08 July 2013

Mormons in Bikinis

When I first stumbled into blogland, I quickly fell in love with all the Mormon fashion bloggers it has to offer. Modesty is dying out and I felt connected with this small group of women who shared a goal similar to mine: to have a closet-full of clothes both modest AND cute. Then came the summer trips, and..hello! Who knew that 90% of them wear bikinis!? For two or three summers now I have read the confused comments and noticed that the bloggers in question provide little to no explanation. I guess I can understand that nobody wants to go into detail about their church's stance on swimwear every time they post a poolside picture...but for those still curious, I write this post.


This obviously isn't one of the ten commandments, and you aren't going to find the answer in the Bible...so where do we turn? Mormons believe that there is a living prophet on Earth, to inform us of God's will on topics and events relevant to today's generation. These prophets have formed guidelines that some members adhere to as strictly as the ten commandments, and some disregard as mere advice.

Many years ago, the church guidelines said that we shouldn't wear two piece swimsuits. However, the definition of "two piece swimsuit" soon became unclear, since some tankinis are just as modest as one pieces. The guideline of only wearing one piece swimsuits was replaced with a more general one that you should only wear modest swimwear. This is where people have opened it up to interpretation and chosen for themselves that there is nothing wrong with a bikini if they feel comfortable in one. Really, the choice belongs to whomever is in the suit!

It bothers me when one Mormon curses another for wearing a bikini.
Obviously, that's not the Christ-like approach. Maybe it's not the best option, but there are far worse things that someone could be doing with their body. We're here to make our own choices, not to call others out when we don't agree with them. To choose for myself, I tried wearing a bikini out in public once.


That's me on the left, ha! Can you tell I wasn't very comfortable that day?! Since then, I have made a personal choice to dress modestly, whether I'm at the beach or in my own home. I do so out of the respect I have for my body, which I consider to be a temple since it was created by the Almighty God, and paid for by the blood of His Son. I feel uncomfortable wearing anything that I wouldn't wear in front of Him.

15 comments

Ashley R said...

Interesting post! I'm not Mormon, but I did attend BYU, so I know what you mean about people having different interpretations of modesty. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

Angie Mae Scullion said...

This is one of those posts you read that make you go "oh yeah! I always thought about that!"

I'm not Mormon but I really believe that we should be modest out of respect for ourselves! I love when you wrote that you would be uncomfortable wearing anything you wouldn't wear in front of Him--AMEN and Bless you! I won't go judging others but I really don't need to see a lot of what is shown!

Shay said...

Oh, I adore you! Your last pic reminds me of when I got the courage to wear a tank top to school (gasp!;-))but never took my sweater off! I agree 100% with everything you said! I choose not to wear bikinis but that doesn't mean I will judge harshly those who do!

Whitney M. said...

Your post reminds me of this one that Kalyn did awhile back. Thought you might appreciate if you haven't read it already.

http://www.lovelaughterhappilyeverafter.com/2013/07/the-swimsuit-controversy.html

Lindsay said...

Thank you for posting this! I wore a bikini on my honeymoon (in Hawaii, miles away from anyone that I knew), and I have never felt so uncomfortable. I felt like all eyes were on my body, and I no longer felt as respected as I feel when I'm more covered up.

I like your explanation of why you avoid bikinis, too, and the importance of showing respect to the Savior. Kudos to you!

Kenzie Smith said...

I absolutely adore the girl on the right's bikini!! That being said.. I've always been curious on how religions decide what is and isn't considered appropriate. My mom is Pentecostal and if I understood right they can wear modest swimwear as long as it is only women present, but with men around they have to basically be fully covered (elbows can't be showing nor can knees, etc).

Kalyn Randolph said...

Hi Laynah! Thanks so much for taking an interest in jumping over to my space to read my post on this topic. It was one that was on my heart for some time and I found it best to share in hopes of inspiring others. I was very encouraged by the diverse arguments and insights from others who may or may not have been in agreement with my stance on the topic. Nevertheless, it is something that has been stired in the hearts of others and the seed has been planted. :)

On a completely different note, I love that you are bold enough to stand up and stand out for your body in respect. That is definitely an attribute that many women will not represent in this day and time. Although I am not Mormon, I share many of the same beliefs as you. I completely, 100% agree that no matter what you wear- if it is not something that you would not want to wear in front of the Lord, it is certainly not appropriate for the eyes of others. I could really go on and on just because modesty means to so much to me, which is unfortunately looked by through many wrong angles today. However, I so appreciate your willingness to share this post with your readers! Your heart is golden, friend!

Jennifer Martinez said...

you can still be cute in a one piece! and I personally think they are much more comfortable and easier to move around in :)

one of my best friends (and roommates) from my freshman year in college is a Mormon!

Gayle said...

I'm not Mormon, but I have always wondered this! haha I'm clearly not here to judge anyone, but it makes me happy that you tried both for yourself to see what makes you most comfortable. :)

Jessi Francis said...

I'm not mormon, but that was a really good way to put it. Wear what's comfortable for you, as well as think if you would wear it in front of Him.

Mikell Gordon said...

I am a mormon, and I am endowed. I grew up wearing bikinis, so I've never thought anything of it. I think it's a personal decision for the person who is wearing the swimming suit, like you said in your post. Some people are not comfortable in two pieces, I am comfortable in them. I always wonder why people say they are "gawked at" on the beach for wearing a two piece because I totally disagree with that. I've never felt anyone staring at me or judging me because I am in a swimming suit- that's considered to be "normal" (for most of the world's standards..)

Honestly, I don't see why people think wearing a one piece is any more modest. You still couldn't wear garments under a one piece, leaving it just as immodest as showing three inches of midriff.

It's nice that we are all entitled to different opinions, and I did like this post! Way to lay it out there girl!

Jamie Sefcik || Hello Little Scout said...

Loved this! There are so many misconceptions about this topic. There are tons of cute modest swimsuits out there!!

Lexie and Brayden said...

Hahaha that is so me when I tried wearing a bikini once. All my friends wear bikinis and I'm always the odd one out. Hahaha but atleast I feel comfortable and proud of my decision. Because I made it for myself. Glad there is someone out there who feels the same way :) you couldn't have said it more perfect! Thank you :)

Jenessa Kramer said...

I love this Laynah! I too tried wearing a bikini once. My dad isn't a member and we would spend the summers in his pool. Once, I had run out f swimming suits that were clean and he bought me a two piece. I couldn't even walk out of the house, I felt so uncomfortable. I love being covered up and being seen for my face and my personality and not what I'm revealing. But even with that said, some one pieces can be more revealing than two pieces are! I think it just depends on what makes you comfortable and what makes you able to be you and the happiest you at that! You explained it so well!

ashleynicole @ [real life, real love] said...

You are the cutest. I love that you couldn't take off your tank & jacket! And I love this post. So well put :)

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