5 years ago

Fashion History of the Bikini, and the Power it Gives t...

Captive The Heart shared this excellent video on Facebook today.  I watched it, and having written about the bikini myself, I want to repost my blog from last year, and include this video.  Fashion designer and actress Jessica Rey talks about what we are doing as women when we think nothing of bearing “everything but our mother’s maiden name”.  The bikini gave women power… but what kind of power?  Please take the 9&1/2 minutes to listen to this beautiful, modest woman speak.

Here is Jessica Rey’s website.

And here’s my bikini post from last year (I definitely would have used the “Bathing Machine” Rey talks about, when I was wearing bikinis.  But I wasn’t afraid for the reason she describes.  I was afraid because the power she explains we as women hold when dressed in a bikini, I innately knew I did not enjoy emitting.  The wrong kind of power) Enjoy!:

——-

May 8, 2012

The link at the bottom of this entry is wonderful. It’s actually titled “5 Reasons to Keep Bikini Pictures Off Facebook”

In typical Carolyn-type blogging fashion, I’ma gonna piggy-back off of her entry and expound upon my own thoughts.  It adds wonderfully to my previous post about 5 things I’d like to say to women.

This site offers retro, modest-ish suits... to help start anyone in their search...

Number 3 alone from the Bikini blog is sufficient enough for me to have turned away from the bikini days.
Waltzing around in my underwear in front of the general public- let alone freely POSTING photos of myself in nothing but on Facebook is something I would never do.
So why would I think wearing a bikini is any different? Cause it’s brightly colored, or has frill or a print on it?  sure….

Hey I’m a mom. Yes. Yes I am.

But that doesn’t mean I’m fat and covered in cellulite. This is my third pregnancy, but that doesn’t mean my body is gone to shambles. I am an athlete. My body is blessed with the privilege of muscle memory and rapid recovery. My stretch marks faded to the same color of the rest of my skin. I also don’t over-eat. I’m a tall girl and weighed 123lbs before I became prego with my current little sugar.

So one may assume that I too -mom of three that I am- could wear a bikini if I wanted to.
But I don’t want to.

The truth is, I’ve never found bikinis comfortable in the slightest.
I’ve never enjoyed the feeling of eyes following me around the swimming pool.
I’ve especially detested catching men I don’t know and/or don’t like taking enjoyment out of watching me tiptoe around in my bikini, hoping no one would notice- knowing by their shifting eyes that they indeed have.

I wore a bikini because …um that’s what girls are expected to wear. That’s how I felt anyway.  I -much like the vast majority of young women, I’d like to believe- just did what was “normal” without questioning it …until very recently.  What a blessing and an eye-opener it is to become a mother. It’s made me question my ignorances and strive to be better.  Heaven forbid.  (I see the nazi-fem in the corner tsk-ing and shaking her head in disbelief of my welcomed “oppression”)

I always thought the more modest swimsuits were just plain ugly. …or maybe i just didn’t seek out those other options. I am GLAD to be able to use being a mom as an excuse to wear a bathing suit that covers all of my top and all of my bottom.

Secondly, I feel SO MUCH better about myself wearing a swimsuit that I think is cute AND comfortable.

I remember that literally EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I arrived at the pool, I dreaded taking my clothes off to reveal my body-in-bikini.

I hated it. (but I wouldn’t let anyone know THAT.)

I would sit as long as I could until maybe there was a chance that no one was looking and I could snatch my shirt and shorts off real quick and hop into the water for cover.

Wearing something that covers the parts of me that I think should only be for the viewing privilege of my husband eases me. I can actually enjoy being at the pool. I can also enjoy a compliment on my swimsuit because I know it must be genuinely given and not in total distraction of the parts of my body that it is NOT covering.

Also, I feel more confident. I remember shopping for a new bikini, expecting to look like the Victoria’s Secret model wearing it in the advertisement. How disappointing it was when I didn’t look like her. Then, upon arriving at the pool, I’d notice other girls who look more like the VS models in their teeny weeny bikinis, and I’d feel even more insecure.
“WHY WONT MY BODY LOOK LIKE THAT?” I would wonder in depression.

It all ties into the lie that women are telling one another: that we are, in fact, an object and are free to flaunt and use it for sex if we so deem. And that we should consider ourselves “liberated” by being such. (yet today there are daily news articles over the anger that women feel over being objectified by their body, pressured by societal expectations and photoshop-izing of it, and “WHY IT MUST STOP!”)

Cover up that stuff and -BY JOE!- I can have a conversation with someone who will actually look me in the eyes and not 12 inches below. (it’s about 12 inches, right?)

