Monday, June 23, 2014

Take the Plunge

Summer is here (cue Frozen soundtrack). We all know (and quite possibly dread) the fact that summer means it is bathing suit season. It means itty bitty bikinis are popping up all over the place, and you get workout videos that have titles like “get that sexy bikini body.” And all of this gets only an eye roll out of me. I read an article about bathing suits called “Have Time Changed for the Better? A Look Back at Women's Swimwear” and a few points really stood out to me, and I believe it is worth taking a look at.

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The word modesty and bathing suits does not seem to make sense. The article outlines a study that proved that when men see women in bathing suits, the women become objects in their minds. I am not about to start calling men pigs, and I’m sure there are plenty of men in the world who still treat women with respect despite what is on their bodies, but one cannot deny the facts from the study. And summertime is when these facts come into play many more times than the other seasons. Is that fair? The article has, in fact, asked a fair question. Have times changed for the better indeed. I look at the earliest bathing suits and think “wow that’s a lot of covering up,” when these bathing suits were, in fact, rebellious. The article goes through many pictures of bathing suits over the years, and we seem to be wearing less and less over the decades. This whole bathing suit madness is so confusing. I can’t seem to figure out whether this is female empowerment or simply the works of an overpowering fashion industry.



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Here’s a fact for you. No matter what decade it is, there will always be people judging. If you wear a bikini, you aren’t covering up enough, but if you wear a one piece, you are covering up too much. And can we just talk about the lack of cute one-piece bathing suits in the world? So what do we do to balance between empowerment and objectification? WEAR WHAT YOU WANT. It can be just as simple as that. I do not look all that great in a bikini, but I go ahead and wear one anyway because that is how I am comfortable. Some girls that would look fantastic in a bikini are more comfortable in a full piece. As the article states, “the truth is, whether you’re topless in a G-String or wearing a skirted maillot, someone, somewhere is going to be offended by your swimwear.” So stop worrying! The good news is that there are more and more options every year for all shapes and sizes (including some lovely one pieced suits), so find what you are most comfortable in. When you’re ready to take those layers off the reveal your super cute bathing suit remember the real reason you’re doing it: to cool off in the water or get some sun on your skin. Take the plunge and have fun doing it, no matter what you’re wearing!

-Daniella