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Discussion About Modest Swimsuits #2

The following is a discussion that ensued following the post entitled:

MODEST SWIMSUITS AT LAST! 

PRISCILLA:

My girls and I make our own swimwear and it is very much like what the Islamic women wear. Here are some more links, Christians and others are already beginning to cater to this untapped market:

Lilies Apparel

Stitch in Times

Simply Modest

Modest Apparel

Wholesome Wear

As for most Muslim swimwear, I wonder if it is easy to swim in long dresses. I have tried and get fatigued pretty quickly.

You have to fight some of the administrators at pools about modest swimwear. They argue that we wear more clothes for swimming than other females do with their day-to-day clothing! One time we had to go to court because of a rule against public dress clothes in pools. They did not believe that what we wore was for swimming. We go for the fun and exercise, not to burn ourselves or to offer cheap strip shows at the community center.

FATHER JOE:

I do not know what to say? I certainly support modest swimwear, but I thought that most would regard the styles offered as a tad much. Maybe I am wrong? Christian families are already buying into swimwear styles not dissimilar from that worn by Muslims. I did not know about this. God bless them and their efforts.

4HisCHURCH:

Modest swim wear is difficult to find (in mainstream stores). Since few, if any women have model-perfect bodies, never mind the need for dressing modestly, there are many “of a certain age” who just skip the idea of bathing suits altogether. I am glad there are some companies who manufacture “regular” swim wear with such features as shorts/skirts and tank-top like straps. I applaud any efforts in this area.

JANE:

Father, I agree with you and think the Muslim swimsuits are a little much. Like many young women I know, I managed to find a high-necked swimsuit and I wear shorts with it on the rare occasion when I visit a public pool or beach, but being covered to the wrists and ankles is, I think, over-the-top. Additionally, the baggier pants shown in one of those photos seem like they could be dangerous, hampering a swimmer’s leg movements underwater.

KNIT:

To tell you the truth, as a woman and a believer, modesty is a complex issue to me. Sometimes I find believers preach a style of clothing which, instead of being dignified (fit for the daughter of a King), is ugly. It seems to preach that there’s something inherently sinful in being woman, as if the fact that I am a woman needs to be hidden. I believe I am responsible for not creating unreasonable occasions of temptation for my brothers. But I do not believe that anything I can do can replace their own care to flee the temptations that rise from their own heart. Clothing that is well-fitting, pretty and flattering, without being indecent or too flashy to make me the center of attentions, glorifies the Lord. Every woman, of every shape, is beautiful and should dress like she believes that! I believe in looking nice, not cheap like a harlot or flashy like I am a billionaire showing off— I mean nice and beautiful. I believe that this would be approved by our Lord, who liked eating and drinking; who liked everything which was healthily fun and human. He told us to fast interiorly, not showing it. “When you fast, wash your head and perfume yourself, so that no-one knows you are fasting.” Sometimes dressing in shapeless long clothing can be a matter of pride, not of modesty.

On swimsuits, I have a personal pet-peeve with the “modesty” discussion. One-piece swimsuits only fit nicely shaped women whose upper and lower halves have similar sizes. When those halves differ by more than two sizes, the best idea, in my humble opinion, is to try to find a more or less modest bikini/tankini where each piece is sold separately. I am sorry, but that’s the only option for some women. (I am lucky that I can wear some one-piece swimsuits, but not all women can).

And what about men, do people forget that women also have lustful thoughts? Why is it OK for a man to take off his shirt when doing heavy jobs? If I have a lustful thought, it’s my responsibility. He is perfectly justified in taking off his shirt because of his job but when a woman needs to breastfeed a baby everyone is outraged?

THERESE:

Personally I like these swimsuits:

http://www.swimmodest.com/

You can swim just fine in them and they are modest, too. They are also really cute! I can also testify that they look better in real life than in the pictures. All my five daughters and myself have one. They sell out really fast so order early in the season.

FATHER JOE:

I am no expert, but I would tend to agree with you about the suits to which you link, Therese. However, while they might seem fine to us, I suspect they would never pass muster from our Muslim friends–no headgear and too much leg. I wonder what such issues say about our view of the human person and women in particular. Extremes either exploit or condemn God’s handiwork. I suppose the modest middle-ground is where struggling Christians would seek practicality while celebrating the goodness of God in his creation.

