Beach Bikinis And The Never Ending Search For Beauty...

For years, one of my biggest pet peeves about the beach volleyball world were the tiny little bikinis that the world class women athletes had to wear as a "uniform." I enjoy watching volleyball immensely but found their tiny outfits so degrading and irksome that I was rather loathe to watch the events on sports networks.

People often ask me, "why do they have to wear those tiny little bikinis?" And my answer is, "eye candy. Pure and simple." The men don't wear speedos when they play beach volleyball (and we are BEYOND thankful for that). The only reason these tall athletic women would have to wear bikinis is to attract attention. How lame that they are in the top one percent of all athletes in the world, yet they are being promoted via exploitation of their sexuality. Drives me crazy.

Sooo.......I found it very interesting that the Olympic committee for this summer's games are allowing women to wear shorts and long sleeved or sleeveless shirts as their uniform. I was thinking, "FINALLY!" but then when I read the article, I was a little disappointed that the reason is being couched under "cultural norms" vs the dignity of woman. It seems to me that since some of the contenders and possible host venues for qualifications are in Islamic cultures, now the women are given the option of covering up, lest it be deemed offensive.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for modesty, but why does it take a brush with the Muslim world to propel committees to institute an option for more modest clothing? I don't get it. Why not give the women the option from the very beginning? Watching these 6 foot and taller women try to play volleyball is ever shrinking bikinis, I am guessing that if they were free to choose, many of them would choose to wear more clothing.

It's a quandary.

On the other hand, the Victoria Secret models have begun to reveal their summer line of bikinis that are specifically more revealing. In the words of one model:

This summer it’s all about Brazil, and they’ve taken a lot of inspiration from Rio and how the women wear their swimsuits down there,” Candice Swanepoel (on left) told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column while launching Victoria’s Secret 2012 Swim Collection in Beverly Hills.

People in Brazil are a lot more comfortable with their bodies and their sexuality (than in the U.S.) and it’s more about having fun… In America, the backs are obviously larger, which I think should change. We are trying to change that!”

Notice her logic here that to be comfortable with one's body means revealing more of it (whoever said that was the measure of being comfortable with oneself? it implies that any woman who dresses modestly is just not comfortable with her body and that is untrue) and what she is really advocating is an act to manipulate women into thinking that wearing a tiny bikini means that you are happy with yourself and your sexuality.

But her "logic" betrays her. Behaving with no recourse to any one else, as if she is the only person on the face of the earth, she says:
“I think it is whatever you are comfortable with, I like to wear them really tiny,” Swanepoel continued. “But I had to get comfortable with that gradually.”

She had to "get comfortable with that gradually" because there is a natural modesty within all of us that protests against overexposure. It's a defense mechanism to keep us from being lusted over and used as sexual objects. It takes time to wear down conscience.

I am not making fun of the beautiful Ms. Swanepoel by any means. I am merely pointing out the fallacy of the "logic" of secular society that says you are "comfortable" with yourself when you dress immodestly and (promoted elsewhere) sleep with whomever. Other than that, if you *gasp* wish to keep to most intimate parts of yourself, body and soul, wrapped in mystery until you reveal those parts to the one who makes a life-time covenant with you, then you are considered "repressed" and "oppressive". Sound backwards to me.

I love to see women who are fashionably dressed and have their hair and make-up done in a beautiful manner and who radiate a confident femininity and beauty without having to "let it all hang out" to get attention and affirmation. That kind of beauty is so refreshing and peaceful. Bikini not needed....


I totally agree with you!! Well said.
Bethany said…
look at the girl on the far left in the picture. She seems to be trying to cover herself because she may feel ashamed to be "uncovered" in front of all these people.
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