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Whitney  Ferrall

Bikinis for Tweens?

By June 7, 2012

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""Would you let your tween wear a bikini? We received over 400 responses to this question in the forums, and while the majority of affirmative answers came from tweens themselves, many parents agreed.

For some parents, bikinis are a non-issue. Guest Hoku from Hawaii noted that bikinis are commonplace for girls there. Guest Donita commented that the appropriateness of swimwear is dictated by societal norms. Bikinis are de rigueur  in her local culture, but she and her daughter cover up when visiting more conservative locales. Guest Sam comes from such a place. She suggests girls begin wearing bikinis at an earlier age, before body consciousness really sets in, with the hope that they'll carry that self acceptance with them as they mature.

Some mothers remember their own preteen experience all too well, and welcome any swimsuit that makes the awkwardness of puberty less outwardly apparent. Others, like Guest Mommaof3, have guidelines that render some two pieces acceptable while others are off limits. Mommaof3's rules state that the "top has to be a halter or one that is connected in the middle and the bottoms can not contain any strings that hold it together."

Take a look at some of the bikinis on my list of 12 Swimsuits for Tweens and let me know what you think. Can you find a suit appropriate for your daughter? Is a tankini or maillot more her speed?

Photo: J. Crew

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