SHEREEN:

Hi, there, and the answer is, no, the straight leg pants do not hinder swimming. I wear my own “resort pants,” which are the straight leg pants (or the ‘baggier’ pants as you refer to them).

I can attest that they don’t ride up in the water, they are very thin and light (a couple of my customers have already told me it feels like they are not wearing anything), and it does not weigh down or hamper the swimmer.

However, I will mention that from a safety point of view, anything that covers the feet can be dangerous and hamper the swimmer. So, if the pant legs are too long, then in the water the pant legs will cover the feet and prevent efficient kicking. That’s why my company, “splashgear”, produces pants that fall at the ankle, but not below it.

Again, the straight leg pants do not hamper the swimmer as I and others can attest.

By the way, i was quite surprised to receive an OVERWHELMING response to the AP article. I never realized just how much non-Muslims wanted/needed full coverage swimwear. My sales and catalog requests to non-Muslims just sky-rocketed after the AP article came out, and I received so many positive and encouraging e-mails from mainstream individuals. Wow!

Thank you for your time.

Shereen Sabet – SPLASHGEAR
7445 Seastar Drive, Suite # 8, Huntington Beach, CA, 92648-2271, USA
http://www.splashgearusa.com

MISS KOERNER:

Hello, I am a young woman who was searching the web for a modest bathing suit for my senior trip to Florida coming up, and stumbled on to this page. I must say that as a God-loving 18 year-old woman, I was disgusted by those suits. They are not the least bit fashionable. I believe that God has called women to be respectful of men, but he did not ask us to look like them! Personally, I am proud God made me a young woman. I don’t want to look like a man. I believe that I can dress modestly without pretending to be something I am not. A modest full-piece or full coverage tankini can be less attention-grabbing than a young woman in one of those outfits.

I think young women like me would be more receptive toward the Church’s efforts to promote modesty if we were not made to feel ashamed of the bodies God himself created.

FATHER JOE:

Finding a modest swimsuit is a real issue, but I am not a prude about such things, even if I do avoid beaches and coed pools. I am glad that you are happy to be a female and you should not be ashamed of how God has fashioned you. I have no opinion about swimsuits other than they should be in good taste, not immodest, and safe to wear. God bless!

JAK:

I’m a young teenage boy and I personally think that most secular bathing suits are immodest and not fit for wearing in public. I personally feel betrayed when my “Christian” friends wear these immoral clothes on retreats or when just hanging out when we are supposed to have and display much higher values than our non-Christian counterparts. It’s been a standing debate between my friends and me that leads to bitterness sometimes; but, I really appreciate that there are still people out there who do wear modest clothing and bathing suits.

JENNY:

Are you kidding me?

PAMELA:

Hello, you might consider my swimwear line as another alternative. I offer retro/vintage styled one-piece bathing suits that have more coverage.

http://www.poppiswim.com

ROSE:

Yes, some of these are rather much. I’d recommend L.L. Bean and Land’s End catalogs for more modest style swimsuits and clothing in general. They are a tad expensive, but maybe you are paying for the extra material! Just “Google” either name for their websites.

FATHER JOE:

many of the styles at Poppina Swim seem quite modest but practical.

KATRINA:

I’m sorry, but isn’t one of the main points of being modest not drawing attention to yourself? I find that these Muslim-inspired swimsuits draw a lot more attention than a modest one piece or tankini. The desire to be modest should be an act of humility, not pride.

SW:

You should all try a top free or nudist beach for a day or two and get over it. Christians use the word modesty or indecency when they really mean body shame.

FATHER JOE:

And obviously you know no shame. Christians are well aware of fallen human nature.

SW:

Clothing does not make you superior to someone who is naked.

FATHER JOE:

“Superior” is a strange word to use. I would prefer the phrase, “more decent.”

SW:

This is nothing but Puritanism and has little to do with Christianity, Islam or Judaism.

