As summer holidays are just around the corner, writer Lizzie Hutchison asks if Christian women should wear bikinis.


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The question of what constitutes appropriate swimwear is one that’s pottered around my brain for many years, and reached its zenith as I was lounging on a giant inflatable duck, in a gold lamé bikini. I was in a swimming pool in France, in case you’re concerned about my hobbies. Now, this bikini certainly covered what I would consider the key areas, and I’d removed the little chain that hangs from under the top-half, because it’s nice to leave something for Kim Kardashian.

But there was some discussion about swimwear on holiday, as one of my pals revealed that a friend of hers had expressed surprise about her cossie, her being a Christian and all. And it made me think, are there really some swimmers we shouldn’t wear as Jesus-loving-women?

Are there really some swimmers we shouldn’t wear as Jesus-loving-women?

Back when I went to my conservative (with a big, little and every other kind of C) christian camp, there was much to be said on the matter. Well actually nothing was ever said, but a lot was very much implied. Swimsuits were appropriate, (Speedo or Boden being the preferred suppliers), and anything else would “cause your brothers to stumble”. Which is interesting, as they managed to take their shirts off, without any of us passing out.

Now, I do appreciate that men tend to be more visually stimulated, but that did seem a bit keen. I suppose it annoyed me as it didn’t seem fair. But it’s more nuanced than that. Women have all sorts of figures, and some people might not get enough support from a cossie. Or just feel that they just look better in a two-piece. Or prefer not to have a pasty mid-section.

Would you feel comfortable if Jesus popped up beside you? Yikes.

I’ve always loved bikinis. There’s something about the stretchy cheerful patterns and shapes that say “holiday”. Whereas cossies scream “school relay-race”. But of course, now there are cossies and cossies. Just as there are bikinis and bikinis. There are thong-bottoms and sheer material and cut-outs and one-shoulders and high-legs and gold lamé and chains. It’s impossible to write a rule book on the subject. So I’m going to fob you off with “it’s an issue of the heart”. Are you trying to be provocative or do you just like the fit? Is it showing an extreme amount of skin? Would you feel comfortable if Jesus popped up beside you? Yikes.

Anyway, I washed my gold lamé bikini and it’s now a mustard yellow charity-shop-job. Perhaps that’s divine intervention.