I bought a Mom swimsuit and it wasn’t because I had given up

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Maybe I should chalk it up to poor customer service, but the saleswoman’s remarks still echo inside my head, though uttered over a year ago. She saw me coming up to the register holding a simple, black, one-piece swimsuit, and frowned at me, and said, “Oh, you’ve given up. You’re getting the Mom swimsuit. You don’t need to give up. You’re a young, attractive woman. We have a lot of more flattering suits that will be much better for you.” She then proceeded to show me suits in the catalog  that were less boring, and more attractive with their patterns and bright colors. But, I kindly declined, and bought the “mom swimsuit” but it wasn’t because I had “given up,” though on what I was supposedly “giving up” I’m still not quite sure. Yes! I love all her reasons to rock a "mom swimsuit!"Because, here’s the thing. The swimsuit I bought was a quality swimsuit from Lands’ End. I love their swimsuits. I especially love them for their longer torsos, as that is my #1 problem trying to find a swimsuit that fits my tall frame, so that I’m not left constantly pulling up or down to cover certain parts of my body properly. And, this slimming black swimsuit also had a great price tag on it at around $40. I could afford that. I couldn’t afford the $110 price point for the cuter, less “give up,” less “Mom,” suits.

So, while I’ll agree with her that my suit is not the most attractive swimsuit out there, and maybe doesn’t flatter my body like others would or could, I’m pretty sure I don’t care about showing off my curves. Because, my goal and object when heading to the pool, the beach, or the river with my family is not to be fashionable, or sexy, or hot. I want to go swimming. With my family. That’s it. I don’t want to worry about flashing someone something only my husband should be seeing when I dive or jump into the pool. I don’t want strange men thinking that I’m good-looking.

Because, I already have a man! I am married to someone who thinks I am hot, sexy, beautiful, gorgeous, attractive, and pretty, every single day. Even in my mom suit. I don’t need a sexy swimsuit to please him. And I certainly don’t want a more revealing/attractive swimsuit to please anyone else.

Why do I need a swimsuit that flatters my body, when I all I really care about it how well it covers my body, and holds in my post-twin-pregnancy belly, as well as how comfortably I can swim in it? I don’t need to show off more of my pasty skin that will just require more sunblock. I don’t need a flowery pattern on it to be feminine. I don’t need two pieces in order to be modern. I need a swimsuit so that I can enjoy getting wet on a hot day with my kids and my husband, and perhaps some friends. And if my friend’s husbands are there, I don’t want them looking at more of me than I, or they, are comfortable with.

I am an endowed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and as such I follow a certain “dress-code” due to wearing special undergarments, which I am not supposed to take off, unless bathing, swimming, exercising heavily, or having sex. Essentially this means you will always see me wearing shirts with sleeves, and shorts and skirts that come down to my knee. I don’t wear short shorts, tank tops, or crop tops, because I have to wear clothing that covers the garments I promised to wear throughout my life, to serve as a reminder of the covenants I made to God in His Holy Temple. And one of the covenants I made deals with sexual purity. I also believe that wearing these garments serves as a shield and protection from the Adversary.  My garments and my covenants are important. And so while wearing an extra layer of clothing all the time is not the most convenient, or cool, I do it because I have covenanted to do so and I know the strength it brings me to follow that command.

I am telling you this because I want you to understand that I take modesty seriously.  And because I do, I cannot justifiably see how I, as an endowed member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, can exploit the few times I am allowed to not wear my garments in public, as a chance to show off my body and to sexualize myself to others with a low-cut (or high-cut) swimsuit.

While I completely agree that no one can force someone to think about them in a sexual way, or cause someone else to sin (i.e. no woman, despite how she is dressed, is “asking” for someone to rape her, or “got what was coming to her” for her clothing choices.), because we are all ultimately responsible for ourselves and our own actions and thoughts, I do not want to encourage any man to “look upon me, to lust after me,” thereby sinning, even in his heart. And while I know some men can find a woman in snow pants and a ski jacket sexy and desirable, almost all men see breasts as sexual. We can blame it on society or culture, but it doesn’t change the fact that this is a true statement for the vast majority of the male population. While respectable men divert their gaze, think of something else, or train themselves not to be turned on by such things, it is getting harder to find such men. And us women are often not helping to create such men when we brazenly flaunt our breasts and butts on any given occasion.

So, I wear a mom swimsuit. And while it shows off more skin in public than at any other time, I feel comfortable in it. I feel comfortable knowing I got it for a great, affordable price. I feel comfortable while swimming, jumping, diving, or splashing in it. I feel comfortable in that I am (most likely) not having men looking at me in that way. But, I suppose that comfort-ability over fashion could be exactly what “giving up” as a woman, as a mother, means. But, little did this saleswoman know that I don’t care about fashion much at all. And never really have. So, to give-up my fashion sense in favor of practicality, comfortability, and modesty, is just who I am. Mother or not, I would wear this suit. And rock it like only I could, with my fun, unique self.

Do you wear a mom swimsuit? Why or why not?