FATHER JOE:

You obviously have little knowledge and/or respect for the Bible which speaks in many places about being clothed and modest, both in the Old and New Testaments. The Koran and the Islamic faith give their adherents many rules about dress. You really do not know what you are talking about!

SW:

What is a real shame is that you have to spend the rest of your lives hating your bodies.

FATHER JOE:

This is a big assumption on your part. It may be that Christians so reverence the body as an expression of the person and as God’s great masterpiece that we clothe it out of respect and to protect it from degradation.

SW:

Why do males get to take off their shirts at the beach and females do not?

FATHER JOE:

My mother used to fret with my father to keep a shirt on outside. I suppose it is somewhat cultural. Certain places of the world, as in parts of Africa, women may indeed go topless without Church condemnation. However, such is not the way with Western culture. Here we are not talking about a mother nursing her child but a provocative use of nudity.

SW:

It is all to dominate and make money off of females.

FATHER JOE:

Women are wrongly exploited that is true. But rampant nudity would enhance such exploitation. The tragic truth in some cases is that women allow themselves to be abused and treated as meat instead of as persons with sacred dignity and immeasurable value.

SW:

It never used to be like this. Both sexes wore little or no clothing throughout 98-99% of human history.

FATHER JOE:

You know this for a fact? Given that modern man emerged as predominate after the ice ages, I doubt that our ancestors ran around naked. Clothing is not just for style, but for protection, too.

SW:

The Church and State make a lot of money off of your shame. The Church uses nudity as a device to lay guilt on everyone about sex.

FATHER JOE:

And how precisely does the Church make money off of this? If anything, hedonists get angry and leave the Church, taking their wallets and purses with them; although without pockets, where does one place a wallet? As for guilt, it has to do with God’s commandments and the natural law. Your argument is with the Creator, not the Church. If people have sex outside of marriage, they should feel guilty, because they are guilty.

SW:

The State gets large sums of revenue from the sale of pornography, while saying that they have passed laws to fight it.

FATHER JOE:

Yes, so does the telephone company and, oops, so do the owners of nude beaches. What, you thought men went to such beaches for the fishing? There is enough hypocrisy to go around. Nude beaches are also exploited by the culprits of pornography. Heck, today anyone with a digital camera or picture-taking phone becomes part of the problem.

SW:

Females should at least go top free, just like males do. I’ll bet that if you did for 10 or 15 minutes you would probably do so for the rest of your life.

FATHER JOE:

I do not think that most women would even want to do such an outrageous thing. Given their sensitivity about appearance, most women like the way that clothes make them look.

SW:

Turn back the clock to way it used to be. Start asking the males around you why their chests are considered normal and decent and women’s are not.

FATHER JOE:

Could it have something to do with the difference in how men perceive and respond to women’s breasts over how women generally react to most men’s chests?

SW:

It would be great if every State would encourage females to go one summer top free. Most would never put that top or one- piece back on.

FATHER JOE:

Pleeeease! Do not make me laugh! You would have states mandate nudity? You are like the Taliban in reverse. They would require women to cover up and you would urge them to strip. Is this comment a joke? Is this really a male poster? You cannot be serious!

MICHELLE:

Wonder why we aren’t born naked, God hates it so much. OH WAIT! WE ARE BORN NAKED! GO FIGURE…once your “BUMPY” parts show you become indecent hahaha you people are fools. This is NOT a male posting. Father Joe, I think you’re a [deleted]. Reading your post made my stomach turn.

FATHER JOE:

What God creates is good and most Catholics are not prudes. The post was done partially in humor, although the issue of modesty is important– not because the human body is bad but because of the effects from original sin and concupiscence.

MELISSA:

Question: Are bumpy parts prohibited on just females or males too? I think it should go both ways, don’t you? Therefore, I must recommend that all overweight men wear bras… It’s just fair. And all men must also wear swimsuits to their ankles. Cuz we all might get turned on by the “bumpy part” in an ankle, right? What happened to the freedom that Jesus offers us? I’m sorry, this just is not a clear representation of what Jesus came to proclaim. I believe in modesty, but not legalism. Good luck.

ANON:

Check out http://www.modest-swimwear.net.

TIMONIOUS:

Who told them they were Catholic? Have they be eating of the tree of knowledge of which God had forbidden?

