The Bikini Scandal that rocked SexyModest

The Shamy family with friends at the beach

Happy Memorial Day weekend, friends! Now that summer is officially underway, we thought this might be a good opportunity for a friendly reminder during swimsuit season.

As you’re probably aware, modesty is definitely a hot-button topic — particularly around this time of the year. (And especially if you happen to live in Utah.)

So… What happens when a modest fashion designer posts a picture of herself on social media in a bikini?

Well, if you take a trip back to December of 2019, that’s exactly what SexyModest founder Brigitte Shamy did, and BOY did it stir up the waters on Instagram… In Brigitte’s words, “People lost their minds.” But that may be putting it mildly. 

Though many of the most hurtful comments have since been deleted, Brig described how people she didn’t know suddenly started attacking her — her morals, her values, even her belief in God. All because of one picture.

In case you’re curious, or you need a refresher, this was the scandalous post in question:

 

 

Instead of commenting “Looks like you’re having fun!” or “Cute baby!” or “I’m so glad you get to create these memories with your kids,” people tore her apart. 

“If I put these messages into a book, you would just cry,” said Brig. 

Apart from the hateful personal attacks, Brig was heartbroken to read other peoples’ responses about how their lives had forever been changed by what someone said about their clothing choices. 

Whether you’re Team Bikini or Team One-Piece all the way, today’s post is not really about swimsuits or who’s right and who’s wrong when it comes to the modesty issue. It’s about something much bigger — and something we all need to remember during swimsuit season and every other time of the year.

Brig and her husband Jason felt so strongly about this, they decided to record an entire podcast episode to tackle the topic. Here are a few highlights from what they said.

Remember to “Stay in your lane”

 

Now, you who are reading this may have your own opinions about whether or not it was “right” for Brig to post a picture of herself in a bikini. Brigitte and Jason understand why you might feel differently than they do about it and they welcome private DMs from anyone who wants to open up a dialogue about it. But public shaming? Not so much.

“I’m totally fine that you think it’s wrong and that you would never do that and that you don’t think it’s modest. I get that,” said Brig. “We are all going to have our different opinions and the way that we do things...  and I think that that’s more than okay. I think what’s not okay is trying to (say) ‘You’re wrong and I’m right.’”

It’s okay to disagree. But tearing into someone, telling them how to live their lives, and posting hateful comments? That’s out of bounds, Jason said.

“First and foremost . . . let’s stay in our lanes,” said Jason. “It’s not up to us to judge — unless you’re perfect. If you’re perfect, get right on it. But trust me, I know where we all fall in that category, and if you’re ready to call someone out on being immodest or wearing a two-piece, let’s talk about you. Would you like to really just air your dirty secrets? . . .  All the things that you’re actually not good at? Obviously, that would be despicable — and worse in a public forum.”

It’s about more than modesty

Shamy girls on the beach

Unfortunately, many people use modesty to judge others’ personal worthiness on a religious level, which is something Brig feels passionate about “squashing.”

“We go to church because we’re not perfect,” said Brig. “We’re going because we’re so imperfect, we need help. We need to learn. We need other people to rally and support us and say, ‘It's okay that you don’t do it (perfectly) because we’re all here together and we’re all just trying to do the best that we can do.’”

When it comes to dressing modestly and having respect for their bodies, Brig urges parents and leaders to be careful about the messages they send to youth.

“Don’t miss the point on the modesty issue. In the church, outside of the church, please, please, please — parents, leaders, everyone who interacts with the kids — don’t miss the point. Don’t make them feel less about who they are or their bodies.”

Jason quoted a talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf, an apostle and leader for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In that talk, Elder Uchtdorf said:

We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgmental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children. God is our Father. We are His children. We are all brothers and sisters. I don’t know exactly how to articulate this point of not judging others with sufficient eloquence, passion, and persuasion to make it stick. I can quote scripture, I can try to expound doctrine, and I will even quote a bumper sticker I recently saw. It was attached to the back of a car whose driver appeared to be a little rough around the edges, but the words on the sticker taught an insightful lesson. It read, “Don’t judge me because I sin differently than you.

Uchtdorf went on to say that those who had trouble judging others would do well to follow a two-word sermon: stop it!

It really is that simple. 

Use your words to do good

Ultimately, YOU get to choose what modesty means to you. You get to decide whether you’re comfortable in a bikini, a one-piece, or something else. 

And another decision you get to make is what you’ll do with your words (and thoughts) when you encounter others who might make different decisions than you would. 

“It really has nothing at all to do with the swimsuit and so much to do with (the fact that) our words have power,” Brig says.

“When you don’t agree with people... that’s okay and that’s going to happen your whole life. But like Jase says, ‘Stay in your lane.’ You don’t need to let them know that you disagree. You don’t need to tell them what you think is right or how you think they should do it because that’s none of your business.”

So… How will you use YOUR words for good?

(To hear the full podcast episode, click here. And don’t forget to subscribe to the Modestshoppin Movement podcast!)

10 comments

I can’t believe how rude people can be. I love everything you wear and all the effort you put into your clothing line. You are an inspiration to women everywhere. As for your bathing suits, they are so cute! I didn’t see anything wrong with any of them I saw you wearing in your posts. Not to mention, you look fantastic and work hard to stay fit and healthy! Keep rocking those bikini’s girlfriend! Thank you for everything you do!

