Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Bikini = Sinful? Really?

Is wearing a bikini sinful? Well, what's sexier -- a breast or an ankle? A rear end or a bare leg? Long flowing hair or a knee?

That depends on where and when you are. During times when women wore only long dresses, the sight of a woman's shapely ankle was enough to give a man fits. Today in parts of some African nations, it's normal for women to be bare-breasted in public.

A few days ago I posted a link to a video in which a woman decried the immodesty in U.S. culture. I think she would say wearing a bikini is sinful. She insisted our overexposure was encouraging men to see women as objects. But perhaps she has it backwards. If men were regularly exposed to women's breasts, for example, maybe those parts would lose their allure. After all, topless beaches in Europe are not orgies, are they? (Never been to a European beach, myself.)

Ironically, topless beaches might be less sexually arousing than American beaches. Could the tease of a bikini be more interesting than two bare breasts?

A week ago I was drawn by the argument of those who said, "Wearing a bikini is a sin." I thought, "Yep, showing that much skin is just too much stimulation for men. By definition it's immodest." But by whose definition? Today I wonder if calling a bikini sinful is a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Modesty codes are complicated and vary widely. For now I'm suspending judgment on midriff-baring suits. But the really skimpy bikinis . . . I don't know. Maybe it depends on which continent you're sunbathing on. In any case, the American Academy of Dermatology and I suggest the amount of fabric in your suit and the amount of sunscreen you apply should be inversely proportional. If you've ever had a sunburn, you know why.

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