This piece of clothing was considered so scandalous that mainstream models refused to wear it. In 1946 a man named Louis Réard designed and introduced the bikini.
This small piece of swimwear was considered so risque that Mr. Réard couldn’t find a single model who was willing to showcase it.
The only woman who was finally willing to model Réard’s new bathing suit was an eighteen-year-old nude dancer from Paris. As the first bikini hit the public scene, it stirred up quite the controversial discussion.
Wikipedia stated, “French women welcomed the design but the Catholic church, some media, and a majority of the public initially thought the design was risqué or even scandalous.”
What was once considered so risqué that only a nude dancer would wear it, is now the most popular form of swimwear available today.
It took less than 50 years for this “scandalous” swimsuit to gain international popularity amongst women.
So what happened? Well, even the most shocking things can become normal if you see them enough. The more the bikini was showcased on mainstream media, the more women softened to the idea. The more the bikini was worn by famous actresses and models, the more the average women accepted it.
Wikipedia stated that “by the early 2000s, bikinis had become a US $811 million business annually, and boosted spin-off services like bikini waxing and the sun tanning.”
So, here’s the obvious question. Is there anything wrong with the bikini? Well, it all depends on your worldview.
Personally, I see several major issues the bikini has created.
The bikini has single handedly destroyed the moral compass of the average woman today. The bikini has warped almost every woman’s view on modesty and decency. When a woman is told that it’s completely normal and appropriate to uncover 90% of her body, she is being taught that nakedness is totally normal.
And here’s the biggest problem of all. The bikini has lowered the “modesty” bar so severely, that very little is now considered inappropriate. The bikini has initiated a moral domino effect that will eventually lead to mainstream cultural nudity.
If the bikini is appropriate and “empowering” for women today, how far will it go tomorrow? Europe reveals the unsettling answer.
It’s now considered totally normal for women (and men) to swim nude in Europe.
Why? Because that’s exactly where a worldview apart from God’s Word takes you.
When the idea of “modesty” becomes extinct from a nation’s vocabulary, there are no limits. No outfit choice can be considered “immodest” anymore because modesty itself doesn’t exist.
The only reason we, as Americans, still cover our intimate parts is because our country was founded on Biblical principles. Clothes were God’s idea. Modesty comes from God. Clothing was God’s specific design to cover the shame that resulted from sin.
The further a culture moves away from God’s Word, the less they’ll see their need for clothes.
Sadly, the bikini is a clear sign that America is moving away from God’s Word. The bikini has totally destroyed our view of modesty. We’re now one step behind Europe.
So here’s another obvious question. Should you, as a Christian girl, wear the bikini?
Well, it all depends on your worldview.
If you’re a practicing Christian, your worldview and beliefs should be built on Biblical principles. Your moral compass should align with God’s Word. You should have a solid understanding of God’s purpose for giving you clothes in the first place and you should act on that understanding.
Your clothing should reflect your desire to honor God with your body.
Your clothes should reflect the purity and holiness of your Savior. Your clothing should display humility rather than pride. Your clothes should reveal your need for a Savior.
When a Christian girl says it’s “okay” to wear a bikini, she is essentially saying that uncovering her body is pure, appropriate, God-honoring, and modest. She is telling the lost culture around her that partial nudity is a good thing.
By placing her stamp of approval on the bikini, she is forced to lower the bar on modesty down to a few measly pieces of triangular fabric.
This is disastrous.
As Christian girls, it’s our responsibility to pull our lost culture toward God’s Word, not away from it. It is our obligation to raise the moral bar, not lower it. It is our duty to lead our culture towards modesty and decency, not away from it. It is our privilege to showcase the purity and holiness of Christ, rather than the nudity of our culture.
As Ephesians 5:1,8, and 10 says, “Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children…for at one time you were in darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light…and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord.”
Our swimwear and clothing should be an obvious representation of our King. We are called to imitate (or represent) Christ in everything we do. Our modesty in the water (and out) should be an obvious sign of Who we serve.
It should be easy to spot a Christian girl based on her wardrobe.
I can’t encourage you enough to take your swimwear seriously. Don’t lower your standards down to the bikini. Don’t justify it simply because it’s popular. Don’t accept a piece of clothing that only a “nude dancer” was willing to wear.
We have to be different. The gospel is at stake. God’s glory is at stake. The morality of our country is at stake. When it comes to your swimwear, don’t be a cookie cutter girl.
For more on modesty and swimwear, grab a copy of our brand new e-book! It’s called, Project Modesty: How to Honor God with Your Wardrobe While Looking Totally Adorable in the Process. This post is a part of our two week series called #ProjectModesty.
Now, I really want to hear from you.
- Why do you think the bikini was considered totally risqué in 1946? What changed today?
- Do you personally consider the bikini to be modest or immodest? Why?
- Only using the Bible, how would you make a case for or against the bikini?
Photo Credit: Here