By Stephanie Anderson
“ A bikini is not a bikini unless it can be pulled through a wedding ring” Louis Reard
Nowadays, the word bikini is synonymous with summertime, bodacious bodies and a necessary staple in every college girl’s wardrobe. The role of the bikini is to cover up as little as possible while hiding just enough so that you won’t get arrested for indecent exposure (that’s an interesting topic you do not want to bring up with the parentals). Bikinis haven’t always been an accepted part of our culture. In fact, up until the 1960s, bikinis were considered scandalous throughout the states! Although some historians say the bikini is evident in ancient Roman mosaics from around 300 A.D., the real launch of the bikini occurred in France in 1946 (who knew the French gave us something worthwhile other than fries?).
1940s and 1950s
The bikinis of the 1940s and 1950s were very modest. The bottoms came up past the navel and the tops covered everything (no wardrobe malfunctions with these suits). The wearing of bikinis was actually banned at the 1951 Miss World pageant because it was believed that girls wearing bikinis in the swimsuit competition would have an unfair advantage over their more modest competitors.
1960s and 1970s
The sexual revolutions during the 1960s and 70s brought along the invention of the string bikini. String bikinis became so popular that in 1974, Bloomingdales in Manhattan sold out its entire order of 150 swimsuits in only two weeks
We can thank the 1980s for introducing the world to the thong bikini. Thong bikinis can be amazing, but only on a very select few individuals… like Jessica Alba or Gisele Bundchen. Seeing a wrinkly old woman in a thong bikini can really make you puke up your last margarita.
The era of tie-died clothing and Ace of Base brought about the launch of neoncolored bikinis. I’m not quite sure why somebody thought adding bright fluorescent colors to bikinis would make female bodies look good, but somehow it did, and neon bikinis were here to stay.