Comments

  1. says

    Great post! I can believe that lady would say that. Personally, I think that is a cute, flattering suit. Much better than a lot of the ones I see people wearing. I agree with everything you said though! Thanks for standing up for what you believe and explaining it so well 🙂 you are a great example!

  2. says

    I suppose I’m a mom who “gave up.” After the twins, as I’m sure you can relate, my abs just weren’t the same, even a year and a half later. So I wear one-piece swim suits. I especially love this brand called “Popina,” which sells cute “vintage” style one-piece suits that still add some style to my one-pieces.

    Now that I tend to wear one-piece suits, I’m a fan. I almost can’t imagine why anyone would wear a two-piece when there are so many cute one-pieces out there. I guess there’s the convenience factor (it’s a heck of a lot easier to undress and pee wearing a bikini!) but if people are going for the wow factor, one-pieces are pretty awesome too. 🙂

  3. Lisa says

    No, I don’t wear a Mom swimsuit. I have graduated to a Nana swimsuit. It is a 2-piece suit. The bottoms are like bike shorts, minus the extra padding. The top, the bottom of which comes well below the top of the shorts, is a tank-top style. Nana can play with no worries!
    Good for you on your modesty stand! You’re an excellent example to other young moms as well as to your own children.

    • aurelie higgins says

      I too wear a Nana suit. At 66 I am not going to show of things that should be kept private. But then I never have. Modesty has gone down the cultural tube. I am not LDS but am a conservative evangelical and have no need to cause the sin in another eye or heart. Never have and never will. (besides a 66 year old in a two piece that shows sagging breast and a deteriorating butt is not attractive. couple that with a sun parlor tan…Oh my. and I have seen that on the beach and at the pool. My husband would pretend he did not know me.)

  4. says

    Some people, not you, should just keep their mouths shut! I’m speaking of the sales woman. So rude. Your suit looks cute on you and there is nothing wrong with black. Personally, I wear a two piece. However, it covers up more of my bum than your suit does and the top covers about the same as yours. It’s colorful, but mainly because I am more pale than you. It is what it is. I have embraced it. You look great. Don’t let anyone bring you down at all. Rude people anyway!

  5. Tracy says

    I am so glad that someone else understands the value of an affordable, modest, ‘mom suit’! I’m not a mom yet, but I do value my modesty and frugality more than the average person. I work with teens, and sometimes it’s hard for me to get them to understand that my modesty is my responsibility to myself, God, and my husband. I’m a bigger gal. So the smaller the suit the more bust and butt hang out. I don’t think that’s an appropriate way to honor the temple of the Holy Spirit.
    I am so happy that someone had the guts to speak out on behalf of the functional, frugal, and super comfy mom suit!

    • Sandy says

      No, I wear a grandma swimsuit. It covers a lot and had bright flowers so that the grandkids can easily find me if we go swimming.

  6. says

    Isn’t modesty a dying art form? I love when you wrote “I don’t want strange men thinking that I’m good-looking. Because, I already have a man!” So true. I opted for a mom swimsuit simply because that is what I wanted. And half the time when I go to the beach I wear a swim shirt (a t-shirt made for swimming), and maybe swimsuit bottoms, but sometimes I just keep my shorts over them. We go to the beach to have fun and enjoy time as a family. Not to show off my hot body 😀 I could care less if my swimsuit is ugly. My relationships with my husband, family and friends are built on strong character and quality time, not appearances. Great post!

  7. says

    I’ve always worn clothing to fit my lifestyle which is an active one. I choose swim team suits made by Nike and the like and do not consider these “mom suits” while many women wear more mass appeal suits that seem like a real headache to worry about (straps, wedgies etc). On top of that I wear a long sleeve rashguard to protect me if I’m surfing and wear it to always act as sunscreen. A lot of my clothing is modest and some is not, I am a 38DD and many might think a lot of my clothing is not modest. BTW, a criss cross back would be a better suit for you so you don’t have to worry about the straps getting pulled at. I don’t understand how we can say one type of clothing is modest and one is not. Why are we making this judgement? We don’t all have the same body type. Good for you to bring up this topic and write about it but I have seen swimsuits more appropriate for the swimmer. Its all relative.

  8. Amy says

    Clearly that sales person didn’t understand what it’s like to wear a bathing suit around kids! It takes bathing suit shopping to a whole new level. No one wants a wardrobe malfunction at the pool or beach because your kids are pulling on your suit. Besides the fact that you should be allowed to feel comfortable in a piece of clothing that is revealing by nature. While we all have our own definition of what a “mom suit” is, we all need to support each other in our choice!

  9. Jessie says

    I am a Christian who takes modesty very seriously. You made a very profound statement I think more married women should consider, in short – if we already have a man then why on earth are we presenting ourselves to other men as if we are available? I think if more married women were to practice this, (and really it’s a testament to how serious they take their marriage I think isn’t it?), the family structure and marriage itself would be completely different in today’s society. I also think if unmarried women valued their bodies, and demanded the respect that modesty demands, we would have a whole realm of issues in today’s society that just wouldn’t exist.

