Swim Suit Controversy - Miss California

Dear Catholic Answers Forum,

 I am so proud of Miss California in the Miss USA competition for defending her Biblical beliefs on same-sex marriage and her willingness to sacrifice even the crown for her fidelity to her Christian faith.  However, I am confused by the fact that she, despite being a Christian, had the audacity to wear such a immodest swim suit for the competition.  The open clothing that she wore for the swim suit competition goes against Christian purity and sexual virtue.  The human body, which is the temple of the Thrice-Holy God, is supposed to be clothed with purity; instead, this swim suit competition in the pageant strips the women of their dignity and truly renders them mere sexual objects.  The human body is not supposed to be used this way!

I didn’t watch the Miss USA pageant, but it appears that all of the contestants wore the same swimsuit. You can see publicity photos of the top five contestants here:

I am not complaining only about Miss California’s swim suit dress, but I am angry about the fact that she publicly proclaims her faith and still wears that kind of immodest clothing.

Yes, beauty contests aren’t something I’d want my daughter to enter. I don’t doubt the sincerity of her Christian faith, although perhaps she should have had better guidance from her church.

It seems to me that Miss California has detached her faith from the way she dresses. It is so shocking that a devout Christian like Miss California could even consider for even one second to wear such open, immodest clothing.

I think her parents could have done a better job at guiding her. But such clothing is the the norm on the beach, as well as on the stage of such contests.

No! The mere claim that these clothes are the norm can not justify the intrinsic evil of immodesty! Just because this immodest swim wear is the “norm,” Miss California, or any other pageant competitor, should not embrace it. There is a difference between modest and immodest swim wear, and the clothes that are prevalent within the pageant are morally unpermissable.

Slavery was the “norm” within the pre-Civil war southern states. Jim Crow laws were the norm also.

Its hard to argue with you when I agree with you. :o

I avoid these displays at all costs without ruffling feathers. These days though, that exact type of imagery is everywhere you look., that is enough said here.

What she’s done is gone below the radar, proclaim her faith within it, hopefully to inspire others to take up the cross and follow Christ, yet the debate here, she compromised her position with a display of skin…

I do not know what she looks like, I don’t even want to see her face, I do want to just make my own observations known and that’s that, in her mind, in her own way, she was trying to do the right thing regardless of how we all think about it now, she was being sincere and that is what matters.

The argument for her stance against “gay” marriage was personal opinion, how she was raised (reared is the correct term) and after not winning the crown, was predicated on freedom, that is, freedom of speech. This is the same “freedom” people use to support abortion, contraceptives, and “gay” marriage. The argument against “gay” marriage is not personal opinion but natural law as well as Biblical principles. Natural law is something fundamentalist Christians shun because “faith alone” shuns reason as lacking faith, the faith that “saves”. Sanctifying Grace? Nope… faith.

Once you have faith without reason, your arguments lack reason. The same reason God gave us that makes us in His image. The same reason that says it is morally specious to peddle my “wares” on television and hold out morality as a personal opinion. Does it take 51 percent of “personal opinion” to make an act moral? This is why the Catholic Church doesn’t use democracy as a reason to change its teaching.

To the people who don’t hold the Bible as their rule for moral behavior, natural law is the only thing that is left. The natural law would indicate that man and woman is the way we are made and is best ordered to the rearing of children, as well as sex for “recreation” is disordered. And that wearing the least amount of clothing possible may attract the “morally specious” male less inclined to want to rear children or stay once my “wares” are less attractive.

It is disordered in that if everyone were gay, there would be no one left in a hundred years. Natural law is the argument for turning around those less inclined to the Bible as the basis for their morality.

Excellent post. :thumbsup: I had wondered the exact same thing. Wouldn’t it be amazing if one the judges had thrown this question up, “What do you consider modest and what does modesty mean in today’s society?”

I can’t believe anyone would claim to be Christian and appear near naked in front of 20 million people. You have to remember when Jesus was crucified he was stripped to a loin cloth and everyone considered him stripped naked.

I mean if it truly is the “physical fitness” portion of the competition, why don’t they have them run a race or GASP actually have a swim meet–giving them a reason to wear those swimsuits. Oh I forgot, those who actually swim for physical fitness actually wear modest swimsuits (look at the Olympic female swimmers.) :stuck_out_tongue:

This is not clothing. It barely qualifies as underwear. Women should not wear something like this in public. It should not be considered the norm on a beach or anywhere else in public.

Parents should tell their daughters to not wear such things in public. That it is not normal.


This posting got me thinking. So I did some research on the Miss USA website. I think you just might agree with what I found would be a darn sight better portion of competition than the swimsuit…


I agree that the swimsuit is too indecent for a pageant much less a Christian to wear. But the culture being what it is for the last few decades, most has lost the sense of what modesty is. Modesty is rarely preached nowaday. Just look at the way some women dresses to church. Is it any surprise that a pageant would provide a skimpy swimsuit.

Being a Christian doesn’t mean a person is perfect or sinless. Ms. CA may not think her swimsuit is immodest, but a norm. That’s the culture she was reared in.

This is a difficult issue for me to understand. Isn’t modesty a virtue that’s relative to the norms of the culture? In other words, a native amazon society where the women are topless wouldn’t be immodest by wearing these bikinis in a beauty contest, would they? On the other hand, in some arab kingdoms it would be immodest for the women to show anything other than their eyes. I don’t think we assent either modesty criteria work for the Miss USA contest. Therefore, we have a norm for our culture where we there is a dividing line on what’s acceptable and what isn’t (and it almost seems the norm has swung to acceptability for bikinis). What’s that dividing line - and what *should *it be given that there are other dividing lines in other cultures that are valid but far different?

I’m not trying to make the case the pagent swimwear is acceptable or not, I would just like to know how we determine it.

Parents, not the culture, or the media, should raise their own children. Do it.

No, being a Christian doesn’t mean perfection but perfection should be the goal. Period.


To me modesty should be defined by this–do the clothes intend to highlight a women’s sexuality? Am I trying to show off my figure, or other assets, to draw the sexual attraction of a man?

Am I displaying my body?

That’s how I define it. It makes the most sense from a “sinful” perspective - is the woman intending to be sinful/incite sinful thoughts? Just because some people may find a woman’s hair immodest doesn’t mean she intends for it to be that way.

And honestly, think about it–you never see a fat person wear a bikini on the beach. Why? Because they don’t have the type of body that is “displayed” or one that most people want to “see.”

Actually, around here, we DO see rather large people wearing bikinis. They are usually under 30, but there are some very uninhibited large people who bare it. There are also a few senior citizens who bare it in bikinis.

My son likes hosting parties centered around water (hot tub), and most of the teen girls who come wear bikinis.

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