I’ve been thinking about modesty as it pertains to swimwear for girls. Last week I took my kids to the park for a picnic with some other families. The park had a splash pad where the kids played after lunch. Conversation among the parents soon turned to how revealing the swimsuits were on some of the little girls at the park, and how we preferred more modest suits. I began to wonder, though, what constitutes modesty when it comes to swimsuits, because I know the definitions varied even in our small group.
I bought my oldest daughter’s swimsuit a little before our picnic, and surprisingly, it was easier this year to find a swimsuit that I felt was appropriate for her age. She is 10 years old, and ever since she outgrew the little girl sizes the swimsuit selections have been pretty dicey. The clerk at the store complimented me on my selection, saying that she really liked for young girls to wear modest one-piece swimsuits.
Of course, the swimsuit I chose for my daughter was a lot less revealing than some of the teeny bikinis that other girls were wearing. But my daughter’s conservative tank suit was comparatively scandalous compared to the swimsuit that her friend wore. Her friend, a girl a couple of years younger than her, comes from a family that practices modesty in all types of dress. She and her mom almost always wear skirts below the knee. I was not surprised to see that she had a modest swimsuit with a short skirt and leggings underneath, but I was surprised to see how cute and functional the suit actually was.
Depending on your definition of modest, there are swimsuits out there for almost every little girl now. From sporty tanks and full length tankinis to Rash Guard shirts and shorts in stylish fabrics, there are many options available in most department stores or online. Even more modest swim attire can be found online or in specialty shops. Best of all, many modest swimwear choices also protect against harmful UV rays.
When it comes to swimwear, I just don’t want my pre-teen daughter running around in a string bikini or a backless two piece with booty shorts that barely cover her behind. She is a little girl, and I do not want her wearing a swimsuit that sexualizes her. Padded bra tops and low cut hipster bottoms serve no purpose but to emphasize body parts that no one should be ogling on little girls. And like it or not, people are looking.
More by Tavia:
Protecting your children from predators in public places
Three Things to Avoid on the Splash Pad
Helping Children Overcome Nature Deficit Disorder