    I think one thing to consider in addition to modesty is the location in which one swims. If one swims in a public area where there is a lot of immodesty and a lot of skin, then I think it can be bad for a woman even if she is dressed modesty. We’re human and if we put ourselves in positions where we could possibly lost, what’s the point in dressing modestly in swim attire? I hold the stance that the beach is okay, and it’s okay to swim – but to surround myself with immodesty is actually immodest.

  10. says

    buy what u wanna buy and wear what u wanna wear! she was trying to be complimentary and didn’t realize it was a little rude! but i still love me some bikinis 😉

  11. says

    I wear a “mom swimsuit” not because I’m a mom (I’m 22 and single!) but because I want to be modest as well. I’m insecure about my body, and I would just feel uncomfortable in a two-piece. My swimsuit is cute– floral (but not too old lady) and with a cute little skirt.

  12. sarah says

    Thank you so much for putting it this way. This needs to be posted in a magazine or somewhere for all women to see. Especially the importance and the reasons for modesty.

  13. Audrey says

    You know what I look for in a bathing suit? Something that’s going to keep me appropriate as I’m running after my kids. And preferably one that my still nursing daughter won’t pull off me at inappropriate times. I try to stick to racer back suits because I know they aren’t going anywhere. But yes… there is that downfall of having to put it back on after using the restroom

  14. Annette says

    Snaps to the woman shopping on the sale rack. That is my style completely.

    I’ve found though, that it’s not what others think of my body, its about what I think of my body. I love happy colors… does that mean I’m trying to attract a mate? No way, I have a lovely husband. We love each other madly. That shouldn’t stop me from feeling happy in my brightly colored suit… my personality is reflected in my fashion choice. If I saw that black suit and the same style in pink, guess which one I’d pick? That’s right, the pink! 🙂

    I know you have a religious restriction, and I support your choice, but realize that some body shapes will look overly revealed, even in that suit, even when the suit’s black. I love that you’re comfortable with your choice, but my choice is to show my kids that fashion is about making a choice to make yourself happy primarily, should not be a restriction that society can place on you, and certainly should not be used to judge others.

    Wear your black suit, sister, I’ll wear my fun loving color (bought from the sale rack). Lets stop assuming that my bright colors are because I’m a perversion of some kind. Instead, it’s because I’m a lady who loves color, loves to swim, enjoys her kids and is kind of loving how her body fits into that swimsuit from the sale rack. Also, if my kids are in bright colors, it’s so I can find them in the water. 😉

    • says

      Ha. I love fun bright colors too! Definitely fits my personality better. 😉 I think they only had it in black, and I just figured, well, who can go wrong with the classic black bathing suit, especially at that price? Now the maternity suit I just bought is a bright design and red/pink, with a black bottom skirt. I’m just happy it’s still covering my almost 9 months pregnant belly. That’s a feat for most of my tops at this point. ha ha ha.

      You of course make a good point that even this suit wouldn’t be considered “modest” on another woman perhaps due to differences in body types. It’s why I have a hard time buying anything just off the rack, because my torso is longer than average, so it doesn’t cover me quite the same as a shorter woman.

  15. says

    Besides the fact that I value modesty, I would never wear a 2 piece because…Stretch Marks and Extra Skin. Nobody wants to see that, seriously. Except my husband who considers them his handiwork, but I digress. And finding any kind of clothing that my children can’t pull off is a feat. Also, I sympathize with women with fuller figures; I can only imagine that would make modesty more challenging, or at least, more likely to have people judge you when you are just wearing everyday modest clothing. I have it easy since I can wear shirts that are like a foot low-cut without showing anything. Cuz folks, there ain’t nuthin to show.

    • says

      Ha. Yes. Fuller figures are harder to find clothes that fit more appropriately for sure, swimsuit or not! And yes, I have stretch marks and extra skin (hello twin tummy!). They don’t really bother me, but they aren’t the prettiest either. Rather just cover it and keep it held it. 😉

  16. Carole says

    I happened upon your bathing suit post by accident, but I always try to stop and offer support to young women who are trying to buck the social trends and remain true to themselves and their individual code of behavior. I am a child of the 60s, a former hippie who enjoyed what life had to offer back in the day. It is horrifying for me and my peers to see how the “free love” of our generation turned into the Tindr-swipe left morality of yours. I especially approved of your point that while we are all responsible for our behavior, ultimately there are certain parts of the body that are sexualized, our society agrees on this, so putting them on display is simply not appropriate. I applaud your sensible bathing suit, regardless of your religion. The point is to be able to go out and play, not pose on the beach. And, as the grandmother of a darling little girl, I will remind you that you are a role model and what you do is what they will do. If they see you behaving with personal integrity and honor, that’s how they will grow up. There is nothing more important for a woman than to have integrity and personal honor, it’s her amor against in a male-dominated and often challenging world. It should not matter to you that I am proud of you, but I am.

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