Summer. Thoughts of lemonade stands, road trips, hanging out with friends, and long lazy hours at the pool or beach dance through our heads. While there are just a few more weeks left before heading back to your respective campuses, there is still enough time to hit the beach or plan that pool party to close out the season in style! Whether you plan to catch a few rays (with an appropriate sunscreen) or a few waves (tubing anyone?) you’re going to need the perfect suit for the occasion.
The old saying “never judge a book by its cover” may be true, but in reality, that is often what happens. What we choose to wear speaks volumes about how we perceive ourselves, and ironically, how we perceive others as well. A well-chosen outfit tells the world “I respect myself and know who I am, and I respect you as well.” A woman who is confident in her beauty radiates it outward and her manner of dress becomes a reflection of her interior reality.
So many magazines cater to a woman’s desire to feel beautiful: “10 Days to a Better Beach Body,” “5 Minutes to Perfection,” “20 Tips for Choosing the Best Bathing Suit for Your Body.” These titles are endless and appealing, because every woman young or old wants to be attractive, confident, and ultimately, beautiful. This is a good thing! Yet, in the realm of bathing suits, less is not more. Studies have shown that a bathing suit which shows more skin might be popular, but it actually causes men to view women as objects and distracts them from viewing her as a person who has value and dignity.1 Bathing suits that leave something to the imagination, however, elicit more respect from men. While a woman wants to be attractive, she wants to feel desirable because she has a unique subjective value and is particularly lovable. Therefore, she does herself a favor when she chooses a swimsuit with this in mind.
Following my earlier entry “She Wore an Itsy Bitsy…” young women approached me asking for other options. “If we know that less isn’t more and what we wear significantly impacts how men view women, what can we wear instead?” Do not despair. Vintage is in and classy never goes out of fashion. Consider whether the suit you currently own adequately reflects the beauty you would like to portray. As philosopher and ethicist Dr. Pia de Solenni says: “Beauty draws the seer towards the person seen; it invites them to know and have confidence in that person even without knowing the person intimately.” 2 With this in mind, maybe it is time to go shopping. Below are listed several companies that offer more coverage without sacrificing style.
My friend Marie introduced me to Jessica Rey’s Swimwear line. Jessica Rey is an actress and model in LA who grew weary of the skimpy swimsuit culture, so she decided to design a collection of her own! Using Audry Hepburn as her inspiration, she designed cute, vintage-reminiscent looks with a modern edge. Each style is named after one of Audrey Hepburn’s characters in her movies.
My friend Therese steered me in the direction of Hapari Swimwear. Based out of Utah, this company offers super cute styles that are functional, fun and beautiful. If you head over there quickly, you can probably catch their 40 – 50% off sale! Use promo code “Sizzle20” for an additional 20% off!
Lastly, J Crew, Anthropologie, ModCloth, LimeRicki and Target all offer cute one-piece and tankini styles to cater to your personality and budget. Check them out for great end-of-the-season sales. The longing to be beautiful “resonates deep within the human heart.”3 We hope that the above links will be a helpful start to finding a bathing suit that will be stylish as well as authentically beautiful. You can have it all: a great suit without sacrificing your budget, your self-respect, or your sense of fashion. How can you go wrong?
Ashley Crouch is the Director of Outreach and Programs at the Love and Fidelity Network.
1Study of undergraduate men at Princeton University.
2The Notion of Beauty and Women by Dr. Pia de Solenni