mainstram following the numerous
surf movies of the early 1960s.
Dr. Strangelove was among these first movies to
feature a bikini in memorable scenes. The elaborately
and lavishly assembled
Busby Berkeley film spectacle,
Footlight Parade of 1932 showcases stunning
aquachoreography that profusely featured what could
only be regarded as bikini swimwear.In 1951 bikinis were
banned from the
Miss World Contest following the crowning of Miss
Sweden in a bikini and subsequent protests with a number
of countries threatening to withdraw. In 1957, however,
Brigitte Bardot's bikini in
And God Created Woman created a market for the
swimwear in the US,
A bikini contest
beauty contest where women compete against each
bikinis. Bikini contests can take place in
strip clubs at beaches, and beauty pageants. Related
companies regularly sponsor such contests to discover
and attract new talents to promote their products.
Bikini contests can also take place over the
Internet by women submitting pictures of themselves
Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini hit
number one on the
Billboard Hot 100 in 1960 telling the story of a shy
high-school student in a very revealing polka dot bikini
bathing suit (which she apparently did not try on
beforehand) who stays immersed in the ocean water to
hide from view, while other high-schoolers gossip about
Beach Party films
were an American
1960s genre of feature films which often starred
Annette Funicello and
Frankie Avalon. They were originally intended as a
low-budget imitation of both the
Elvis Presley musical and the
Doris Day sex comedy, aimed at the teen market, but
they ended up taking on a life of their own. The
"classic" series was produced by
American International Pictures, and imitated in
turn by numerous other studios.
Beach Party (1963),
Muscle Beach Party (1963),
Bikini Beach (1964),
Pajama Party (1964),
Beach Blanket Bingo (1965),
How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (1965),
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini (1966) are
titles that were made as part of the classic beach party
genre. The final entry in the original series was
The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini, released in
1966. The end credits for another AIP Avalon comedy,
Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine (1965)
reveal that the original title planned for this film was
The Girl in the Glass Bikini, and that Funicello
and Avalon were slated to appear. However, Funicello and
Avalon both passed, and the leads in The Ghost in the
Invisible Bikini were played by
Tommy Kirk and
|In 1962, an icon was
born as Bond Girl
Ursula Andress emerged from the sea wearing a white
Dr. No. Other iconic portrayals of bikinis in
Raquel Welch as the prehistoric cavegirl in the 1966
One Million Years B.C., and
Phoebe Cates in the 1982
Fast Times at Ridgemont High. These three scenes
were recently ranked 1, 86, and 84 respectively in
Channel 4 (UK)'s
100 Greatest Sexy Moments in Film.
is one of the 29 atolls and five islands that compose the
Marshall Islands. These atolls of the Marshalls are scattered
over 357,000 square miles of a lonely part of the world located
north of the equator in the Pacific Ocean. They help define a
geographic area referred to as Micronesia.
Organa Solo of
Alderaan (born Leia
Amidala Skywalker) is a fictional character in the
universe. She was portrayed by actress
Carrie Fisher in
A New Hope,
The Empire Strikes Back, and
Return of the Jed
Goldie_Hawn began her career playing a stereotypical
blonde" personality. which brought her to
international attention as one of the regular cast
members on the 1960s
sketch comedy show.
Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In. She married
Bill Hudson, of the
Hudson Brothers, the two divorced in 1980 and have
Oliver Hudson (born 1976) and
Kate Hudson (born 1979), both of whom are now noted
actors. Hawn has been in a relationship with actor
Kurt Russell since 1983,
Honey Rider from 1962 Bond film "Dr. No" also
wearing a hip holster holding a hunting knife. Ryder is
widely regarded as the first
Villa Romana del Casale has the earliest
documentation of the bikini form
|Films of holidaymakers
in Germany in the 1930s show women wearing two-piece
bathing suits. They were to be seen again a year later
Gold Diggers of 1933.
The swimsuit as a particular article of clothing did not appear
until the early twentieth century, consider it part of our legacy to
future generations as its first cycle of returning to its original
form nears the completion of its cycle.
In Classical antiquity swimming and bathing was most often
done nude. In some settings coverings were used. Murals at Pompeii
show women wearing two-piece suits covering the areas around their
breasts and hips in a fashion remarkably similar to a bikini of c.
1960. After this, the notion of special water apparel seems to have
been lost for centuries.