I also integrate this thinking into how I wish to present my children.
ESPECIALLY my daughter, if I am ever blessed with one.  By allowing her to, at the earliest of ages, bare her midriff and exhibit her yet-to-be matured bosom, I am teaching her that it’s no different than a boy’s mid section or chest.  (“WOMEN ARE EQUAL!” that nazi-fem shouts from the back.)

And that couldn’t be farther from the truth!

Exposing a woman’s stomach exposes her womb:  The most sacred of places on a human body is the one that bears new life.  And allowing her to frame her chest like turkey on a platter, reduces it to just that.  Women are given a chest for one reason: to nourish the new, unique life within her womb.

If I were to teach my daughter to dismiss those crucial facts about her body, she then reduces her understanding of her sexuality to a mere object solely for lustful purposes, misinterpreting the value of the human body which will also lead to a distortion of how she perceives (or ignores) the dignity of a new human life and ultimately perverting her understanding of true L.O.V.E: God’s love.  And these warped perceptions will radiate into all facets of her life.

If I were to teach my daughter to “flaunt it”, to “work it”, that’s all she’ll ever know about the value of her body.  And it will confuse her when after “flaunting it” I tell her that beauty is deeper than skin, and that she needs to be a “good person” too in order to find a good man.

She’ll be further confused when she stumbles through multiple relationships that hurt her because she thought by giving the boy her body, that she would be loved.  Yet, she isn’t.  She’s been used for it.  And she’ll search her whole life, unhappy, filling it with the material things that only amplify her physical appearance.  Unless by God, some sort of wisdom befalls her and she reads a few books that make her question all that she understood about herself up until that point- and that she doesn’t angrily and obstinately throw it aside!

By allowing my daughter to dress this way, it opens doors to child predators who flood Disney World/Land, the pools she swims at, the schools she attends, the sports she plays, and all other public events she attends.

Read just a hair of a fraction into how to be aware of child predators and all the articles will tell you they infiltrate kid-friendly environments, watching and waiting.  Perhaps for the ones wearing that innocent “Fairy” costume I thought was so cute when she wanted to wear it to the park. They also infiltrate blogs and Facebook pages, looking for the mother who posts “cute” photos of her daughters wearing “big girl clothes” all over without regard to privacy settings.  (It’s why I barely post photos of my own children on this blog.)

Now that’s sort of cynical for me to go that deep of a route of thinking for my daughter that I’ve yet to bear.  But shouldn’t I???  Shouldn’t I, as the guardian of a human soul, be aware of the possibilities of what may befall that person if I don’t scratch the surface of even my intentions for dressing her the way I do, as innocently as they are formed?  Wouldn’t I be an irresponsible parent indeed if I didn’t think about how she will be formed to view her body?  Forget thinking that by being a responsible parent I must have been PLANNING financially… what about planning spiritually, emotionally, logically?

I can give my child money, but if she doesn’t know what can happen when she uses it to buy and wear a lacy bikini, I’ve hurt her far worse than not having saved the cash for her to buy it.
No, no.  No more bikinis for this momma.  Thank you!

Cute swimsuits that cover are out there, it just takes a little more effort to find them.
A fellow Cathsorority sister ads The Shabby Apple on her blog (http://caffeinatedcatholicmama.com/  she’s awesome!) and I was delighted by all the collections on the site.  Hopefully, it will give any one who is in need of a boost to find classy clothes some hope.  

I found swim bottoms (on sale!) at Lands End last year that I paired with a tankini top from JC Penny and it worked out perfectly.  Here’s the link:

http://www.landsend.com/pp/womens-beach-living-mid-length-swimmini~235384_59.html?bcc=y&action=order_more&sku_0=::HME&CM_MERCH=IDX_women-_-swimsuits-_-shop-by-silhouette-_-bottoms-skirts

*****

5 Reasons to Keep Bikini Pictures Off Facebook.

5 years ago

7 QT #19 in Which I Actually Stick to Being Quick.

 

Okay. Seven things. Here I am, and here’s Jen & co.  Go see what they have to say– and have a great weekend!

-1-

Lexington turned 4 this week. It’s really freaky, and I don’t wanna talk about the ludicrously rapid span of time which sneaks by when you’re caught up in the moment of the “rough days” and they feel like it’s not budging. But I will talk about how I delight in the ridiculous things Lexington says as a little language learner.  A few nights ago, we discussed the properties of pea juice while eating peas with lasagna. That’s one subject I’ve never discussed in my life. Just check it off the bucket list, then.

