You may remember that back in December I posted Debate: Faith verses Fashion? I posted a slightly modified version of that post on the Christ Church youth blog (here), as I do with any of my posts that discuss faith in relation to the topic. Chris, the church’s youth worker, likes to leave controversial comments in the hope of creating discussion (see above). At the time I didn’t reply but three months down the line I’ve finally got around to making my response.
Chris began by suggesting the cross was a message of love, implying that by using it for such a selfless act Jesus stopped it from being a symbol of death. I would agree with him on this. I made the statement that the cross is a reminder of how one man thought I was worth dying for. Personally I do not see how such a symbol can be anything but a message of love. However, I do accept that this may not have been emphasised enough in the original article.
Now on to the main part of my response to Chris’ comment. His suggestion that I watch a video (above) about bikinis intrigued me enough to make me watch Jessica Rey discussing their origins and modesty. I found the video to be incredibly illuminating. Who knew that it was seen as so scandalous that a stripper was hired to model the first bikini?! Or that the one pieces that were available at the time did actually look glamorous and sexy? (But strapless and curvaceous almost always do.)
However, the most shocking part of the video is her revelation about which parts of the male mind are activated or shut down by scantily clad women. For years women have been complaining about men objectifying them as tools and toys. To discover that by dressing in ‘itsy bits bikinis’ we activate the area of the mind most commonly used for tools (think screwdrivers and hammers) and shut down the area responsible for humanising people is scary and shocking. Yet women claim that by dressing how they want, which often means barely anything, they are claiming a power rightfully their’s… as Jessica Rey says, the power to switch off men’s minds so that women are viewed as tools. Ummmm, that’s not a power I really want.
And if one is honest, the bikini and all that it stands for does not tie in with Christian ideals of modesty. Does walking around a beach in something that resembles lingerie and leaves practically nothing to the imagination suggest a woman who is respectful of herself or who sells her femininity for a short-term confidence boost? Jessica is clearly on the same wavelength, having designed a range of swimwear inspired by Audrey Hepburn. Modest, full body covering, yet unbelievably feminine and glamorous.
|This is my favourite from REY SWIMWEAR.|
So at the end of the day, bikinis do not have to be ‘itsy bitsy’ in order to look amazing. The above one is a tankini but still exudes all the qualities I look for in feminine swimwear. For that reason, I shall be saying attempting to separate myself from my bikini over summer (goodbye short-term confidence boosts) in order to respect my body as part of who I am. And, of course, to help out my brothers in Christ from being distracted by one more scantily clad women…
… Hmmm, need to rethink my suitcase for the hot tub party this Saturday 😉