In the 18th century women wore "bathing gowns"
in the water; these were long dresses of fabrics that would not
become transparent when wet, with weights sewed into the hems so
that they would not rise up in the water. The men's swim suit, a
rather form-fitting wool garment with long sleeves and legs, similar
to long underwear, was developed and would change little for a
In the 1980s the thong or "tanga" came out of
Brazil, said to have been inspired by traditional garments of native
tribes in the Amazon.
History of the Bikini
story: while the backless bikini bottom is widely credited
as having been first made popular on the beaches of Rio de
Janeiro. The direction can be seen as beginning in the early
sixties with the vision of a girl from Ipanema in her
2-piece and the swimsuits competitions at Ipanema that
followed in her wake.
|"Chamber of the Ten
Maidens" 1 of 10
bikini clad girls. This Roman mosaic in the Villa
Romana del Casale of Sicily depicts early
bikinis, most appear exercising in a spa. Two-piece
garments worn by women for athletic purposes have
been observed on Greek urns and paintings, dated as
early as 1400 BC.
During the dark age
baths throughout Europe disappear. Widening
Christian influence, first expressed by St. Benedict
in 550, loathes nudity and sensuality and commands
that bathing is sinful. Baths are banned in Europe
experienced a very long dry spell following the fall
of the Roman Empire as water sports went out of
style and Europeans regarded the sea as only a
source of physical therapy instead of recreation.
It was certainly not the first time
women clothed themselves in two-piece, midriff bearing attire. The
oldest depiction of the two-piece bikini appears at the end of the
Roman Empire in. The famous mosaic from the 4th Century AD, found in
the Villa Romana del Casale (Piazza Armerina, Sicily), shows ten
maidens wearing bandeau tops and bikini bottoms. As public bathing
was a common tradition for many ancient civilizations clothing
covering private parts would have been common and is found most
the ruins of Pompeii.
Pompeii society shows no sign of bashfulness in its many
frescoes and surviving statues.
Still the two piece suit is a relative rarity in
our surviving art legacy. The Greeks and later the Romans gave us
Aphrodite/Venus who represents the most popular archetype of the
beauty from the sea. It is common to find sirens and mermaids in
In 1907 the
swimmer Annette Kellerman from Australia visited the
United States as an "underwater ballerina", a version of
synchronized swimming, involving diving into glass
tanks. She was arrested for indecent exposure, as her
swimsuit showed arms, legs and the neck. Kellerman
changed the suit to have long arms and legs, and a
collar, still keeping the close fit revealing the shapes
underneath. She later starred in several movies,
including one about her life.
The evolution of swim wear in the 20th century
became the course of discarding the uncomfortable corset and
the work eroticizing the body was done by exposing more and
At the turn of the 20th century, female swimmers went to
extraordinary lengths to conceal themselves at the beach.
They wore voluminous bathing costumes and even made use of a
peculiar Victorian contraption called the bathing machine,
essentially a small wooden or canvas hut on wheels. The
bather entered the machine fully dressed and donned her
swimming clothes inside. Then, horses (or occasionally
humans) pulled the cart into the surf. The bather would
disembark on the seaside, where she could take a dip without
being observed from the shore.
Suntans were considered a sign of low class, so many women
covered their heads and faces.
In 1907, Australian Annette Kellerman caused quite a
stir, when she was arrested in the United States for wearing
a loose, one piece suit that became the generally accepted
swimsuit for women by 1910. The swimsuit apron disappeared
by 1918, leaving a tunic covering the shorts. Even though
matching stockings were still worn, bare legs were exposed
from the bottom of the trunks to the top of the shorts. On
some beaches in the United States, men were prohibited from
going topless as late as the 1930s.
In 1930 the US government, through the U.S. Post
Office Department, forbade and returned letters coming from Spain
carrying this stamp because of the nudity that was at that time
By the late 1930s, bathing suit
manufacturers began taking advantage of new developments in
fabric technology when Lastex and nylon, a quick-drying
elasticized fabric, were developed. By
1934 the swimsuit hugged the body and was constructed to
allow shoulder straps to be lowered for tanning. By the end
of the decade, molded-fit suits were introduced, featuring
the "nude look." The "panel suit" was also popular,
retaining a a small skirt
Two piece suits weren't new. By the 1940s, two-piece bathing
costumes are gaining in popularity but still conceal the belly
button. Film stars including Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, and Lana
Turner were photographed wearing the two-piece swimsuit.
