Why You Won’t See Me In A Bikini This Summer

Picture1Bikinis seem to be a way of life during Australian summers, but I’ve decided you won’t see me in one.

I’ve had people suggest that perhaps the reason that I’m never seen in these ‘barely there’ bits of frills and lycra is because I’m ashamed of my body, or lacking in confidence. It isn’t.

To be honest, the reason you won’t find me baring it all at the beach, along with everyone else, comes down to my Christian fatih. And, hard as it is at times, that means that I don’t always follow culture.

The Bible consistently calls for a radical standard from its followers and when it calls for women to dress modestly… well try as I might, I just can’t find anything modest about the bikini.

My body was not created to be flaunted to the world. It was created first as a temple of the Holy Spirit and then for the eyes of one man. Not because I couldn’t enjoy the attention of dozens, but because I was called to a radical standard.

I think that as Christians it’s really important that we don’t judge others who don’t agree with our standards. That’s not our job, but that doesn’t mean we can’t stand for what we believe in.

So this year, I’m making a stand for elegance and modesty, and I know there are a lot of girls out there who will be joining me.

(For a really interesting look at the evolution of the Bikini and the way in which it has affected our society, check out Jessica Rey’s talk here.)

What it Feels Like to Jump off a Cliff

Thanks to Luke George who took this photo a couple of years ago at our cliff jumping spot.

Thanks to Luke George who took this photo a couple of years ago at our cliff jumping spot.

If all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you follow?

Actually, yes I would.

One of my favourite summer activities is cliff jumping.  There’s a spot about 2 hours away, where the deep ocean meets the cliffs to form chiseled inlets.

There are various heights from which you can jump. Three meters; seven; fifteen. I once saw someone jump from about twenty meters and was afraid I’d see their body splat onto the rocks below.

I say I love cliff jumping, but to be honest, everything in me hates taking the leap. As I stand on the edge, every nerve ending tingles, frantically bombarding my brain with the instinctive message that jumping is a bad idea.

I hate the moment when I almost jump but don’t, and then, even more, when I launch myself out and have that split second realization that it’s too late to go back.

I hate the feeling of falling; legs kicking at the air; arms tensing in an attempt to defy gravity.

I hate the way the water hurts if you hit it on a bad angle, like a mammoth slap.

In fact, there is only one thing I really like about cliff jumping. It’s when the water catches you and holds you momentarily in its belly, and you rise and break the surface and feel ecstatic triumph. When you know, with a sense of pride, that all your friends jumped off a cliff, and you were brave enough to follow.