Monday, September 8, 2014
Is it Okay to Let Little Girls Wear Bikinis?
This morning I was scrolling through my Google+ feed and came across a picture of Beyoncé and her two-year-old bikini-clad daughter on a yacht. The caption posed the question: "What do you think of the bikini?" referencing the two-year-old who was wearing an adorable baby blue two-piece. I commented with: "What's wrong with the bikini?"
No really. I want to know: Why do people make such a big deal out of babies wearing bikinis? I know, I know, there are sickos out there who may look at your baby in a sexually perverse nature. Guess what: If someone is going to look at your child in that way, they are going to do that whether she is wearing a potato sack or a bathing suit.
Women and child in bathing suits in early 1900's.
Notice how their breasts are still noticeable and
you can still see the shape of their hips and their
nipples poking through?
Growing up as a child in the 80's in Miami, most of my childhood pictures are of me wearing the bottom half of my bikini only. Surrounded by boys, girls, grown-ups and children at backyard barbeques, on the beach and swimming in the pool. There are no photos with a pervy old man in the background watching me, no one ogling my bare stomach and mosquito bite nipples.
Yes, there are people out there who prey on children. Yes, it is disgusting and heartbreaking and repulsive. Do I think those people should be strung up by their toes and have their genitals cut off? Yes, I do. What I don't think should happen is for parents who allow their daughters to wear two-piece bathing suits to be persecuted as though they are the disgusting ones.
Here is a picture of three young women
in full-coverage bathing suits. Due to their
stances and mischievous looks on their faces,
some may consider this picture provocative,
yet no stomachs or breasts are visible.
Sadly, child abuse - sexual and other forms - has been occurring as long as man has been on earth. Clothing and bathing suits seem to get more and more revealing and provocative with each generation, but that doesn't mean pedophiles didn't exist during Victorian times. Yes, there are statistics that show abuse cases are more frequent now, but there are also a lot more people in the world and we tend to hear about them more. Thanks to mainstream media, and the fact that we are constantly connected to the world through social media sites, news of horrifying abuse stories are everywhere.
I don't care if you allow your daughter to wear a one-piece, two-piece or make her wear something circa 1910. No one, parents or otherwise, has the right to judge those of us who do allow bikinis. You have no idea what morals we teach in our homes or how we allow our daughters to dress when not at the beach or by the pool.
Be aware of your surroundings. Know with whom your children are spending time. There are no guarantees in life, no sure-fire ways of keeping our children out of harm’s way. Teach your children about self-respect. Instill morals and ethics in them. Let them wear the bikini and teach them that there is no shame in the human body. They see and hear so much more of what we say and do than we realize. Maybe broadcasting that bikinis on children are "dangerous" or that they are "asking for trouble" is bringing more inappropriate attention to your daughter’s body than just allowing her to wear the stupid bikini in the first place.