Are You Ready for Bikini Season?

Bikini season is back! Stores all across America have traded in their furry winter coats for the itsy-bitsy, teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikini. Summer is almost here, and girls are heading to the malls to pick out their new favorite swimsuit. Bikinis are the standard when it comes to summer swimwear. Just the other day I walked into a Target store, and the first thing to greet me was a mountain of bikinis. If a store is stocking up like that, girls must be buying them!

Millions of bikinis

Check out this statistic—American women spend more than 8 billion dollars a year on bikinis alone. Wow! Bikinis must have something going for them or girls wouldn’t buy them. Here are a few reasons I think girls are so bikini obsessed:

  1. The world says they’re cute!
  2. You get the opportunity to showcase your entire body, and it’s totally acceptable.
  3. You can get some serious attention from guys.
  4. Everyone does it. (Or at least it seems like it!)
  5. What else would you wear?

Okay, so I have to be honest with you, I don’t wear bikinis. And to be even more honest with you, I don’t even wear a regular one-piece bathing suit in public.

Hold up! Why would I do that? Am I Amish or something?

Before you write me off as a total freak and weirdo, hear me out. Let me give you a short bathing suit history in the life of Bethany. Growing up, I thought two-piece bathing suits were the bomb. In fact, my older sister Kristen and I would fight over who would get to wear the hot pink polka-dotted bikini to the pool. As I grew up and got a little bit older, my parents started talking to me about the concept of modesty. My perspective on bikinis slowly started to change. I came to the conclusion that a bikini is basically like a bra and underwear but designed for water. I realized that just because the bikini is culturally acceptable, that doesn’t make it a wise wardrobe choice.

Just because the culture says it’s okay doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because bikinis are totally acceptable doesn’t mean they are the best.

I would NEVER go anywhere in my bra and underwear, so why would I go swimming in something that covered the same amount of body? After that thought process, I upped my swim gear to a tankini top and very short board shorts. I was pretty proud of myself. I thought I was the ultimate standard of modesty. Although I didn’t wear short little shorts in real life or string strap shirts that showed cleavage every time I bent over, this was swimming. Somehow it was different, right? I convinced myself that the water world was different than the dry world. I guess guys were supposed to turn into super humans and not be affected by the excess of legs, stomach, and cleavage in the water world. Okay, so you see where this is going. Slowly but surely God worked on my heart and convicted me that I needed to be consistent. I wanted to help my brothers in Christ and honor my potential future husband (Prov. 31:12). Ugh, I didn’t like what I was realizing. Being convicted by the Holy Spirit can be really inconvenient sometimes.

Consistent in the water world and the dry world

I knew I needed to change. I knew that I needed to be consistent. I needed to uphold the same modesty standard for every situation and circumstance. I threw away my little shorts and tankini and went to get my new gear. Thankfully I found some great long black board shorts and a super cute hot pink surf shirt. Yes, I had to buy a triple extra large surf shirt because those surf shirts are made to fit tight! I’ve decided that I have to be consistent. I can’t uphold one standard for the dry world and another for the wet world. Let me clarify. I know that I still have a ton to learn in this whole bathing suit area. By no means am I perfect or do I assume that everyone should do what I do. This is what God has shown me, and my goal is to be open and honest with you about where I am. My encouragement to you is this, just because the culture says it’s okay doesn’t mean it’s right. Just because bikinis are totally acceptable doesn’t mean they are the best. Romans 12:2 says it this way: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Set a new trend!

Set your own standards for modesty, and then stick to them. Be confident in your convictions. Study God’s heart for modesty, and figure out why you do what you do. You have an audience of One you are trying to please (Matt. 6:33). Dress to impress your Creator, not His creation. Don’t let the culture push you around any longer. You have much more at stake than getting nods of approval from the world. You have a King to bring glory to, a future husband to honor, and brothers in Christ to help encourage toward purity.

Final Thoughts

What are your thoughts on the bikini? Do you think it’s an appropriate bathing suit to wear in front of guys? Why or why not? Are you consistent with your modesty standards in the dry world and the wet one? What is your reasoning behind your answer? Are you willing to join me and set a new trend in the bathing suit world?

About the Author

Bethany Beal

Bethany Beal is the co-founder of GirlDefined Ministries and co-author of several books, including Girl Defined: God’s Radical Design for Beauty, Femininity and Identity. She is passionate about spreading the truth of biblical womanhood through writing, speaking, and mentoring women, and you can catch her unpacking exciting and controversial topics every week on her podcast, The Girl Defined Show. Bethany is married to her best friend and husband, David, and they have one son, Davey Jr.