fashion. Not everything under the sun is about sex, even when skin is showing, no matter what the media tries to sell us.

That’s not to say some young ladies don’t go for the provocative. I do understand on some level the thinking behind the conviction. But for most, wearing a bikini is simply wearing a bikini. Nothing more, nothing less. She should not be ashamed if she has a good body to go along with it. She should not be punished based on what others think or do and all the oozing suggestiveness in media.

If you insist that girls should not wear bikinis, then please also insist that your young men wear shirts. I don’t want my girls to see a cute boy with rippling muscles — well, just make sure he’s covered up. I daresay that it’s possible that males in our midst are not the only ones who might be tempted to wrong thoughts upon sight.

Instead of making this issue a big deal, I ask you to please consider the possibility that maybe kids don’t view things the way adults do. In spite of temptations that may cross their paths, we can teach our kids to respect each other. Despite attraction, nobody has to act or think on every thing that passes through his or her head.

To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe,
nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted. Titus 1:15

Moving on to the next thing I do blatantly wrong: I tell my daughters they’re beautiful. Apparently, the new, proper trend is that I should tell them how strong or healthy they look. Following the new rule, I told my daughter the other day that she looked so healthy and we both just burst out laughing.

I can only imagine my reaction when I was a teenager if someone told me I looked healthy. You mean me with the failing kidneys? Just about to start dialysis? Never felt stronger. Never been healthier. Thank you sooooo much. Yeah, I would have totally dug that.

But, oh my gosh, my daughters are so beautiful and sometimes I am so overwhelmed with their beauty that I just have to express it. I also tell them how smart they are and how humorous and how silly and how proud I am of them and what a great job they did and how talented they are and how fortunate I am to be their mother and what they did wrong and to get off their lazy butts and oh my gosh that outfit is so cute and you need to brush your hair, it’s a mess and we all make mistakes, just do better next time and … .

What is the purpose of never telling a girl she’s beautiful? A girl is a girl is a girl and the strange thing about girls is that every girl, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, wants to hear at some point in her life that she is beautiful. I know and understand that there’s so much more to being female than being beautiful, but if the people who love her the most won’t tell her, then who will? Likely someone who doesn’t have our beautiful, strong, smart girls best interests at heart.

I’ll take my chances and let them know I think they’re beautiful and pretty and totes adorbs. I’m ok with it if you don’t agree.

Gotta go, I’m off to the pool with my beautiful, bikini-wearing girls.

what do you think?

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