Welcome to our new site! Give us your feedback here.

How to Raise One-Piece Daughters in a Bikini World

(It all starts with you, Mom and Dad.)
How to Raise One-Piece Daughters in a Bikini World

I was sitting on the beach in Sarasota, Florida, with my best friend, her sister, and my daughter when two men carrying surfboards strolled by.

They were in their late 30s or early 40s, seemed respectable, or as respectable as one can appear in a wet suit.

And then—in the midst of eating our picnic lunch—we overheard the blond man comment to his friend: "I love coming out here and seeing all these underage chicks in bikinis."

I looked over at my own little girl—two years old, with a fountain ponytail—mixing blue Play-Doh into the sand. She was wearing a one-piece bathing suit beneath her cover-up and sweater.

And yet I imagined her out there on the beach 14 years from now.

I imagined some lecherous surfer eyeballing my daughter, and it was everything I could do not to chase after that blond-haired man, jerk the surfboard away from him, and use it to bonk him over the head.

However, despite my anger toward that man, I was also angry at the parents of those underage girls.

It was so cold on that beach I was wearing a light sweater and rain jacket over my cotton dress.

And I could easily see the underage girls that man had been referring to—parading down the packed strip of sand in sparkly bikini tops—and I wondered why they weren't being protected the way they deserved.

Two weeks after I returned from the beach, the ultrasound revealed that my husband and I were expecting another little girl this September.

Staring at the screen, I thought again about what that surfer had said and the flippant tone in which he'd said it, and I wondered how I could protect my daughters the way they also deserve.

I have the responsibility of raising my daughters to become women who do not feel their value lies merely in physical beauty.

I have the responsibility of raising my daughters to become women who do not feel their value lies merely in physical beauty.

I want my daughters to feel beautiful; I want them to embrace their femininity, but I also do not want some 35-year-old surfer to be ogling this beauty that should only belong to them and to their future husbands.

I cannot tell you how ironic it feels to be typing this.

I attended a strict private school from the time I was in K-5 until 12th grade, and for the majority of those 13 years, I rebelled against the dress code.

My skirts came just a little above the knee when the hem was supposed to end in the middle. I wore heels that were three inches instead of the regulatory two.

Free Parent Connect Newsletter

Sign up today for our Twice Monthly newsletter: ParentConnect. Help and encouragement for raising the next generation of Christ-followers.

Read These Next

  • Current IssueFind Your Way Out of the Dark
    Find Your Way Out of the DarkSubscriber Access Only
    Depression can feel like hell—literally. Here's how to journey through.
  • Related Issue
    Is My Grandaughter's Behavior Normal?Subscriber Access Only
    "We are raising our 3-year-old granddaughter and I'm concerned about something. Sometimes when I lay her down for her nap, she starts to masturbate. Sometimes she does it when she's experienced a stressful situation, but other times that's not the case. Is this normal?"
  • Trending IssueRaising Jesus Kids
    Raising Jesus KidsSubscriber Access Only
    Hint: It's not about having all the right answers.
  • Editor's PickSettle, But Don't Be Stupid
    Settle, But Don't Be StupidSubscriber Access Only
    Everyone settles in relationships—here’s the healthy way to do it

For Further StudyFor Further StudyDownloadable resources to go deeper

Current Issue

September 02, 2015
September 2
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest
RSS
Email