Monday, August 07, 2006

Dangerous Curves

We were invited for lunch and a swim at a friends' house. My teen guys had known the girl of the house since second grade, but when she came out to greet us, we couldn't help noticing that things had definitely changed. New, lovely curves were winsomely displayed, even in her relatively modest bikini (an oxymoron?)

The boys, who had roughhoused and played with this girl for years, fell silent. They didn't look at her. In fact, they avoided all contact with her in any shape or form.

The girl was a bit hurt by their reaction. Had she done something wrong? No. She'd just grown up and filled out. Same smile, same heart, same sense of humor, but her new shape was making her friends feel ... odd. A bit dazed. Confused.

Warning: Your curvy body can do strange things to a male friend's brain. The Surgeon General recommends that you use it wisely ... especially around your buddies.


Erin said...

That's a good reason not to wear bikinis! Not to mention they are hugely immodest...

Mitali Perkins said...

Erin, thank goodness for girls like you! I visited your blogs, BTW, and think you're a fabulous writer. I especially love your book reviews ... keep them coming!

MAS said...

Yes! This is what I love hearing - that bikinis are extremely immodest. So many teenage girls - mainly Christians - I've talked to wear them.
By the way, Erin, I've also visited your site several times. Have you ever heard of the Christian Writers Guild? Jerry Jenkins started it several years ago, and now they have a writing program for teenagers. You get a personal mentor who goes over your assignments and helps you become a better writer. I'm 15 and I'm doing this course right now.


Mitali Perkins said...

I've never had the guts to wear a bikini myself. When I was a teen, I felt shy even appearing in a one-piece, which some people from my part of the world thin is extremely immodest. I've seen women on Indian beaches bobbing in the waves still dressed in their long sarees. So I guess "immodesty" can be defined differently from culture to culture. Some Muslims require women to cover up so that they don't cause men to lust, but doesn't that seem to put too much responsibility on the girls and not enough on the guys? I don't know. What do you think?

MAS said...

Actually, I recently read a book by Carmen Bin Laden, who was a relative by marriage to Osama Bin Laden. While she was living in Saudi Arabia, she said that having women be fully veiled seemed like an insult to men, in essence saying that they didn't have enough control over themselves and would be tempted to sin if they saw even a woman's face. It seems like a travesty to have women become almost non-people over an issue of modesty. Being modest is definitely in God's plan, but in my opinion some cultures go overboard in that respect.


Mitali Perkins said...

So, just to keep the conversation going, do you think banning bikinis disrespects boys by saying that they essentially can't control their eyes or thoughts?

b said...

Hey, I know I'm new to this three-way conversation :-), but I thought I'd add some comments that I feel very strongly about.
In asnwer to your question, Mitali, I think that bikinis should be banned (if they could be, of course), because they most likely will lead non-Christian and our brothers in Christ astray. Some boys CAN control their thoughts and eyes, but if girls don't wear bikinis (skimpy or not), than that takes a major temptation away.
So in short, no, I don't think it disrespects our Christian brothers to 'ban' bikinis - it actually respects them by removing a huge temptation. Plus, it helps girls not to be so focused on themselves and honor God by their choice of apparel.

-Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven.

P.S. Honoring God by wearing modest apparel is a huge way to 'let our light shine' before others, especially in today's culture. Thanks for your comments everyone - a good discussion is mind-stimulating AND educational. And MAS, in addition to the last part of your last comment, I think that some cultures (such as the Muslim culture) can go overboard with such modesty issues, but America goes WAY in the opposite direction. Where's the middle ground? And what are some good brands for modest clothing that y'all have found?

Erin said...

Thanks Mitali! That's so sweet of you. :)

MAS - no I haven't heard of the Christian Writers Guild. It's sounds cool! (BTW I'm 15 too.)

Mitali Perkins said...

I'm not sure if I can make the blanket statement that a bikini is ALWAYS immodest. It's easy to make and follow a law without thinking, but I think Jesus is more intereted in what's going on inside a girl's heart than about letting us get away with living by a set of rules.

Okay. Take a closer look at that girl in a bikini. Is she insecure and trying to get attention? If so, why, and how can Jesus build up her security? Is she purposely trying to get a guy to desire her wrongfully? If so, why? And how can Jesus heal those hungry places in her heart so she doesn't look for love in all the wrong places. Is she wearing something she doesn't really feel comfortable in because she's scared to stand out from her friends? If so, Jesus wants to deal with that issue.

That's why it's important to take stock every now and then of EVERYTHING we put on every now and then -- whether it's a bikini, a business suit, or a burkah. Clothes aren't sinful in and of themselves, but the human heart surely is, and in desperate need of grace.

P.S. I also wonder if American guys are so bombarded with girls who show everything that they actually are more attracted to a covered-up body that leaves more to the imagination. Ask your dads or brothers and let me know, will you?

MAS said...

Hey, Erin -
Actually, Suzie Eller (a contributing author to this blogsite) is my mentor, and Sarah Anne Sumpolec (another contributing author) is my little sister's mentor.


FYI - 'b' on this post is my sis

Spatula said...

Just to jump in here, of all the guys I hang out with and talk to (and there are a lot, most of whom I discuss things like this with), it's not a biniki that turns them on. It's the daily wear that young women dress themselves in--the short skirts, the cute "baby" tees, the shorts, the tight jeans, etc.--that drive them crazy. Of course, I'm in college, and the men I deal with daily are a little different than those high schoolers to which you may be referring, but not very. Your actions and reactions are the stimuli for their thoughts, not simply the clothes you wear (or don't wear, as the case may be). I do wear a bikini, though I wear board shorts over my bottoms.

Banning bikinis, if it were possible, is the same concept of reversing time. If we can rediscover the modesty the past generations have worked so hard to discard, perhaps we can truly get this nation back to God, where it needs to be. This goes even further when you consider that sex is the drving advertisment for most products on the market today. Everything from clothes to food to diet plans and pills. Celebrities cover the front of major labels, trying to lure in you, the consumer, with an attractive, familiar face and a nice body.

Then again, there's always the argument that the degeneration of this generation is due to poor parenting and a general lack of concern with properly training the future voters of our country.

Thoughts, ladies? What is the true reason for the situation with our nation's youth--our peers?