A gracefully draped or skirted bottom half was
common attire for screen siren Esther Williams.
As part of wartime rationing, the U.S. Government, in 1943,
ordered a 10 percent reduction in the fabric used in woman's
swimwear. Off went the skirt panel, and out came the bare
midriff. At beaches across the country, men paid special
attention to women doing their patriotic duty.
However while Hollywood's Hays
production codes allowed two-piece gowns they prohibited
exposing the bellybutton on-screen. This meant the naval
acquired a forbidden aura setting the stage for sensation.
Some fashion historians trace
the thongs first public U.S. appearance to the 1939 World's Fair when
New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia mandated that the city's nude dancers
cover themselves but Brazil is given credit for popularizing
the thong as a swimsuit. It may actually be humanity's
earliest form of clothing.
In 1939, E. I. duPont de Nemours & Company developed a
nylon called 6.6 polymer that revolutionized the manmade
materials industry. In the years to come, other synthetic
materials such as Dacron, Orlon, Lycra, and Spandex were
invented and were used alone or blended to make swimsuits.
During this period, textile manufacturers also began to
experiment with woven patterns and bright colors.
In 1946 two Frenchman formally introduced the concept of
the bikini to the modern world.
Jacques Heim and Louis Reard (ray-YARD)
are credited with inventing the name bikini and
popularizing it. Reard's suit was a refinement of the work
of Jacques Heim who, two months earlier, had introduced the
"Atome" (named for its size) and advertised it as the
world's "smallest bathing suit".
French engineer and
fashion designer, Louis Reard
invents the 'bikini.' Officially, the
first time the bikini appeared in a
fashion event was at a poolside show at
the Piscine Molitor in Paris on July 5,
patented his version, fashion designer Jacques
Heim claimed to be the first. Both were likely
publicizing the trend at Cannes where women were
sunning themselves in more and more abbreviated
beach swimsuits. ”
To trump Heim’s
advertising of the Atome, Reard sent skywriters
out above the French Riviera just three weeks
after Heim, broadcasting the bikini as “smaller
than the smallest bathing suit in the world.
Reard invented the name and pushed
the envelope. He shrunk his suit down to 30 inches of fabric
- basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth
connected by string - and put the navel on center stage.
Bernardini, 19, an exotic dancer is holding a
small box into which the entire costume can be
the "atome"' even smaller, but could not find a model who
would dare to wear his design. He ended up hiring Micheline
Bernardini, a nude dancer from the Casino de Paris as his
Reard said the suit was smaller than the world's smallest
bathing suit. How small was it? Well...Reard was quoted as
saying..."It was so small that it revealed everything about
the girl except her mother's maiden name!"
Reard's firm did it's part to fan the
fantasies by proclaiming that a two piece wasn't a bikini
"unless it could pulled through a wedding ring."
The world took notice. In Catholic countries - Spain,
Portugal, and Italy - The bikini was banned. Decency leagues
pressured Hollywood to keep it out of the movies. One writer
said it's a "two piece bathing which reveals everything
about a girl except for her mothers maiden name." Movie star
Esther Williams who probably was seen in a two piece bathing
suit by more people than anyone in the world, once said: "A
bikini is a thoughtless act".
|1957: Bikini-clad Brigitte Bardot
frolicking in Saint-Tropez
and becoming a screen goddess in "And God Created Woman,"
In 1951 bikinis were banned from the Miss World
Contest following the crowning of Miss Sweden in a bikini
and subsequent protests with a number of countries
threatening to withdraw. The Miss World Contest controversy
likely had a lot to do with bikinis becoming all the rage in
Europe; just saying no, usually backfires after all.
In the '50's Brigitte Bardot did
wonders for business- But not in modest America. Here it
remained an invitation to scandal. As recently as 1957,
Modern Girl magazine sniffed, "It is 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.”
What is the difference between erotic art and pornography?
|Fine art, as we know, is respectable. Sex is not. The
reclining nude is where they meet. One of the most fascinating
of fine art's spectator sports is watching the rude removed from
In art, the admired nude male is upright and active. The
horizontal male is a male at his weakest. In classical art, the
male reclining nude appears in the form of a vanquished warrior
and in western art as the crucified Christ held in his mother's
arms or Samson shorn of his strength by the wily Delilah.
