Christian Bikini Competitors
In 2012 I competed in my first bikini competition… as a Christian woman.
Initially, my motive for wanting to compete in a bikini competition was that I wanted some sort of motivation to get in better shape. I believed that if I set a specific date where I needed to be leaner, stronger, and more confident with my body that it would motivate me more…and it did! Knowing that I would be standing on stage in a tiny bikini led me to be much more diligent with my training and nutrition which resulted in better physical progress with my body.
Although a contest prep can be challenging as you have to say “no” to a lot of yummy food temptations, “no” to happy hours, and “no” to netflix binges so you can go to the gym, it is life changing. You learn a lot about your abilities, your strengths, your weaknesses, your dedication, your personality, your patience, and your body while on contest prep. Prepping for a bikini competition is a great learning experience, regardless of how the show day itself goes. However there is one downfall to standing on stage in a tiny bikini…it may challenge your beliefs.
As a Christian I was raised to be a classy and dignified woman. I learned that if I behave as though I am worthy of respect, others will respect me. If I behave as though I not worthy of respect, no one will respect me. Let me share two personal examples.
Example one: I am someone who isn’t a huge fan of using curse words, so my friends who know that about me tend to cuss less around me. I would never ask them to stop but they do so out of respect. However, if I were someone who cursed a lot, the people or friends around me would likely curse more often because they hear me doing it and assume I am fine with it so it’s not disrespectful.
Example two: I have always told my mom I like to dress classy. When some girls would wear shorts that were super super short so their butts hung out, I preferred to wear shorts that were fashionable yet classy. Therefore the kinds of guys I attracted while growing up were very sweet guys that respected me and didn’t try to get me in bed. If I were one of those girls who dressed to show off the goods, I am positive those guys would have treated me differently.
As you can now understand, the way you portray yourself to others plays a huge role in how they treat you. Let’s now apply this to the world of bikini competitions.
Most of you reading this are probably thinking about competing or have already competed. Therefore, you know what being a bikini competitor entails. However, to an outsider looking in (someone who has never seen a competition before) it may look like a bunch of cocky girls standing on stage, starving for attention, trying to be sexy. That is far from the truth but those are common judgments that come from people outside the industry- especially our friends and/or family who are unfamiliar with the sport.
In order to stand up for us competitors, I am going to share with you my beliefs on this topic. Here is my case for christian bikini competitors. These are my beliefs only and I completely understand if others disagree with any of the points I am going to make. My goal is simply to get you thinking about competing differently. We are all entitled to our own beliefs.
The Case for Christian Bikini Competitors
#1 Bikini Competitions are a Sport
The prep work to become a bikini competitor can take years. Many women spend years strength training and building muscle. Many women invest so much time into working out that it no longer becomes just a thing to do for health- it becomes a fun hobby. Working out and sculpting our bodies can be very rewarding as we put on more muscle and see progress over time. As a result, many of us fall in love with progress and decide to convert it from a fun hobby to a sport. It’s something we dedicate at least an hour almost every day of our lives to. So why not make a sport of it? Many of us want even more reward from all this hard work. So what do we do? We want to compete. Just like football players invest hours into strength training and conditioning, bikini competitors also invest hours into sculpting their bodies. Just like football players want to make it to the playoffs and win prizes, awards, and possibly endorsements- so do bikini competitors. Some of us want something that will continue to motivate us to be better and never get complacent. That’s what bikini competitions do for us. It is our outlet to put our hard work to the test and compete. The real work comes during the prep period; the posing on stage is just the final presentation (or the superbowl) of all the hard work.
#2 Our Bodies are Art
I like to see our bodies as a piece of art. With our years of hard work in the gym strength training, we are slowly but surely sculpting our bodies. With each and every weight lifting workout, we are building muscle. With each drop in calories, we are trimming off fat. Our body is a delicate piece of art that is carefully sculpted by our hard work in the gym and our dedication to our nutrition. Therefore, when we stand on stage to compete, that is how we desire to be seen. Have we sculpted enough deltoids out for their liking? Have we built enough glute muscles to create a feminine backside? Have we trimmed enough fat around our waist to portray our feminine curves? Our physique is the final product of the time we spent on the art project of sculpting our body. Regardless of how the judging goes, most of us decide to compete for ourselves. We want to challenge ourselves and be a better version of ourselves physically.
