Worthwhile Reads: The Duggars, Modesty, and the Beach

The Duggar Family Doesn’t Go to the Beach, and Why That’s Bad for Their Kids, by Sierra’

This kind of article infuriates me. It does. I start chugging smoke out of my nostrils and seeing the world with an extra shiny pink tint, like a greasy undercooked steak. Is it because the idea of broadcasting your modesty to the world via a platform given to you by your televangelism (oh, excuse me, “reality show”) is stunningly hypocritical? Is it because of the obvious doublespeak pouring out of Michelle Duggar’s mouth when she claims that she doesn’t judge anyone else for their immodesty, but that God says exposed thighs mean nakedness and shame? Is it because the very act of setting yourself apart – and calling attention to your religious motives for doing so – is an inherently judgmental act? Yes, all of the above. But there’s one more thing.

The Duggars are denying their children their only opportunity to see real bodies.

Michelle Duggar: We Don’t Wear Shorts – Or Go to the Beach!, on ONTD

You won’t find the Duggars at the beach, either – and it’s not because they don’t like getting sand between their toes. No, the family avoids public beaches and pools to keep the Duggar men from catching an unwanted glimpse of women who, um, don’t feel spiritually called to hide their assets. “[I]t’s just too hard for the guys to try to keep their eyes averted in those situations,” says Michelle.

And here’s an old related post of my own: I Wear a Bikini (Gasp!)

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About Libby Anne

Libby Anne grew up in a large evangelical homeschool family highly involved in the Christian Right. College turned her world upside down, and she is today an atheist, a feminist, and a progressive. She blogs about leaving religion, her experience with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, the detrimental effects of the "purity culture," the contradictions of conservative politics, and the importance of feminism.

  • Sarah

    When I was growing up wearing bikinis were strictly forbidden, and even though I know the modesty belief is wrong I still find it hard to shake off.

  • Sue Blue

    What a wonderful way to increase a girl’s self-esteem! Tell her to cover her sinful, filthy female form from neck to toes at all times lest she have dirty thoughts or make boys have dirty thoughts, and she’s bound to feel super secure and happy with the body God supposedly created for her. I bet those “modest” swimsuits are just the thing for romping about in the 100+ degree heat, too. I wonder how they protect feminine modesty when the paramedics have to cut your swimskirt off to resuscitate you when you have a heatstroke.

    I have to say I really loathe the Duggars. They epitomize everything that’s wrong with all of the Abrahamic religions. They are smarmy, self-righteous, resource-guzzling, child-abusing, women-enslaving, mind-destroying attention whores.

  • A.Roddy

    Notice how they always say”We don’t or ‘We choose to’ as if trying not to judge. It seems they have gotten very defensive lately. I guess ‘we’ means the whole family and not what an individual thinks. What happens when a burley guy walks by in a super-tight pair of Speedos . Modesty is nice to strive for but this is over the top and double standard.