Here’s the thing…everything that he said in this video is 100% correct. I believe what he said is true and we can all benefit from the information he shared. Teen girls are my thing. Their health, their view of self, their motivations, pains, views on beauty, etc; so, to clarify, everything I touch on in this post is for them. Maybe I will do a Part 2 for adult women, but for now I want to focus on young women.
Here is the problem: videos and arguments like the ones in this video are intended to help women understand why NOT to wear a bikini, what it does for young women is motivate them TO wear bikinis. The unfortunate truth is that it feels good to be objectified by a guy when you are a teenager. When you feel like crap about yourself on a daily basis, there is something eerily satisfying about turning a guys head. When I was a teenager I was 100% okay with the fact that when a guy was looking at me I was only an “object” to him…in my insecure mind at least he was looking.
Let’s go one step further, I would not have been caught dead being the ONLY girl at the party in a one piece! No way no how! Talk about making me want to crawl in a hole and die, how embarrassing, how degrading to be the only one covered up…ironic isn’t it? My point here is not to say “Yay for bikinis! Rock on!” or that modesty is not a good thing to teach on, IT IS. The point is that the bikini is not the bad guy, the insecurity that helps you put one on is.
It has to start young. The idea that you are created to be so much more than a body has to be ingrained in your mind over and over and over and over. It is never too late to start the “ingraining” process, but if all we do is shove the idea of modesty down their throats it just isn’t going to work. The motivation to be so proud of your body that you don’t want everyone to see it has to come from within, from a strength that is not of this world. We have to first get to the point that we actually believe we have worth that goes beyond attention from guys, feeling sexy, or living up to the world’s standard of beauty. I can promise you, as a young teen in this culture, it is very hard to overcome…hard but not impossible.
But parents, youth pastors, speakers, authors, youth leaders, friends, aunts, uncles, grandparents…telling teens to be modest so as not to be objectified by a guy is like reminding them why they are wearing them to begin with! OR reminding them that if they DON’T wear one he is going to be objectifying the girl to your right and left instead of YOU! Women will never understand the shallowness of objectification until they have something else to make them feel desired, loved, adored. To us, in this culture, in this time objectification feels like good attention. Let’s start showing them what healthy attention really feels like.
Here is the funny thing. I wore a bikini this past weekend, for the first time in a long time. It felt so weird. Not because I was worrying about men looking at me, I was just with my family. It felt weird because over time my brain has shifted in defining what my body is for. I literally felt like I was swimming naked! I thought it would feel good to pop into a bikini as I near the end of my twenties…to my pleasant surprise it didn’t feel good…it felt, well, like nothing. It felt neither good, nor bad, it was neither uplifting nor demeaning. That bikini was put in its correct place in this world, a piece of clothing, nothing more, nothing less. Strength, righteousness, peace, joy, hope, eternal salvation…now those are some things that feel great to wear.