#3 Our Motives are to Compete- not to be Sex Icons
The last point I want to make is to state the motive or intention of most bikini competitors. For most of us, we want to be bikini competitors because we want some motivation to invest and dedicate more time into our health and fitness. We want a sport to compete in and a place to show off our hard work. That is our motive. Our motive is not to be a sex icon. Our motive is not to have guys drooling over us. If that’s what we cared about, we would compete in a Hooters competition or try to land a spot in a Playboy magazine, but we aren’t. We are simply looking for a way to compete and build the best version of ourselves. That is where posing comes into play. Remember earlier when I discussed how the way we portray ourselves impacts how others treat or view us? This is where bikini competitions differ from other events like regular bikini shows, wet tshirt contests, posing for sexy magazines, etc. The posing used in bikini competitions is not sexy. We have two strict poses: front pose and back pose. Each one is utilized so the judges can view our sculpted bodies from the front and the back. With each pose we have our arms down or hand on hip so our body can be seen for critique. If we were trying to be sexy, instead I would imagine we’d twirl our hair, squeeze our arms together to create more cleavage, lick our lips, wink, shake our hips, etc. Oh my, I could never do that in public! Our intention is pure in competing in bikini competitions. That’s the difference.
She is clothed in strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future.
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
A heart at peace gives life to the body.
What it comes down to is if you are a Christian who wants to compete for the first time or wants to compete again with less guilt, remember why you do it. If you see competing as a sport, if you see your body as a piece of art, and if you portray yourself as strong instead of sexy then I say… go for it! Yes you may get judgment from friends or family who don’t understand the sport. If you do, maybe share this article with them. But for me personally, I see nothing wrong with competing as a Christian if you are in it for the right reasons and you portray yourself the right way.
Thanks Steph – it can be difficult to reconcile the two worlds when you make the leap into that first show. And as a Christian you never know when Jesus will use you to provide the support, attitude and example backstage that someone else may need to experience at just the right time.
When I first started competing in 2013, I struggled with what my fellow uniformed service members would think of my new passion and hobby. I didn’t share my gym gains or competition goals with work colleagues or friends. Fast forward to 2017, I recommitted myself to the Lord and meditated on how competing fit into His plan for my life. It is easy to get the wrong perspective of a bikini competitor especially if one is naive to the industry. Steph, I appreciate your words and tying in the religious and physical aspects of a bikini competitor. I often times reflect on Philippians 4:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Since last year, I got my NASM certification and been diligently training for a July competition in hopes of getting my ‘pro card’. I joyfully and without hesitation share past competition experiences and training workouts with everyone and anyone interested every opportunity I get! :o)
I guess I will play the argument on the other side of the coin, although I am sure you have made up your mind.
As Christians our aim is different than the world. Yes we live in a depraved day and age where we have made lusting after men and women into a sport, does that make it okay in Gods eyes?
You say your body is a work of art, the Bible says that if you are a Christian your body is a living sacrifice. That it is Christ living in us, and not us for ourselves. Do you think Christ would make himself an object to be admired for his physical beauty? Isaiah said the exact opposite, He wrote that there was no beauty that we should desire Him.
Yes your motives may be entirely void of sin, but if you are causing others to sin then Jesus said it would be better for you to have a stone hung around your neck and to be thrown into the ocean
Consider this, even 20 years ago the idea that a Christan woman should wear a bikini to the beach was crazy. Men of God like David Wilkerson and Leanord Ravenhill preached vehemently against these type of things. We now live in an age were men have become lovers of self instead of lovers of God. An honest examination of your reasoning as to why you do this is Reason #1: loving the world, Reasoning 2&3: Loving of self.
As Christians we are to DENY ourselves and pick up the Cross. We are to be in the world, but not of the world. Our lives should be focused on living for God, not ourselves.
If all that sounds like a harsh rebuke, in a sense it is. If you are upset, please take it out on the messenger, but don’t ignore the message.