While all individuals suffer objectification over their bodies, the female form is the most scrutinized.
An interesting aspect that I notice is the nature of acceptance over women or girls in swimsuits, especially if these women are around families, children, or with workplace clients. While it is acceptable for a male to swim in shorts of any length and be bare chested, women are put down for being “too revealing” regardless of what they attempt to wear swimming.
In speaking with some friends, we were discussing a camp that had occurred in which female staff and volunteers were told that in order to swim they must wear clothing, (T-shirt and shorts were recommended) over top of bikinis because they were “inappropriate”, and that even those females in 1pc swimsuits needed to put shorts on. This rule did not apply to the client’s paying for the camp event, simply to any help present that was female. The males however, were allowed to wear swim shorts of any length or kind and be bare chested.
The picture below represents two “unacceptable” attires where the last one is “acceptable” because the female is considered “decent” and not a “distraction”. The middle picture is considered “highly inappropriate”, and the far left needs shorts in order to be considered “decent attire”.
As an individual that can’t wear a one piece swimsuit if her life depended on it because my torso is just not that short, (I either have boobs hanging out or a seriously unattractive thong event happening, it isn’t pretty), and is not a fan of sweating it out with extra layers on, or being targeted because of my sex, I find this frustrating to me. I also find it offensive.
We are told that it will “give the wrong impression”, “is too revealing for the boys to see”, or “is inappropriate”.
We are told that our bodies must be regulated so that others have “less reason” to leer and be disrespectful, instead of simply teaching people to not leer and to be respectful.
We are sexualized by our skin, objectified by our appearance, and judged as “sluts” because we choose to bare our midsection.
We are called out and made to cover up and feel shame for our bodies from a very early age, and then we wonder why as women get older they have body image struggles.
And this is considered normal…
We fail to teach men and women alike to be respectful of another human being. To not leer or jest or joke at another’s expense.
We fail to teach boys to be accountable for their own actions, thoughts, and behaviors, instead planting those responsibilities on the female. Creating generations of disrespect and vile behavior.
We teach that women still need to cover up to be “acceptable” or “presentable” or “appropriate”. When those are other people’s judgements, biases, projections, and hate.
So, I ask you:
At what point do you feel this is sexism and at what point is it professionalism? Or is it ever either?
If an employee says, females need to cover over bikinis when swimming with clients because it is considered “too revealing” or “inappropriate”, what would you say?
Is that a professional decision or a sexist remark on their part?
If women have to cover than should the men have to keep their shirts on and have a short length requirement?
Leave a comment and let’s discuss. I am looking forward to seeing all your thoughts and your answers to the questions above.
*Peace and Love C*