MODESTY BECOMES THEM

Ronza Othman waited until night to dip in the pool on family vacations, swimming with female relatives only after the men had gone to sleep.

She’s a Muslim who wears a headscarf and traditional dress, and even the most tame swimsuits didn’t fit into her code of modesty.

But a design created by a Muslim woman with a love of scuba diving offered 25-year-old Othman, an attorney from south suburban Burbank, the opportunity to do something she never thought possible: swim in public.

She replaced her typical wading outfit of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt with a full Splashgear swimsuit — pants, top and head covering — before cruising to the Caribbean in March.

“I never thought I’d be swimming in the ocean, and I got to do that,” she said. “I’ve swam in private before with just women around, but this was actually kind of liberating.”

Splashgear isn’t the only business offering floral-print swimsuits with sleeves, skirts, high necks and long shorts or pants.

A handful of Internet-based businesses are finding a lucrative market in alternative swimwear, selling thousands of suits a year to women by advertising over religious networks ranging from Mormons to Muslims.

 

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