Why Do My Girls Wear Shorts To The Pool?


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I’ve had several people ask me why my girls and I wear shorts to swim.  My short answer, “I prefer to have clothes on.”

I think it’s finally time for a longer answer.  It starts with, “I believe God wants us to have clothes on.”  Our bodies are a special treasure from God and we are to preserve them for marriage by dressing modestly.  If you are interested in further information on this topic, I suggest you start here.

My Favorite Boardshorts

“But they are just little girls, with little girl bodies”, some will say.  Yes, they are little girls, but one day they won’t be.  I believe it is much easier to teach them now that we should keep ourselves covered than to suddenly change the rules just when everything else is beginning to change.

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Aside from the modesty issue, a big factor to me is that there are a lot of creepy people in this world and I don’t want to give those creepy people any extra reasons to be staring at my precious babies!

Some will argue that swimming is a special circumstance and that swim suits are not immodest because of the occasion. I wholeheartedly disagree. I wouldn’t send my girls to town in their underwear, so I don’t send them to the pool that way either.

Kids In Swim Shorts

Another argument is that shorts are uncomfortable when swimming. Well, I’ve never met boys who complained. And if my girls start out swimming in shorts, they never know any difference.


“But it’s too hard to find swim shorts for girls and they aren’t cute”, I’ve heard. Yes, I’ll admit, it takes effort to find girls swim shorts, especially cute ones, but I make it a priority to put in the effort. I want my girls to feel cute, even though they may look different. I search for long girls board shorts year-round online. They CAN be found.

Boardshorts can be cute!

And what about body image issues?  Who really enjoys baring it all in front of everyone at the pool?  I remember a lady, who began wearing swim shorts as an adult, telling me that she was never comfortable at a swimming pool and never fully enjoyed herself until she started covering up. I’m glad my girls don’t have to think about how their naked legs look to other people and worry if they are too thick or too thin!

And in case you were wondering, we have lots of fun and enjoy the pool as much as anyone!

Water Park FunJump!Everybody in!


  1. I so agree. It’s always been a puzzle to me why most people who cover up in a normal environment on a normal day, seem to think a different set of rules apply when it’s time to head for the pool or beach or even when choosing wedding and prom dresses. Girls who are raised to be modest suddenly appear in public with very little covering. It worries me a bit.

  2. I have 4 daughters. They are now moms. There weren’t as many cute options 20+ years ago. We would go to the men’s or boys section and find board shorts with flowers. ? I’m glad there are better options now. Where did the moms and the pictures get their board shorts? A lot of times I find them still too short.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Maureen. I usually search eBay for “long girls boardshorts (size)”. If I can find any of the Old Navy long ones with the adjustable waist, that’s my favorite. I also search on Amazon. Hurley is my favorite brand for me. Other brands I search for are Roxy and Billabong. When I search for womens, I look for 9″ for me (I’m short) and I have bought 11″ for some of my tall friends. Columbia and REI have little girls sizes, too. Some of these brands can get pricey, but they last all summer and I can find them on eBay for a great bargain.

      • Loved your article!! Thanks for the ideas above for cute girl shorts. I usually get boys shorts in neutral colors (green) and they’ve never complained, probably because I’ve done it since they were infants! 🙂 But I have 3 girls and cute girlie shorts would be so fun!!

  3. This is so very true, I have always been self conscious in a swimsuit, even though I didn’t look too bad.. I see very large women in swimsuits and I wonder why they don’t seem to care what they look like yet I am so self conscious about my own body because I was raised in a very modest christian family. It doesn’t bother me to see large women in swimsuits but I do notice and hear rude comments from other people making fun of them and I feel bad for them. I never understood why boys could wear swim shorts but girls could not, I wear shorts over my swim suit always. in public.. if boys can swim in shorts, then girls can too. Who made the rules anyway? I love this, and we need to spark more interest in the swimsuit manufacturers to make more swimshorts for girls and women. Then we could do away with all of the dumb swimsuit coverups when we want to walk around. Girls in bikinis are just a temptation for boys anyway.. I have a son and two daughters, two grandsons and one granddaughter. I don’t want girls walking around in bikinis in front of my boys and I don’t want my girls walking around in bikinis in front of other boys. We are supposed to respect out bodies, they are our temple.. we should all stay modest, only our spouses should get to see the whole body. And our spouse should be happy about that too! My rant is over.. thank you… 🙂 Loved this article, it needs to go viral for sure.. I will share!!

