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. 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?