-2-

Sometimes I have a looped nightmare (identical to a Vine) of either my 2 year old or my 9 month old eternally twisting after I’ve changed a diaper, while I’m trying to force each leg back into pant legs which have impossibly knotted themselves while still around each ankle.  If a secret spy agency ever needed to torture me for information, just sit me in front of two rubber poles continually twisting and wriggling, and make me put pants on them.
“okay–OKAY! IT’S HALF OF A PACKAGE OF INSTANT VANILLA PUDDING –OH PLEASE, GOD, STOP- LET IT STOP!!!!”

-3-

About 2 years ago, I found excellent foam pillows at Bed Bath & Beyond.  But after a year of waking up each morning with my head not on my pillow, I am now wondering if the pillow is too good for me.
As in: “Remove thy head from mine royal grounds or I shall expel thee on mine own accord, ye head of coffee grounds.”
As in: my head chronically rolls off the pillow.
So either I have a bowling ball head, or my pillow thinks itself above me. The knave.

-4-

Spring and summer means the annoying presence of motorcyclists. I can’t see you.  Don’t you get how dangerous you are being, you lover of the wind in your hair, you!? You, lover of the wind-in-your-hair, cycle sans helmet?!
But WORST OF ALL, is the casual, cool, obnoxiously secret little hand signal motorcyclists display when they pass each other on the road.
Do they offer me, mom in an SUV full of kids, this cool, peace sign as I pass by???
No. No they don’t.
I am offended by their elitist parading of all the wind in all their hairs.
SO. Moms in minivans and SUVs… lets parade our kid’s snot in our hairs by our own cool …umm… yeah…

-5-

Maybe motorcyclists are too cool for mommas, but… A few weeks ago I was at the mall with my little fam and mom-in-law looking for Crocs for our boys (Dont even get me started. They’re easy to put on, wash, and dry. ‘swhy we do em.).  I, the fast walker, had marched ahead of my husband and MIL who were strolling our oldest two. I was wearing Collin in the ergo. The Ergobaby, while wonderfully comfortable, is not something one wants to wear to look pretty, but I don’t care anymore.
So, I’m marching along, baby strapped to my front, my mouth hanging partially open as I gaze at the mall’s upper level from below, when my eye catches a sudden jerking movement about 10 yards in front of me. Two dudes, one who looked dead on Will.I.Am (hair cut, glasses, you name it), busted out a Michael Jackson dance move into the clearing in front of me, lunged at me (remember: mouth gaping, baby strapped to my front), and short of having a dance seizure, blurted out, “you GOR-geous!” And they continued about their business, whatever it might’ve been …dancing at tired looking moms, sure.
I, the one who all too easily shows the cold, frigid shoulder complete with an icy distant stare toward ridiculous public outbursts, stopped in my tracks suddenly aware of my mouth-breather expression, and smiled and laughed.  Sometimes I forget I’m a female in her 20’s.

-6-

One of my Cathsorority sisters shared this blog post with us on Thursday and I think it (AND part I) should be going viral, if it hasn’t already (it was written in March).

-7-

Father’s day. It’s Sunday. If you haven’t gotten a gift for the Dads in your life yet, don’t worry, I found the best gift EVER for ol’ Daddio. But hurry, it looks like they’re going quick!

There’s only 13 left in stock on Amazon. Better hurry!

or this:

only 11 in stock on Amazon. Quick!

…or my personal favorite:

GAHH! ONLY 1 LEFT IN STOCK ON AMAZON! SCRAMBLE!

*mwah!* “Have a good day at work, honey!”

5 years ago

7 Quick Takes Friday #16 A Week in The Life

 

I kind of can’t believe I have the audacity to be sitting/standing to write my Quick Takes for this week.  How about a photo doc for each day?  Convenient for me and fun for you! Since I Instagram to obnoxious excess, this should be easy. But, just so you know what you’re not seeing, I’ll include a sentence underneath each photo. Enjoy, then go see what everyone else is QT-ing about.  Peace à tous!

-1-

MANI MONDAY!

manimonday

What isn’t photographed: My manipedi. That I didn’t give myself. Since Easter. Boo hoooo.

-2-

WINDOW CRAYONS!

window color

Not pictured: the stained hands, clothes, and Emmett’s mouth when he decided to taste them. 

-3-

NAPPED FUZZY HEAD

sleepy weds

Not pictured: My completely hideous “fuzzy” head due to cranky, won’t-be-put-down-baby. Also, the rest of the disaster zone house.

-4-

TAKING TIME FOR SOME SELF REFLECTION

reflection

Not pictured: my discovery that there is/are still varmints living the good life in my vehicle. 

