Bikinis: 37 Hot Facts

Today we bring you 37 sexy facts about bikinis; the history and culture behind the world most iconic swimsuit!

 

 

  1. The modern bikini originated from France in the 1940s. They were very controversial at that time and in many countries were banned from public places.
  2. The Vatican at one time considered bikinis sinful.
  3. The film industry helped make bikinis socially acceptable by having well known leading ladies wear them on screen.
  4. By the mid 1960s bikinis had become common in most western countries.
  5. French engineer Louis Reard called his new creation “bikini” after the Bikini Attoll, a string of islands in the pacific ocean. The United States military had just conducted nuclear testing there, and Reard hoped his new swimsuit would cause an “explosive commercial and cultural reaction.”
  6. Reard’s first bikini used just 30 square inches of fabric.
  7. Reard was unable to convince any models to pose wearing his exposing new design. Instead he hired a 19 year old nude dancer named Micheline Bernardini.
  8. Bernardini subsequently received 50,000 fan letters.
  9. It was said at the time that a swimsuit could not be considered a true bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring.
  10. Some argued even at the time that bikini’s were not sexual at all, but simply allowed women freedom and comfort in the water.
  11. Lena Lenček called bikini’s “a state of mind.”
  12. Though the modern concept of the bikini originated from 1940s France, the concept of bikini like outfits dates back at least as far as 5,700 BC, from which time art has been found depicting a goddess wearing what we would today call a bikini.
  13. In ancient Greece and Rome, female athletes wore bikini like outfits during competition.
  14. Swimming in public was considered socially unacceptable in most of the Western World until the 18th century.
  15. In the 18th century, when Westerners first began swimming in public, it was customary for women to wear long sleeved, full length dresses made of flannel or wool.
  16. Annette Kellerman, an Australian swimmer, was arrested in Boston in 1907 for wearing a swimsuit that was too tight and form fitting, despite the fact that it covered her from her neck to her toes.
  17. Due to material shortages during World War II, The United States War Production Board ordered a 10% reduction in the quantity of fabric used in women’s swimwear. As a result, manufacturers increased production of two piece swimwear.
  18. The first Festival Bikini contest happened in 1951. It would later come to be known as the Miss World pageant.
  19. The first winner was Kiki Håkansson, who was quickly condemned by the pope.
  20. In the 1950s, young actresses could generate great press and attention by allowing themselves to be photographed in a bikini. Iconic examples include Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams and many others.
  21. Photos of Bardot in a bikini helped make the Cannes Film Festival an iconic event.
  22. Ursula Andress’ iconic white swimsuit in the first James Bond film has been called the most iconic bikini ever.
  23. There are now many spin offs of the bikini, including the Bandeaukini, the microkini, the monokini and the “no string bikini.”
  24. In an attempt to compete in the mid 20th century bikini race, designers experimented with ideas such as attaching propellers to the bra cups or making the swimsuits entirely out of red hair, or even porcupine quills.
  25. Susan Rosen and Steinmetz Diamonds teamed up to produce a bikini made up of more than 150 flawless diamonds set in platinum. The outfit costs $30 million, making it the most expensive bikini in the world.
  26. Over 200 swimming records were broken in just 23 months after the seamless Speedo was developed with help from NASA.
  27. Kathy Ireland’s 1989 issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition was the best selling ever.
  28. Cheryl Tiegs’ The Beauties of Brazil issue generated the most letters.
  29. When topless swimsuits for men came out in the 1930s, they could get wearers arrested for indecent exposure.
  30. Tyra Banks was the first African American to appear on the cover of Sport Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. In 2007 Beyonce became the second.
  31. Thongs may have originated as early as 75,000 years ago as a primitive means of protecting male genitailia.
  32. The “G” in the word “g-string” is thought to have come from the word “groin.”
  33. In 1753 a “bathing machine” was invented that consisted of a horse drawn carriage and a “modesty tunnel” allowing decent Victorian men and women to (separately) enter the sea, still in their, by today’s standards, very modest swimwear. This contraption was considered necessary for any respectable beach goers for many years.
  34. Women’s swimwear prior to the 20th century commonly weighed over 22 lbs.
  35. La Femme is a female only beach in Egypt were Muslim women can wear bikinis.
  36. Barbie’s first outfit was a bikini.
  37. Women’s swimsuits make up 70% of the swimwear market.

 

 

Bibliography

“Bikini.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Bikini Atoll.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Brigitte Bardot.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Kiki Håkansson.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Micheline Bernardini.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Çatalhöyük.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Bikini Trivia – Interesting Historical Facts.” EverythingBikini.com. EverythingBikini.com, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“60 Interesting Facts About Swimsuits;.” Random Facts. RandomHistory.com, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

“Bathing Machine.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 06 Feb. 2015.

 

Bikini 37 Photo Credits

“]Mannequins wearing bikinis sitting on a 1970 Cadillac Coupe Deville” by Matthew T Rader

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/qa8g7tm

 

“1947 Bikini” by Allison Marchant

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/k2eg3q5

 

“Losing My Religion” by C L E E ٩(̾●̮̮̃̾•̃̾)۶ ™

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/q6tk3p9

 

“Campus Nymphs (1964)” by katherine of chicago

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/mqloomb

 

Pin-Up in White by Tom Simpson

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/ktqtbap

 

“1946 … Baker Shot- Bikini Atoll ‘Operation-Crossroads’” posted by James Vaughan

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/pasc8t6

 

“PDVD_005.jpg” by David Zellaby

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/nbpmg2j

 

“low-cut-bikini-bottom” by Celeb Fashion

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/mmfyduf

 

“look ma, one hand!” by Allison Marchant

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/pndgjmx

 

“POLKA-DOTS BIKINI” by David Zellaby

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/l4uxqbq

 

“Bohol Beach Club” by Greg

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/ljxxehf

 

“Twin Peaks Bikini Contest” by MarkScottAustinTX

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/nogqb3f

 

“diva bikini 001” by Sandi Hagan

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/oylwjps

 

“1972 Frederick’s of Hollywood, Vol. No.26/Issue No.128” posted by Jessica Hartman Jaeger

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/nsp83he

 

“2008 Santa Speedo Run” by Chris Wraight

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/plwof3u

 

“more of the man-thong and absurdly apparent package” by SH2005

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/qdj32k3

 

“Recuerdos de Iquique” by Sr. Pacman

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/lpzv4yz

 

“Bikini” by ♥[¤♥Butterfly♥¤]♥

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/ndf6tma

 

“Johanna Steiger Barbie Collection” by A.Currell

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/p2fx39x

 

“DSC_0744-3” by Studio5Graphics

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/ol85ca6

 

“The hunt” by Alex Dram

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/mr5qux8

 

“Black Bikinis_5479” by Don Johnson 395

Provided by Flickr.com under Creative Commons 2.0 License

http://tinyurl.com/ps7qq8u

 

 

Music Credits:

“Rumba Sabor” by Jimmy Fontanez

“Butchers” by Silent Partner

“Bonanza” by Jingle Punks

“Another Perspective” by Silent Partner

 

Author: Owen Essen

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