The Bikini is 65 this July. Happy Birthday, you Hot Slut…
Leaving just enough fabric for the imagination to fill in the blanks, this infamous two-piece has become standard beach fare. Giving the wearer instant sex appeal, the bikini can be comfortable and stylish. In a myriad of colours and cuts, this is my go-to swimwear; I can play in the waves, dry off quick-smart and if stringy enough, I can covet an almost-all-over tan. But for those ladies out there unsure whether the bikini is for them, I thought I’d dig up some inspiration from iconic hotties. Triangles and thongs do not a sexy bikini make, well for me at least. To accentuate my point, I’ve travelled back in time to illustrate how the bathing beauties of yore sizzled on the sands without letting it all hang out. To all my classy Howlers out there, this post is for you!
For me, the most important lady up here is Sharmilla Tagore, beloved Bollywood actress of the 60’s. One of her claims to fame is being the first Indian lady to don a bikini in a film. Causing a massive uproar, this gutsy move in conservative Indian cinema never tarnished her career. I have a great fondness for Sharmilla due to her striking resemblence to my Mother. Back when my folks were newlyweds, Dad was constantly approached by people asking if he was in fact with the Sharmilla Tagore? His answer; an unabashed, Yes.
Also sporting the bandeau style is Marilyn Monroe, and Brigitte Bardot, who was “Manina, la fille sans voile”. Literally, Manina, the Girl in the Bikini – the original Cannes Bathing Beauty. This year I opted for a stripped sky blue & white version, similar to Monroe’s to help avoid any lines on my shoulders. This style is ideal for sunbathers who want a bronzed bod. Although, my bottoms are fastened a la string, the amazing thing about the bikini is you can mix and match, finding a top or bottom that suits your taste, comfort and body shape. A little tummy shy? The 50’s waist high bottoms are all the rage right now and give the wearer a svelte sihouette.
If you’re a more athletic venturer on the beach, I highly recommed a strapped in style like Ursula Andress from Dr. No. This bikini is not f**king around. Whether prowling for international intrigue or water sports you need a bikini that is more bra-like in structure. Bouncing waves be damned, those ladies will be supported with little risk of a full moon rising mid afternoon.
But if you are a true believer of the idiom less is more, I’ve included Bettie Page, Bo Derek and Sophia Loren. Va-va-voom! With soaring confidence and bodies to match, these ladies really stretch the bikini, and our imagination, to its limits.
An honorable mention must be given for the two cultures responsible for making the bikini possible; Brazil and Polynesia, mainly Hawaii. Living in tropical and island climes, these people dressed for survival and practicality. When researching for this piece, I discovered that this swimsuit was actually named by a Frenchman after the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, once a French protectorate. Oddly enough, it was used by the French during the 50’s as an atomic bomb test site. What?! How this inspired him, one can only imagine, but what a total bummer in bikini history. “Il n’y a que la vérité qui blesse.”
Whether you’re fleeing dinosauars a la Raquel Welch or just catching some rays like Pam Grier, finding the perfect bikini for you is a must. At the end of the day, you’re confidence and how you carry yourself is what makes you sexy. Make sure your bikini fits your needs and you’ll be having one helluva Bikini Party Summer. Hang 10, Happy Howlers! Awooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!