MS. D:

As someone mentioned, that clothing is grossly unfashionable. I don’t think it is necessary to go to the extreme to be considered modest. Also, I don’t think anyone needs to purchase your clothing to appear modest. A tank top and shorts can be purchased at any store. And not every one of them reveals cleavage or is unbearably tight. If you are really concerned about what girls wear, and consider yourself a practical person, rather than choosing the styles you prefer consider taking the time to listen to the girls that might consider wearing them. I hope whoever looks at your website knows that they don’t have to look like that to be modest.

LORILLA:

Does your wife wear these swimsuits or is she too embarrassed?

FATHER JOE:

Whose wife?

HENRY:

What some regard as modest, others find titillating or even fetishistic. The simplest way to eliminate eroticism of this kind is 100% nudity, Scandinavian style. What is familiar will not excite.

As a Catholic myself, I thought Catholicism was primarily concerned about bringing love to the world through the Risen Christ.

FATHER JOE:

I would still make the case for Christian modesty.

AL:

Joe, that’s sick. If you can’t handle swim attire, don’t go to the beach.

FATHER JOE:

Who is Joe?

BARBARA:

(God) forbid – just stay out of the sun and off the beach. Did not God design the human body? Are we to be ashamed and deny the beautiful creation called the human body? I think those people extolling the ‘virtues’ of modest swimwear must have their minds in the gutter. Methinks one doth protesteth too much!

BARBARA:

Muslim shmuslim. Please women, WHY would you want to propel us backward? This has NOTHING to do with religion – when will you realize this is about male dominance – stupid old men who want to feel powerful and seek to do this through the subjugation of women. Burn the burkha!

JEZZEBELLE:

If you want to save your young Catholic boys from temptation send them with a priest for 5 minutes! I bet they won’t want anything to do with sex for years! Maybe if you weren’t a dirty old man “bumpy parts” wouldn’t bother you so much.
Email: immodestwh–e@carolina.rr.com [This is not the actual email. I have deleted two letters from the attached vulgar name.]

FATHER JOE:

Am I supposed to take seriously a girl who calls herself Jezzebelle and Immodest Wh–e? Please get help and healing. I will pray for you.

JEZZEBELLE:

Why not? You take your crack pot beliefs seriously. The body is beautiful; the baggy crap used to cover God’s beautiful creation is not. The more you cover, the farther away we are from where God wanted us to be before Adam and Eve found the fruit of the tree of knowledge. Basically you’re telling women that because men are tempted they need to cover up. It doesn’t sound like my problem if I want to wear a bikini. I’m not going to go to hell so save your prayers for someone who agrees with everything you say.

FATHER JOE:

Jezze, the post was written somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I am surprised so many people read it as being totally serious. In other words, I think the baggy full-body suits are a bit much, even as they remind us of the importance of modesty. The body is beautiful. It is a marvel of design and shows the masterful hand of the Creator who fashioned it. Women should be concerned about how they dress, and willing to help men to be chaste, as they should also be. But there are swimsuits that both reveal a woman’s beauty and form while not catering to the pornographic. However, I am no expert in such things and would be the last person to catalogue what fashions are or are not acceptable. I never said you were going to hell. God bless and keep you in his love.

JEZZEBELLE:

And by the way, my mom gave me when I came out of what you are so concerned about covering efficiently.

FATHER JOE:

Are you a kid? The post about modesty had a point, but the comparisons to Islamic “baggy” dress and the like was tainted by parody. In other words, you may have taken it too seriously. [However, we should respect the choice of Moslems to select clothes which they feel honors God and preserves modesty.] I would not condemn the human body. It is God’s creation and whatever God creates is good. Modesty is simply a way to show respect to persons, particularly given the effects of original sin. Jezze, you should not label yourself as a harlot. Demand respect for yourself and show it to others. Thank God for your health and beauty. Enjoy your youth, but do not allow yourself to be exploited by anyone. God loves you. I will pray for you.

MICHAEL:

They’re too revealing.

