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By Ann Burns, Catholic East Texas, Diocese of Tyler, May 4, 2021

“The meaning of all creation is the imitation and glorification of God, the inconceivably glorious and holy One.” — Dietrich von Hildebrand 

Puberty, Bikinis, and Bermuda Shorts 

When I was a little girl, I was painfully self-conscious of my parents’ (seemingly) staunch modesty standards. I would feel bizarrely out of place when I showed up at the pool, clad in my skirted swimsuit surrounded by tween bikini wearers. The contrast seemed insane. I might as well be swimming in a winter coat.

When my mom would take me shopping, she’d pick out the nice, long Bermuda shorts. My pants were never tight. My skirts were never short. My swimwear never revealed midriff. In other words, I was the weird kid. At least, that’s how it seemed in my head at times. I have to admit, when I see pictures of my pubescent self, I realize that my Mom actually had a wonderful concept of style and my clothes were genuinely pretty and, well, modest. But the modest element is what made me feel like a misfit; that’s where I secretly struggled. …

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