    • I hope you can learn to love your body, not just respect it. Perhaps the “large women” do care about how they look. How sad you assume they “don’t care.” They may love their bodies, even if you or others don’t like the way they look. Being modest is fine, but teaching girls to love themselves regardless of what others think is just as important. Being raised in a religious home should make you LESS self conscious, not more so. Freedom, ladies!

  4. I enjoyed reading your article. I actually had a similar conversation with boys and wearing a swim shirt.
    I have a 3 1/2 years old boy and he wears rash guards (shirt & shorts). Another reason to cover up is from the sun’s radiation.
    He has Red in his hair in the summer, but I feel even if he didn’t I would still but a shirt on him.
    The kids need to be covered up. Girls and boys! I don’t want him walking around without a shirt on in public. I noticed that the older he gets the harder it is finding sets. But, I don’t care if will hunt something down. My friend said she stopped having her son wearing a shirt because he is older and it is not cool. I do not care about if it looks cool or not I would rather my son be protected and covered than not.

    • Thanks for your comments. I agree that both boys and girls should be covered. I just focused on girls in this particular article, but I did include pictures with men and boys with both shirts and shorts on for swimming.

  5. I love this thank you for sharing. It just confirms some things God has been putting on my heart:)

  6. Thanks so much for sharing. It can feel like you are the only one sometimes. To Patti’s point, I have struggled even to avoid spaghetti straps for my infant daughter. “Train them up in the way they should go” sometimes has to mean starting before they can remember! If they never know the difference, they can take joy in the simple pleasures, and learn the Why when they are old enough to understand.

  7. Interesting article but somewhat judgemental. I’m also a Christian and my daughter and I wear cute swimsuits to the pool. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think our bodies are also beautiful gifts from God. And it doesn’t make us immodest. Everyone can be comfortable and your way is not better than mine or viceversa.

  8. While I personally wouldn’t follow this for my own children I so respect that you have remained steadfast in your convictions. I’m all about rash guards not just for modesty but skin cancer runs in my family. I do feel there are lots of options now days than there were just a few years ago. Athleta is debuting a line for girls, I bet they have very girly board shorts and rash guard options too.

  9. I dont know if it’s because I am French (and Catholic) but I don’t see how a kids body should be covered up when out in the swimming pool !
    My 9 years girl wear cute swimsuit and don’t think “creepy” people are going to watch her. And I prefer her to understand that her body is for herself and if someone touch her she needs to tell me. I don’t want her to be ashamed to be a girl !!!
    And I don’t mind if girls wear shorts as well but please don’t judge the others girls ;-).
    Then you see see teenagers in the USA that are nearly naked at the beach and nobody cares ?!! So much fuss for only little girls ..

  10. I am a Christian but this viewpoint really bothers me. If you believe “God wants us to have clothes on” does that mean you also think boys should wear shirts in the pool? Why do only girls have to cover up? I do think some little girl swimsuits are too grown up and I will not buy those for my daughter. But a regular little girl swimsuit? I see nothing wrong in that. I think the saddest part is what you wrote about body image in relation to this topic. Your girls – and all of us! – shouldn’t have to worry about how we look to other people NOT because we’re covered up but because we’re confident in and comfortable with the bodies God gave us.

  11. I get where you’re coming from but this is the same justification that is used to veil young girls or to enforce the burka. You’re teaching them their bodies are shameful.

  12. I agree with all your points Lisa. I’ve felt this way for a while and I just have little ones that I cover well anyway, bc of the sun exposure. But now I feel like it’s my turn to really practice this myself. I just bought my first rash guard and board shorts. What do you wear underneath?
    Thanks for your suggestions!

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