FATHER JOE:

HERE IS A NEW LINK ON THE SUBJECT:

Saint Joseph’s Lilies

RAELEIGH:

“With strength of numbers, our families and girls can admonish the other so-called Catholic females on the beach: ‘Have you no shame for exposing yourselves in underwear? Protestants, I mean Prostitutes wear more clothes than you!’”

HA HA HA, You are so highly amusing…not. That comment is extremely offensive and not the least bit amusing. You are a [deleted] who claims to be under the direction of God. Your attempt at humor [deleted] and I hope that [deleted] with all this [deleted] you are spreading.

FATHER JOE:

Put some clothes on and stop being so rude and vulgar. Immodesty is a problem that needs to be highlighted.

YENNI:

I love the range of Muslim swim suits from ZEHBA!

I have chosen one of their floral designs, which I believe to be a better choice for moderate women. I have bought it from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

You can see many designs at their website.

http://www.zehba.com

C. P. C.:

A More Practical Alternative – My brother dresses his daughters in long board shorts. Yes, the kind male surfers wear and manage to find a way to do so very low slung and immodestly. Not so with these girls, though. For a top they again wear the surfer’s rash guard or ‘skin.’ These outfits look ‘cool’ in a surfer kind of way, allowing the girls to be very active in and out of the water, protecting them from the sun and lewd glances.

SLIGHTLY CONFUSED:

Dear Fr. Joe, as a young woman desiring to be modest to aid her brothers in Christ, is the best option to forego public co-ed swimming? Why should I reveal parts of myself at the beach I never reveal elsewhere in public? Seeking the help of a father, Slightly Confused

FATHER JOE:

A nice modest swimsuit, yes even with legs and arms exposed, would probably suffice. But really, I am no authority to tell girls what to wear. Your intention is to enjoy the beach and to go swimming. Mingling with nice guys and gals is also okay. A few young women I trust on this matter have some good suggestions and links. Here is their blog page:

Saint Joseph’s Lilies

SPARKLING SNOW BABY:

Hi, Father Joe, I found your article when looking online for modest swimwear for myself and my little girls. It took me a moment to realize your article was tongue in cheek, but after that it really tickled me. I felt sad when I saw some of the vitriolic replies you received. Some people truly cannot take a joke. I just wanted to say thank you for trying to address a sensitive topic in a humorous way, and for the caring manner in which you answered the obviously wounded people who responded with those posts.

One thing that I don’t recall anyone mentioning in a post is the freedom modesty brings. When I wear modest clothes, I’m more comfortable and can jump and play with my kids without thinking “gee, what’s hanging out now?” I want my girls to have the same freedom. And I don’t think my mind is “in the gutter”!

For those worried about fashion, I would suggest they try asking their kids. My husband wants our girls to be modest, but he laughed at me when I suggested we purchase suits for them from a modesty site. He then showed the pictures to our oldest, age 9, expecting her to loudly refuse. (She is quite vocal and opinionated.) Imagine his surprise when she became really excited, and asked us to buy her one right away. Honestly, our little ones have a sense of what is right. They don’t want to feel exposed and naked in front of strangers. Get a clue, people! God bless you Father Joe!

A Protestant 🙂

To Be Continued…

4 Responses

  1. Sam, there is some truth to what you say.

    See the post HEADING TO THE BEACHES & MODESTY.

  2. How people look or what they look like is so superficial… all I really remember about a person in the end is what they thought about others.. now granted, beauty is an attention grabber, but I tend to think less of attractive people in general, kinda in the same way I think of training wheels on a bike or someone who’s using a wheel chair when their legs work fine. If the most important thing about you is the way you look, …modest or immodest…. don’t get angry if that’s all they ever notice.

  3. MarSea Modest Swim & Gymwear offers over 20 styles of separates which are UV50+ and chlorine resistant. Quick-drying, breathable, lightweight, and non-transparent. Reasonably prices. Ask about clearance items. http://www.MarSeaModest.com. “Cover what you want…in Style!”

  4. Modesty is an important issue for Jewish women, too. I have a Jerusalem based family owned modest swimsuit company. http://www.modestswimwear4u.com , Our suits look like a dress but feel like a swimsuit in the water. They are made of out special fabrics that stay light weight when they are wet so they are easy and safe to swim in.

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