-5-

MY FAVORITE COLD SBUX BEVY + 2 SHOTS ESPRESSO.

work wed

Not pictured: the 5 hours I spent vacuuming & sanitizing every crevice of our 8 passenger vehicle. (found nest w/ spare tire compartment. yum-oh.)

-6-

ENJOYING WARM WEATHER

outside Fri

Not pictured: Me, trying to bathe all three grubby children and after drying and clothing the youngest two, being completely stupefied when while shampooing Lexington, a fully clothed Emmett jumped back into the tub without being seen.  (I cheated, this actually happened last week.) 

-7-

GREENERY HATH RETURNED TO BUMPY BRIDGE

good morning

Not pictured:  The fantastic 6 inch long bruise I now have running down my shin from tripping on a toy while carrying Collin and trying to take this shot.

5 years ago

Heartbreak in the Education Store, And It Isn’t W...

Although Craig and I tend to crack under the pressure of materialism, we try to steer our children opposite of it, knowing how it hampers our living and wishing our children to have better self discipline in their adulthood.  Obviously, being a living example is the best way to teach our children.  We’ve matured immensely over the last few years, but there is still much more room for improvement.

When Lexington became old enough to be frustrated over a toy, I would remove the toy from sight and direct his attention elsewhere, sufficiently diffusing the tantrum. When he became old enough to understand, I told him that:

  1. Throwing fits do nothing to help him get what he wants and, in fact, result in the opposite of his wishes.
  2. Most of all, we never throw fits over toys.

This has served as a dual purpose.  In addition to helping him understand that no material object should hold power over his sense of peace, it has also helped him to be able to verbally express his emotions, as opposed to a show of “violent” temper tantrums.
Has it worked? For the most part, yes.  Do we still experience tantrums? Yes.  It is a habitual, repetitive teaching that I remind him of daily. Exhausting? Yes. Worth it? Without a doubt.

More often than not, Lexington comes to me with a toy that isn’t doing what he wants and says (on the brink of tears) “This is difficult, Mom.”  or “these pieces won’t fit together.”
Emmett, the middle child, on the other hand, has to be handled differently.  He doesn’t know how to communicate his frustrations verbally, so he expresses them the only way he can: fall-upon-the-floor-writhing-and-wailing.

So when we go out in public, Craig and I anticipate some amount of bellowing from Emmett.
But Lexington, no.

He will be 4 in June and has never had an in-store public fit over anything.
Until Saturday.
My younger sister told me about a teacher’s supply store in which she’d found some good educational materials. With Emmett’s interest in the alphabet, I’ve been looking for some fun activities- something other than what Walmart and Target offer. We stay away from the mall (it is our downfall, of course.) and refuse the cesspit of Toys R Us. So Saturday, my husband and I made a field trip out of it.

Upon entering the overwhelming store, Lexington immediately latched onto the two large train tables.

An hour later, giving Lexington a time limit (which he knows I do not extend) before we would be leaving, I watched his little hands scramble anxiously to play quickly, fumbling and knocking over pieces he was trying to make right.

My soul welled up and I wanted to sit down on the floor and play with him. Just 5 more minutes. But it was raining, and the store was closing. Actually, I wanted to buy the whole train table and its accoutrements. But I walked over, blinking back tears, helped him set the trains on the tracks just so, held his hand, and led him out. No, no crying from him. He immediately began talking of visiting the store again very soon. It broke my heart. But constant, instant gratification cannot help a toddler who needs to learn that we are not entitled to things just because we like them a lot, and that sometimes waiting makes the gift more valuable. I suggested he ask for it as a birthday present in June, and we walked away, the train table lauding no power over Lexington, nor I, the parent who wants the world for my babies.

Lexington’s “fit” occurred when my husband and I demanded that he walk with us to the back of the store, abandoning the train tables for a few minutes. He came running down an aisle, in tears, crying to me (the fast walker who’d marched ahead) that he wanted to keep playing.

I reminded him what he knows very well: that crying isn’t going to make Daddy let him play. So he gulped back some sobs, and with the most self mastery an almost 4 year old can muster, he stammered, “D-dad, can we ple-e-ase stay at the trains while -while- Mom looks back h-here? Please?” And he almost lost it again, trying to control great, heaving sobs.

My loving, compassionate husband scooped Lexington up and said, “Mister. You know you’re not behaving very well. You know we don’t throw fits over toys. Thank you for asking me the right way.”

We all walked back to the front to let him play for the last few minutes I described above. I looked down at Lexington and noticed him walking in a funny, jerky way which indicated that he wanted to run so very badly but was exercising self control. My heart welled up and I said, “let’s RUN!!”
And we did, Collin jostling against me inside his sling.

lexington trains