---Reclining Nude, by Lidia Guibert Ferrara and Frances
The Guardian November 2, 2002
Bikini History 1970 to today
Brazil and the famed beaches of Rio de Janeiro takes the 60s
slogan "Make Love Not War" and makes the woman a warrior against
the patriarchal materialistic culture of war and power by an
empowered upright display of skin and movement.
|1957: Jayne Mansfield
bevy of bikinied water bottles photograph by Allan Grant/Life
Brian Hyland sings "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot
Bikini," triggering a bikini-buying spree among American teens.
[click pic for Yoplait commercial @ youtube]
1962: Girl from Ipanema
Girl from Ipanema
makes Ipanema a magic word for listeners.
Tall and tan and young
and lovely the girl from Ipanema goes walking and
when she passes each one she passes goes "Ahhh!"
When she walks she's like a samba that swings so
cool and sways so gently that when she passes each
body is beautiful and should be showcased,
also sex is a natural thing, a beautiful
one she passes goes
"Ahhh!" Oh, but he watches so sadly How can he tell
her he loves her? Yes, he would give his heart
gladly. But each day when she walks to the sea she
looks straight ahead not at he.
The bikini meets a challenge in the generous form of Annette
Funicello. The ex-mouseketeer's "Beach Party," with singer
Frankie Avalon, leads to six sequels, including the memorably
titled "How to Stuff a Wild Bikini" (in 1966) Annette Funicello was not in
a bikini exposing her naval, by personal request from Walt Disney
|In 1964 the
two-piece became a fixture on dormitory walls around the country
with Babette March's appearance on SI's first swimsuit cover
photograph by J. Frederick Smith
Actress Raquel Welch battles
dinosaurs wearing a ragged two-piece in "One Million Years B.C."
The film catapults comely cavegirl Raquel Welch to stardom
despite mixed reviews of the saggy screen saga. In 2008 fossils
found in the Atapuerca hills, near Burgos, Spain were reliably
dated to at least 1.1 million ago, and probably come from a
female who was among the first ancient humans to inhabit Europe.
The discovery also included primitive stone tools and animal
bones with cut marks,
Goldie Hawn makes her bikini and her all-over graffiti a regular
feature on the TV series "Laugh-In.". On the show, she would
often break out into high-pitched giggles in the middle of a
joke, and deliver a polished performance a moment after. Noted
equally for her chipper attitude as for her bikini and painted
body, Hawn personified something of a 1960s "It" girl. One of
her 3 kids is actress Kate Hudson.
|1970s: Rio and St.
Tropez produce the Tanga suit-- also called the Thong, the
string bikini or "dental floss." The uncomfortable design
becomes de rigeur for teen posters, muscle car magazines and
boxing ring girls who announce the rounds.
Princess Leia, Carrie Fisher makes the ornate gold bikini a
fashionable fantasy in 1983's "Return of the Jedi," the
most successful of the George Lucas trilogy.
In Return of the Jedi, it is
revealed that she is the twin sister of Luke Skywalker, and thus
the daughter of Darth Vader. Leia is raised with Winter, who
becomes her handmaiden later on in life, as well as her
children's nanny. At the age of 18, Leia becomes the youngest
member of the Imperial Senate and becomes good friends with
Senator Pooja Naberrie of Naboo, her maternal cousin. She also
becomes one of the driving forces behind the Rebel Alliance, the
New Republic and even later, the Galactic Alliance. She serves
the Senate until Emperor Palpatine dissolves it.
Actress Halle Berry, as Jinx
in the 20th James Bond feature "Die Another Day,"
Berry is paying homage to
this iconic scene featuring Ursula Andress' as Honey Rider from 1962 Bond film "Dr. No" also
wearing a hip holster holding a hunting knife. Rider is widely
regarded as the first Bond Girl. with the novel, Rider is a very
independent woman claiming to not need help from anyone.
Resourceful and courageous, she states that she can defend
herself against any hostile when she first meets Bond. According to Andress, “This bikini made me into
success.” That white bikini has been described as a “defining
moment in the sixties liberalization of screen eroticism”.
|An even more
iconic bikini role for Halle Berry was catwoman which enjoys
growing cult status despite limited box office success. The
catwoman archetype harkens back to the last high civilization
which florified the woman's body more than 3,000 years ago: