Modesty isn’t something that many folks consider these days. Our hearts belong to culture, our lives are devoted to pleasure, why in the world should we be concerned about modesty?
Because God says we are to be modest.
It’s difficult enough to pursue modesty when the months are cold but let them warm up even a bit and the inclination of many is to strip clothing off until little–sometimes exceedingly little–is left. Once the church addressed this but those times are no more. Few pastors have the wisdom or even the inclination to navigate the waters of modesty. This needs to change. May our heart’s cry be for pastors who will stand firm on Scripture and sanctify us with truth.
God’s Word on Modesty
I encourage you, sister, to read what the Lord says about modesty. A godly woman will seek to be pleasing to the Lord rather than adapt herself to culture.
1 Timothy 2: 9-10, Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.
1 Corinthians 6: 19-20, Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Proverbs 31: 30, Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Proverbs 11: 22, Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman without discretion.
The History Of The Swimsuit by Jeff Pollard
The conflict erupting over swimwear was not simply a matter of taste: the metamorphosis of the bathing suit forced our society to reassess its views of modesty. This was a culture war, a war of worldviews. As a people we shifted from the Biblical view of covering the body to an exhibitionist view of showing off the body. The sad outcome is that our society—including its churches—doffed its robe of Christian modesty and stood proud and naked on the beach.
To illustrate this point, let’s chronicle the evolution of America’s public undressing during the 1900’s:
Women’s arms were exposed in the first decade. Though this may seem laughable to some in our day, this was a major shift in thought. Women’s arms and shoulders were usually covered in public. This change, however, was just the beginning. The controversy of body concealment versus body display raged on into the 1920’s as legs and backs were progressively bared.
Cleavage appeared in the 1930’s. In their headlong pursuit for more freedom and maximum exposure, swimwear designers jettisoned the overskirt which had been standard fare for most feminine swimming attire. Both men and women wanted to showcase their tan bodies, so the legal prohibitions which were designed to protect public modesty were regularly challenged and all but discarded. Public resistance barely whimpered, slid its clothes off, and joined the crowd.
A technological tour-de-force took place in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and a major shift in swimwear design followed. New fiber and fabrics allowed the body beneath to come out. These fabrics made it possible to expose more of the body’s curves. The body hidden underneath the bulky old suits of the past was now literally emerging into the light of day. A two-piece suit first appeared in 1935 on the pages of fashion magazines. This bared a few inches of flesh between its two parts. Though some wore this daring item, it would not really become fashionable until the 1940’s.
During the 1940’s and 1950’s two-piece suits bared the midriff. Also popular was the maillot,61 which was designed with holes and openings to reveal midriff and sides. The maillot focused on the hips and became tighter. Once again, new fabrics made this possible. Elasticated knits accentuated the curves of the body in a way that was previously impossible. Now the body underneath could be amply exposed, emphasized, and exploited in breathtakingly skintight costumes, while its designers could declare that it was “covered.” The maillot inched ever lower on the bosom and crept higher on the leg. Most of the newest suits went strapless. Bared shoulders and skin-tight waistlines and bosoms filled the shoreline like high tide. During this period when swimming attire focused on the body’s curves, men with cameras focused on them too. Models smiled and bared themselves for the media, their bodies adorning virtually every kind of advertisement. Young sirens in bathing suits became a standard item for American merchandising which marketed everything from automobiles to political campaigns.
The navel was exposed in the 1960’s and 1970’s. Then in the 1970’s high cuts revealed hips. Designers bared women’s thighs sometimes to the waist, which bedazzled the America public with yet another erogenous zone. This made the so-called “conservative” one-piece suit more erotic than ever. And with each new fashion season, the creators of swimwear shifted and manipulated the new fabrics to unveil yet another part of the body. Their garments virtually shouted at onlookers, “Look here! Now look there!
And in the 1980’s and 1990’s even more radical expressions like thongs revealed breasts and buttocks. The designer’s intentions quite obviously were to disrobe and showcase parts of the human anatomy which had never before been “up for grabs” in public. Their constant eroticizing and de-eroticizing portions of the body and their perpetual search for the next erogenous zone to expose screams design.
Shops that sell modest swimwear
I’m sure there are other resources where you can purchase modest swimwear, and you always have the option of doing as my daughters do and putting together a make-shift one that works beautifully, but here are some resources where you can purchase, one should you so like.
Swimsuits for All (this shop doesn’t offer swimsuits as modest as some but it does offer some cute modest tops that could be paired with board shorts, bike shorts, etc.)
If y’all any other shops to recommend, please feel free to contact me or comment with the link.
Soli Deo Gloria!