Babies and bikinis… is this still controversial? When LadyP was an infant, I seriously bought a whole slew of bikinis for her little pudgy body to sport throughout her first summer and then I found out (suspense music here, dun dun dun dun) that it can be considered “offensive” to some to put little girls in bikinis. ?!?!?!?!!?!??!?!?!?! I repeat: ??!?!?!??!?!?!??!?!??!?!? (I suppose my confusion is understandable, given I have a history of walking around in swimsuits onstage (former pageant gal here). And, I’ve been known to don a two-piece even in my mom-days. (Although, I have had my doubts about moms flaunting bikinis… the things you think about after motherhood hits.)
But back to the little ones: Some critics of baby-kinis have a longtime argument that exposing bare tummies is the first step to dressing our little girls ‘inappropriately’ in an age that already objectifies women. I say: Get your minds outta the gutter and stop worrying so much. We’re talking about babies here. In many ways, I think our culture has become overly-sensitive to so many things involving our kids… and it’s taking away from the fun of it all. Who hasn’t squealed at the sight of a round little face and round little arms and round little legs and a round little belly stuffed into a frilly polka-dotted two-piece? And you should hear LadyP shrieking “It’s a bikini!” jumping up and down laughing as she corrected her Auntie who told her that she liked her ‘swimsuit’ – I’m sorry, but it’s comedy (I think she thinks the word itself is just funny).
Granted, I don’t think toddlers should be strutting anything that resembles a push-up bra, but there’s nothing wrong with pairing frilly ruffles and chunky tummy-rolls. Never will our little girls be so innocent ever again in their lives… why can’t we just enjoy it?
I have no issues with admitting I’m bonkers for bikinis. It has nothing to do with making LadyP and LilMiss look like grown women… it has to do with enjoying every single phase and season that is so fleeting while they’re this young. It also has to do with NOT setting any sort of precedence about being ashamed of your own body from a very young age. (Hey, remember that vain baby thing?) So what if you show your tummy at the beach or in a pool? Nothing to be self-conscious of at all… the beach and pool are basically the only places it’s ok to show your tummy in a public situation.
Don’t be embarrassed of your body, as long as what you’re doing is tasteful and appropriate for the location you are in. I want my girls to know this. How many women do you know that are inhibited by the appearance of their own body? I know too many (myself included, in some ways).
But the real BENEFIT behind bikinis is this: Changing dirty diapers at the beach is much more fabulous if you only have a tiny underwear-like bottom to pull down, rather than trying to yank-and-pull down a cumbersome soaking-wet one-piece in seemingly-painful increments on a screaming and complaining miniature body (baby or toddler) and then have to yank and ‘re-peel’ the whole thing back up again as sand flies in your face from all directions. Try it. You’ll see. Long live baby (and toddler) bikinis.
DO (OR DID) YOU DRESS YOUR BABES IN BIKINIS?