a question of modesty

After a summer spent lifeguarding at a pool and a trip to the beach, I have to ask:

Why is it that we get all up in arms about (especially, but not limited to) girls where low-cut shirts or skimpy dresses, but when we go swimming, we all just get in our underwear and it seems perfectly normal?

(OK, some swimwear is itself more revealing than others, but do you see my point?)

Comments?  Questions?  Rebuttals?

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2 Responses to a question of modesty

  1. brian says:

    Eric, I have made that point EXACTLY at other times. It’s a remarkable contradiction. If a girl went in public anywhere else in a bikini, everyone would stare and gawk for her audaciousness and lack of decency, yet at the beach (or pool) women wear more revealing clothes than an R rated movie and its fine. I’m not entirely sure where the error resides though-should society be more conservative at the pool/beach (like most non-western cultures) or are we too restrictive/judgmental/sexist in other settings?

    Men in our society get a free pass in a certain sense because we can get away with being shirtless at other times besides the pool, but it is still interesting that it doesn’t present a problem to be half naked at any point in public.

  2. elledaily says:

    I have thought about this so many times. How it would be so weird to see a girl walking around outside in just her bra and underwear, but once its turned into something you can swim in, we don’t think anything of it. How odd.

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