Veronica Rogers June 07, 2021

I came to a conclusion a long time ago when I was approached by 2 sisters. One was from the East and the other from the West. They did their best to provide motherly guidance on attire, make-up, heels but this only confused me more as each had a different take on the topic. Then I did what I was taught to do, “ask the Lord” for wisdom, and this is what the spirit said to me, “I’m more interested in what you are wearing in your heart than on your body.” If someone is wearing something questionable, allow the Holy Spirit to do its job and provide correction and direction. In the meantime, just love!

LOVE—IT’S THE MOST FASHIONABLE THING WE CAN WEAR AND FASHIONABLY CORRECT WITH GOD IN ALL SEASONS.

ELISA June 07, 2021

I am so glad you addressed this. I have gotten crap my whole adult life about bikinis. People would judge me because my two year old had a two piece. I was like you parent your way and I will parent mine. My girls all grew up to be wonderful people like yourself and they wear bikinis and have a relationship with their Heavenly Father too. Guess what we have our free agency to choose and first and foremost two pieces are easier especially for little humans and quite honestly for adults. And second I have seen your insta and the bathing suits you wear are more modest than some one pieces so everyone, like Jase says needs to stay in their own lane. ! Again thanks for sharing so I know I was not alone.

Tracy Tanner June 07, 2021

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU!!!! I’ve seen so much damage done to young women who are made to feel “less than” because they don’t fit the mold. My daughters complained to me weekly about going to church because they didn’t fit in and they hated feeling like they were being judged by the other girls. Eventually, both stopped going to church completely. Who are we to cast a stone????

I’ve held several callings working with the youth and one of my favorite discussions is learning how to love outside of the individual box. Love them for being a child of God. Love them for wanting to learn. Love them for wanting to be loved. We discuss the importance of being Christlike in the true sense – loving each person individually regardless of their choices, beliefs, or lifestyle.

Thank you for your example of loving yourself and encouraging a safe environment for all to turn to.

Rene

Rene Hadley June 02, 2021

Can I just say that I think what you did was awesome! Righteous indignation is running rampant (you know where people use their spirituality or worthiness to judge others)
It’s a shame – because the savior taught us the exact opposite! I love that you called it out
And for sure – if more people stayed “in their lanes” the world would be much more peaceful!
What I have found is that when people judge it’s usually because some part of them seems inadequate or less than!
Love is truly the only way ❤️

Michelle Barber June 02, 2021

I’m sorry you received such negative feedback on your original post. I agree with all you had to say and no judgement here. Thankyou for your thoughts and I applaud your podcast. Love your clothes and none of these pics/post change my mind except to love them more.

Rachel June 02, 2021

I loved the podcast. Modesty is a personal thing and I’ve always felt it’s a personal issue. I feel the same way about keeping the Sabbath holy. If I choose to go to the mountains and have a picnic or watch a football game or whatever and I feel like that is my way of keeping it holy, others shouldn’t judge. When my oldest was in primary years ago, she came home and a boy had given a 2 minute talk and said we are sinning if we watch football on Sunday. We also know his parents helped write it. When they teach about the word of wisdom and not doing drugs or drinking alcohol or smoking I think we need to be more sensitive. I’ve been in there when it’s “your bad if you do those things,”. My children grew up with a grandfather who did those things and he was far from bad. He was wonderful. So I consider myself very active and have a testimony and love my Heavenly Father but how I choose to look at modesty and other parts of the gospel is between me and my Heavenly Father and no one should ever judge another spirituality. Besides, if I looked like you I would definitely rock the bikini!

Pam June 02, 2021

I just love you!!! Public shaming is never okay!! Hurts my heart when I see/read it. I’m sorry that happened to you. Thank you SO much for your heartfelt message!! I just love it!!!! 💕💕💕💕💕

Tonya June 02, 2021

I LOVE THIS! Thanks for sharing, and sharing your thoughts beautifully!
AMEN.

Amielee June 02, 2021

SO. Much. This!! When I was pregnant with my 2nd (and then post-pregnancy), I would take my son to a local park, he would ride his bike and I would walk (push the stroller) along the path for exercise. We loved it! We were having a happy time and stopped at the park for him to play on. There were moms from our church that got together that day for a play date. When they saw me, at first they didn’t acknowledge me. When I got closer they were like “oh we didn’t recognize that was you.” And then I was looked at under a microscope. No invitation to join, not much more conversation, and a whole lot of very frequent glances. And I knew. I knew it was because I was wearing short running shorts, my sports bra and a work out tank. They were dressed very modestly, which is great! They were sitting on a picnic table under a tree, I was out in the blazing NC sun sweating like a pig. And I was judged and not included because of it. I avoided the park on that particular day each week because that was their weekly scheduled play dates.

I am currently a camp director for this years girls camp. At one of our meetings the topic of how long shorts need to be was brought up. There was some different views shared and then the stake camp director said “I don’t want to make this an issue. The rules state no more than a few inches above the knee. If you want to give your girls a rule of thumb for how long their shorts need to be, that is completely fine. But I want the girls there! If there bum is showing I may need to have a chat with them, otherwise, I just want them there.” And I thought that was beautiful. At my girls camp (and I dressed pretty modest as a youth!) we had a ruler rule and if we didn’t meet that rule we had to change. I get there are girls who will push it and show it off…but don’t those girls need just as much love? Dont they need to be there too? Yes, yes they do. And I’m so glad we have an inclusive rule this year! No judgement, just come!

Sarah June 02, 2021

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published