The Right to be Modest

In today's world, it seems like nothing is harder than fighting for your right to be modest.

One would think that with many utilizing their right to walk around half-naked it would be a welcome sight to see someone desiring to wear clothes. On the contrary! At Holland Aquatic Center today in Holland, we had to do the unthinkable: FIGHT for our right to be modest!


Is this the world we live in now? How sad is that? And in reserved, uber-conservative, Dutch Holland no less! It was totally NOT the fight we expected to have.

Yes. We're slightly crazy. (Apparently.) We believe that women and men both should remain modest...even while swimming. However, there are many ways to maintain modesty while swimming today. One can choose to purchase an ultra-expensive one-piece suit, or they can choose cheaper ways to achieve the same effect. While I'm grateful there are companies out there willing to provide modest swimwear, I'm just not willing to drop $40-$100+ on a child's swimsuit that they will likely have outgrown by next year. And let's face it; the resale market isn't going to be huge.

Instead, we choose options like this and this which are at Old Navy. You can also find good, affordable options at Target and Land's End. (Land's End is more expensive, but they offer good choices for adults as well.) You can also find good options at Up Stream Girl (I love the mission and message of this site) or CL Swim Designs.

Our children wear traditional one-piece swimsuits (or shorts for our son). Over those one-piece suits, they wear swim shorts (made of swim material...the same material that our son's swimsuit shorts are made out of) and a swim top (again...made of swim material...the same material that their swimsuits are made out of). Our son wears the same top. Since these have now become fairly popular, especially at the beach and other outdoor venues, we didn't expect to have an issue. After all, we didn't have an issue last year, but only went a couple of times.

Evidently, they are laying down the law this year. NO ONE is allowed to come in unless they have "approved swimwear". The catch? Such swimwear also cannot have writing on it. You know like the terribly vicious and gang-violence inciting words, "Old Navy".

The problem? We've already purchased our swim covers for this year and have no intentions of buying more to suit the Holland Aquatic Center.

The result? We won't be going to the Holland Aquatic Center this year. We won't purchase a special summer family membership which is a loss of $130 to their pocket book. Unfortunately, we're not the only ones willing to take such drastic measures. We have friends who feel the same way who are likewise raising "gang-children". They also won't be spending their money.

I know the Holland Aquatic Center is celebrating 10 years next month, but with practices like this, they aren't likely to survive another 10! At least not in Dutch Holland!


Jen said...

I thought you were going to say that they made them take the shirts off. At our local pool, they wouldn't let my son go down the slides with a swim shirt on. While not as big a modestly issue with my son as my daughters I was ticked because we don't use sun screen and his poor white chest was going to be exposed! I wondered what they would do about my daughter who was wearing swim shorts and shirt (nothing underneath). Fortunately they let her go. We now stick to the much cheaper and more relaxed pools in the next town.

Kathleen McDade said...

That IS frustrating; silly to be worried about the words Old Navy. However, it sounds like it's not at all about modesty on their end -- that's just not what they were challenging in this case (although I can see that it's something important to you).

Jen said...

True, it really had nothing to do with modesty, but making it easier to enforce a rule. If they ban ALL words, then they don't have to make judgment calls for each case which would open them up to a lot of hassle. Completely understandable. But still frustrating when you already have a suit. And a lot of the rash guard shirts do have writing on them.

Anonymous said...

Are they going to ban swimwear that says "Speedo", "Adidas", "Abercrombie",etc. also? They should if it they ban "Old Navy". Or are they monitoring the size of the print? What if a little girl's suit says "Princess" or "Hello Kitty"? Seems like a lot of gray areas with that rule.

Bill said...

Amy What is Dutch Holland?


Thoughts of THAT mom said...

Jen-They did ask her to remove her swim shirt, but she refused saying it was a modesty issue. She had 4 lifeguards ask her several times, and she politely refused each time.

Kathleen-It IS frustrating. You'd wonder when common sense would come in.

Anonymous-Thanks for talking to your friend who works there. I'm hoping that this will bring awareness to the issue so that no one else will have these issues. And you're right. Many swimsuits themselves have names &/or designs. Where will they draw the line. Again, it would seem common sense would have to come in at some point.

Dad-Dutch Holland is where we live. :-) We live in Holland, MI which is right next to Zeeland, etc... I could go on. The point is, long ago this area was settled by the Dutch. The Dutch lifestyle and influence is still very strong here. There are also still some "traditionalists" in the Dutch reformed community here. Every 3rd person we know has a name that starts with "Van". They (the Dutch) are extremely conservative. Some even refuse to use credit or debit cards &/or checks. They are cash only.


Crazy Mom Of The 3 Cubs said...

Amy, we've had a family membership there in the past and we NEVER had a problem with covering-type clothing (basically they said no cut-off shorts, or similar "street clothing"). That is insane! If this is the case, I can guarantee they will be losing a LOT of business (including mine), and it would be well-deserved. The Aquatic Center used to be a great place to go... since when did the Old Navy Gang start causing social issues? Geesh! Those silly, reasonably-priced, mass produced, gangland swimshirts, I tell you....The horror! Our children will be corrupted. Mass riots will ensue. What ever will we do?

*I say we ALL show up with our swim suits of nasty gang writing and let them see just HOW MUCH business they will be losing with their ill-thought-out policy..... but that's just me. Clearly the genius(es), who decided it was more convenient to act like paranoid moms rather than a business, need to be reminded whose money helped pay for the pool in the first place! The building of the place and it's maintainance isn't paid for solely by random admissions........