Summer is not my favorite season.
This isn’t simply because it’s hot and humid (though I do hate the heat). It’s not just because summer often means boredom and unproductivity. However, summer is the season when I have to wear a swimsuit. Which I hate.
I’ve already written about the real reason I’ve never worn a bikini. (Basically, I’d feel too uncomfortable in a bikini and I’m not lovin’ my body, which is basically completely revealed to the world in a bikini.) Anyway, I know I’m not the only one who struggles with swimsuit season—whether it’s figuring out how modesty is involved, picking a swimsuit that’s cute and trendy, and determining who we’re trying to impress—the hot lifeguard or our great aunt.
With that being said, perhaps you can relate some of the fears I’ve experienced pre- and post-swimsuit season:
1. Everyone will see my flaws in this swimsuit.
Whatever swimsuit you choose to wear this summer, it will reveal things about your body that you may not want to be revealed. Even in a one-piece bathing suit, thigh gaps, stretch marks, and tummy rolls may be noticed. So how do we deal with that fact?
My advice? Know that 99% of woman are experiencing the same fear. Trust me—you’re not the only one who’s freaking out about how she looks as she steps into the pool. I feel an immense pressure to please myself, my friends, cute guys, and complete strangers. What a heavy burden that we don’t have to carry!
If you’re the only one with a flawed body, then you’re not living on planet earth. Yes, some gals are better at hiding what they consider flaws. But almost every female—no matter how beautiful she may look in a swimsuit—hates something about her body.
2. No one will notice how good I look in this swimsuit.
Maybe you’re on the other end of the spectrum. Perhaps your doctor told you to diet last summer, you’ve lost 30 pounds since then, and you can’t wait to wear a swimsuit to show off your new body. But what if no one notices your new body? Well, then you might be dieting for the wrong reasons.
Health should be our goal, not impressing others. Unfortunately, people aren’t always impressed easily. Perhaps they’ll comment on how amazing you look. Maybe they won’t.
However, it’s incredibly important not to base your self-image and self-worth on whether or not someone comments on your body. My counselor has actually told me this before in my recovery from anorexia. Flawed human beings—even friends and family members—are an unreliable and fickle foundation.
3. I’ll be the only one not wearing a bikini.
Imagine this scenario: You’re invited to a party at a local beach. Your friend invited you, plus a lot of her other friends. Although you arrive in a one-piece swimsuit, the other girls are wearing tiny bikinis. And the guys are all over them. The party is a blast…not.
Okay, I won’t downplay this fear because it’s legit. But we simply have to let go of it. Yes, that’s easier said than done. It’s not impossible, though.
As Gretchen Saffles shared on The Well-Watered Woman, modesty reveals the state of your heart. Are you trying to shine the spotlight on yourself? A string bikini certainly accomplishes that goal. Are you trying to shine the spotlight on your Savior? A string bikini probably isn’t the best choice. Pointing others to Jesus is worth the cost of standing out in a crowd of bikini-clad women (and their shallow admirers).
A Final Word from the Word
Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NASB)
Friends, please don’t misunderstand me or this post. I’m don’t want you to think that bikini-wearers are evil and that I’m so much better than them. Rather, I want to point us to God’s Word, which exhorts us to be modest and discreet in how we dress (2:9).
Thus, we each have to ask ourselves: Why am I wearing this swimsuit? What would Jesus think about me wearing this swimsuit? Does this swimsuit cause me (or those around me) to focus on the wrong things?
Swimsuit season may never be a blast for us as females. However, hopefully, it doesn’t seem quite as scary now that we’ve addressed those swimsuit season fears. We’re in this together, friends!