As summer starts to sizzle, a Catholic prelate on Friday scored the popular practice of holding “bikini opens” for both men and women, particularly during Holy Week.
Lipa Archbishop Ramon Arguelles said he was against the contests because they demeaned women and men who must show off their scantily clad bodies in order to win.
“We are against that because you are subjecting the body of a woman to the lustful eyes of men and vice versa,” said Arguelles in an interview.
“I suggest that they just don’t promote what demeans the woman… the Church is against making women’s bodies objects of lustful eyes,” he added.
Arguelles said the practice lowered public morality and his archdiocese would oppose the holding of such events in Batangas.
Fr. Conegundo Garganta, executive secretary of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines Episcopal Commission on Youth, said bikini contests were tolerated in this devout Catholic country but these should not promote the exploitation of women and men.
“Activities similar to this, while tolerated, should and must be conducted with a pure intention of affirming not only physical beauty but also that of clarity of values,” Garganta said.
“These should not promote the exploitation of women but celebrate possessing beauty and the responsibility attached to it,” he said.
Garganta said the men and women who join these contests should realize that, “with the gift of beauty and good physique” also comes the “responsibility to value the power that comes with it.”