History of Bikinis

Posted by Mr. Guy July - 14 - 2009 - Tuesday ADD COMMENTS
It’s pretty obvious what kind of women wear bikinis: the hot ones. And it doesn’t matter what their suits are made from – nylon, cotton, string, vinyl, macramé, fur, mink, rubber, leaves, seaweed, or tampon string – because we’ll hang on the titillation of what lies just underneath, regardless. A kind of, existential foreplay. Existential, in that most bikini babes would have a hard time explaining how they affect us – as they’re happy just to know they do: SCHWING! But before you go running wild this summer, trying to tear off any bikini that will have you, best you know a little about the history of where they came from first.
300 A.D. Mural found in an Italian villa displays two dozen frolicking bathing nymphs wearing two-piece bathing suits with green or red strapless bra tops and hip-hugging bottoms. Hugh Hefner not alive to throw them in a mansion. 1945. Paris. While running his mother’s lingerie business, trying to find a name for a newly developed swimsuit, Louis Réard, an automotive engineer by trade, coins the name “bikini” after the U.S. Army tests a nuclear bomb in the Bikini Atoll on the Marshall Islands. Major explosion when Reard has nude dancer Micheline Bernardini strut down a Paris catwalk in one. After photos hit the press, Bernardini is besieged with 50,000 fan letters. (The art of stalking is born.)
The fall-out: several Catholic countries, including Spain, Portugal and Italy, ban the bikini altogether. Decency leagues in America begin putting pressure on Hollywood to keep them out of the movies. A writer of the time, says: “A two-piece bathing suit reveals everything about the girl except her mother’s maiden name.” And who the hell wants to know that? 1951. Beauty pageants worldwide ban the bikini. Preferred choice of dress: body armor. 1956. The French film And God Created Women features actress Brigitte Bardot in a bikini. It ignites a major market for swimsuits abroad. Hollywood gets in on the act by offering 3D glasses to see it. Unfortunately, The Attack of the Killer Boobies isn’t on the double feature bill.
1957. Modern Girl magazine tries to quell the bikini uprising by saying: “It’s hardly necessary to waste words over the so-called bikini, since it is inconceivable that any girl with tact and decency would ever wear such a thing.” That same year, the song “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini” sends all those “tactful” girls rushing to buy one.
1963. Ex-Mousketeer Annette Funicello joins the bikini parade in the movie Beach Party. The film leads to six sequels, including How to Stuff a Wild Bikini. Note: Somewhere, a future Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon is smiling. 1964. European designer Rudi Gernreich develops the mono-kini (topless) and it provokes the Vatican to denounce all things “bikini.” Homosexual priests are still OK!
1964. Sports Illustrated – trying to find an attention-grabber between the Superbowl and baseball season – puts model Babette March on the cover in a bikini. Over night, a number one sport, and magazine, is born.
1964. Raquel Welch gets all “sporty” in One Million Years B.C. Over night, young men begin spending more QT in bathroom. 1970’s. Tanga suits, AKA the thong, are unveiled on the beaches of Brazil. Note: Somewhere, a homosexual priest is caught wearing one. 1988. Four years after his death, Louis Reard’s company goes under. May he RIP in Bikini Heaven.
80’s-early 90’s. Bikini sales plummet, dropping to less than a third of the women’s swimsuit market. You see what Reagan did?! Mid 90’s. MTV pumps up the flesh volume by displaying hordes of teens shaking their assets at Spring Break. CPR to the bikini is also delivered by Baywatch, which spreads its message of warmth, IQ, Pamela’s boobs, and skyrocketing bikini sales to every shore. And there is nothing existential about that. Or this…

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