I remember my first bikini well. It was after college. My roommate and I were taking a senior trip to Mexico. I had lost some weight, and suddenly, in my mind, I became worthy of bikini-coolness. Wrapped up in those two small pieces peach, shimmery fabric was the thought that my body was now okay enough to be seen.
I was finally acceptable.
Finally worthy of attention.
Bikinis bring you more attention – regardless of what people try to tell you. You get more sideways looks with the eyes, more glances in your direction through sunglasses. But the funny thing is that the attention offended me. I found myself thinking, “What are you looking at?” or “I’m not a piece of meat!” I wanted the bikini, but I wanted it on my terms.
It doesn’t quite work that way.
Our culture tries to impose on us this idea of singular living — living as if you’re the only one in the world — therefore your rights are more important than other people’s and your decisions affect no one but yourself. However, singular living isn’t how God designed us to live.
God designed us to live in community.
He tells us to consider our neighbor.
1 Corinthians 10:24 – No one should seek their own good, but the good of others.
He tells us to bear each other’s burdens.
Galatians 6:2 – 2Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
He tells us to not to be stumbling block for others.
Romans 14:13 – Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Even though I couldn’t have verbalized it at the time, I was looking for that bikini to give me self-worth. It was my badge of honor telling me that I was okay. Except that I wasn’t okay. And I didn’t feel okay. I was lacking the truth that I was already chosen, worthy, and acceptable.
Whether we wear bikinis to get attention or to make us feel worthy, we must ask ourselves:
- What is at the heart of my decision?
- Am I trying to fit in?
- Am I showing off my body?
- Am I wanting to make others jealous?
- Am I trying to get attention?
- Am I trying to gain self-worth?
- Am I showing off?
Wearing a bikini is a decision you’ll have to make. As you consider the questions above, think about whether a bikini is really beneficial for you. And go a step further by considering whether it is beneficial to the people around you.
1 Corinthians 10:23 NIV
“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial.
“I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.
We hope and pray that you will ask yourself these questions and prayerfully examine your heart. If you’d like to think on this even more concretely, take time to watch this video of Jessica Rey, an actress and designer, who talks about the evolution of the bikini and how bikinis actually contribute to accomplishing the exact opposite of what women are seeking. According to her, they do not build women up. They tear them down.