It’s finally swimsuit season in Minnesota (knock on wood, since June snow is a thing somehow), so the great debate has started in all the good Facebook groups: should I let my daughter wear a two-piece swimsuit?
Contentious as CIO (cry it out) or co-sleeping, this innocent issue is flooding my feed and boggling my mind.
Parents everywhere seem to be a hard no or a hard yes. Very little middle. Much like a two-piece swimsuit. So, I thought I’d break it down for you and provide a list of reasons why you should or should not let your daughter wear a two-piece swimsuit.
Reasons NOT to let your daughter wear a two-piece swimsuit:
- It is against your true religious convictions.
- She doesn’t WANT to wear a two-piece swimsuit.
Reasons to let your daughter wear a two-piece swimsuit:
- It is easier to use the bathroom in a two-piece.
- It is fun to mix and match tops and bottoms.
- She wants to wear one.
- It’s 2019; please, pretty please with sugar on top, can we stop teaching our children their clothing choices should in any way be dictated by someone else’s gaze?
I have a nearly 6-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl. Their stomachs look exactly the same. Exactly. In fact, so do their chests at this point. So why must we persist with the notion that my BOY can show is stomach in public, but it’s wildly inappropriate for my GIRL to do the same? Placing any manner of sexuality on CHILDREN is damaging and perpetuates a culture in which we teach people their bodies are a distraction to others, or worse, they can be “at fault” if someone hurts their bodies because of something they wore.
Stated simply, child molesters do NOT care what children are wearing.
Midriff tops, tight leggings, and two-piece swimsuits have zero effect on people who are truly mentally disturbed. What does attract a predator is accessibility. Police recommend never putting your child’s name on their clothing or gear (so the predator can’t pretend to know them by knowing their name) and always putting your kids in comfortable footwear, both so they can run away and so they don’t fall back from the group. Those are the only clothing accommodations needed if you’re worried about stranger danger (which only accounts for 7% of child abuse, as 93% is carried out by someone the child already knows).
Body positivity starts very young. So does bodily autonomy.
If we want to raise a generation of kids to be confident and safe, we must teach them they own their bodies. No one can touch them if they don’t want to be touched. No one can make them feel blame for someone else looking at them. No one can shame them for being more comfortable on a 90-degree day in a two-piece swimsuit than in a one-piece. Seven to nine inches of extra fabric just shouldn’t have such power.