I have to be honest.

I always stress about posting pictures of me in a bathing suit. Not just for obvious reasons of I don’t always feel the most body confident, it’s actually the opposite. A lot of the time, my insecurities of being in a bikini aren’t whether or not my stomach is too big, or my thighs are thicc, how much of my cellulite you can see, etc. Those are still there, but I’m usually thinking, “ Am I going to be called out for showing ‘too much skin?’ Or I’m worried  that guys will automatically think it’s for them and make it gross by objectifying me.

*Side Note* Regardless of what a woman is or is not wearing you don’t have the right to objectify her.

Having been raised in a purity culture, where if a woman wore, or didn’t wear I should say,  certain clothing, she was doing something wrong by “causing a brother to stumble,” I can’t help but feel a little guilty for liking the way I look in a bathing suit, crop top, etc.  I worry that others will use the, “what was was she wearing” mindset that I have heard far too often, to justify someone else’s actions. As if what I wear will then make a boy be unable to control his thoughts and therefore objectify me, and he’s just “being a guy.” (Sorry to tell you that if you have a penis, it does NOT mean that you automatically get a free pass on  not learning how to control your own thoughts. You are cable of choosing a different way of thinking or if it’s too much to try, you can take the responsibility to unfollow people. Actually not that sorry.)

It takes a lot for a woman to feel beautiful and confident in her own skin. To be able to look in the mirror and like how my body is shaped is not something I want to be ashamed of. I won’t be ashamed of it.

I’ve thought A LOT about this and wrestled with all of the shame, but the thing I keep coming back to is intentions.

My intentions when wearing something or posting something is more about me and how I view things through an eye of fashion or art and not how can I get guys to think I’m hot.  I genuinely get uncomfortable when guys compliment me on my physical appearance, because of my past. If my fellow females think I’m attractive I feel empowered and confident, but the moment I feel like a guy is checking me out I get so uncomfortable and defensive (thank you PTSD).

You may think, “then why post it?” Because again, I feel good with my intentions and enjoy creating art. And the heart behind it is not to “trap” boys into lusting after my body, it’s more of a I don’t feel shame about who I am because I am beautiful in the eyes of my Creator, whose heart is not to shame me into modesty. I would love to get to a point where a woman’s body is appreciated and admired because it’s created beautifully and our first thoughts would not automatically go towards sex.

Kaylyn Vial