Itsy Bitsy Bang…Bikini !
Hello my ethical stars! Its been a while and I've missed you! But I'm back with a bang and ready to share all!
My Inspiration for this blog comes from a recent adventure I've had... in which a spontaneous unveiling of a recently purchased two piece, sent my heart racing and sparks flying. Needless to say this yellow Graecian number resulted in one sexy lady and one happy bunny. And im not talking about lingerie….rather the one and only teeny Bikini. For a moment in time I felt like a sun kissed sea maiden wading through the waters of the Caribbean, until of course I realized I was actually at home in my living room. But let a girl dream ;)
Bikinis may be itsy bitsy, but they sure can produce a big bang. Dynamite comes in small packages after all does it not? The infamous tiny two piece of vintage fashion was invented by French engineer Louis Réard in 1946. The Frenchman named it after ‘Bikini Atoll’ in the South Pacific, the site of nuclear weapon tests, assuming that this slinky creation would cause such a reaction similar to an atomic bomb!
The Bikini is not just a fashion statement, but rather a powerful symbol for the evolved emancipation of women and their freedom of expression. We may not be fully there yet, but ladies we have come a long way since the 20’s where the permitted bathing suit garments resembled frumpy one piece cloths, compared to the flattering two piece most of us wear today.
However, although the bikini is the most popular choice of swimwear universally for women, not every culture is as accepting of it. In some conservative cultures the bikini is considered too provocative for men to control themselves, and thus disrespectful attire. Whereas in others it is a significant symbol of the progression of women’s liberation throughout different generations and celebrated. In addition, its wearers have passed into legend, becoming iconic images of 20th Century popular culture. Who can forget that 1962 Dr No moment when Ursula Andress, playing Bond Girl Honeychile Rider, emerges from the sea with nothing but a striking ivory bikini. So iconic was this vision that the bikini in itself was then sold at an auction for $61, 500 dollars. A woman’s body in all its glory, the way it moves, is captivating to ones eyes. I severely doubt a pair of cheeky speedos on a man would have provoked the same universal awe. Well, then there was Borat in his mankini but that’s another story…
Personally, I think the bikini shows your body at its most beautiful and natural state, where every contour, shape and even scar is shown in a light that can only be called your own. Lingerie is something private, secretive, passionate….however the bikini hides nothing and celebrates everything simultaneously. Teamed with a honey roasted tan, bright citrus colours can accentuate your Summer glow, whilst darker shades may draw attention to your striking silhouette. This is the excitement and beauty of choosing bikinis for the holidays!
I walked into a bikini shop recently and took a deep breath, this is what I call the bikini body worry. Was I really ready to de-robe and see myself pre summer skin? Sod it, the answer was yes. ‘I’ll have one of these in every colour please!’ Mint green? wonderful, citrus yellow? fabulous, sultry black? definitely. Just please helpful lady behind the counter, help give me a bum! And so I rubbed my genie lamp and wished for a J Lo behind for my 10 day holiday. To which I was handed a Brazilian bottom piece which miraculously transformed my derriere. As a kind gesture for my multiple purchases, I was handed three wonderfully unattractive beach mats with matching Sombrero hats. Luckily I live near quite a few charity shops.
Now my bikinis are sorted for my upcoming exotic holiday…. the rest is irrelevant. Well, apart from some sun factor… a bikini won’t look so fabulous when you’re burnt to cinders! The bikini itself has reportedly been around for over 1,700 years according to pre-historic mosaics in Sicily which depict women exercising and carrying out duties wearing bikinis. It has taken years and years for it to be socially acceptable for ‘decent’ women to wear bikinis in public, and I can safely say I don’t think its going anywhere. In my opinion the bikini’s scandalous history has contributed to its ever popular standing in modern day society. For something that’s been fought for and has triumphed across most cultures, its longevity is imminent. Saying that of course, there are ways to keep things classy….and im talking more old Hollywood glamour bikinis, less Sisqo Thong song. In my opinion, although we should celebrate our different bodies and the beauty of the bikini, we should still aim to keep our hidden treasures, hidden! Unless of course an unruly tide washes our dignity away.
Of course the evolution of the bikini has propelled other beauty industries such as tanning and body treatments. Some women however go too far with getting that perfect ‘bikini body’ in time for their holidays. Its only human nature to worry a little or feel slightly insecure at the thought of parading along a beach in a little bikini in front of prying and often creepy eyes, however there are healthy limits. Most adverts being sprawled across our billboards and magazines show strong images of perma tanned, barely there size zero women donning fabulous swimwear. This is not necessarily a good example for impressionable women (age irrelevant) and more often than not prey on their insecurities, making them believe they should aim to look like an unnatural emaciated Amazonian waif. It is easier said than done, however we should learn to feel confident in our own skin, accept we are beautiful just the way we are, whether we have a milky complexion or a cheeky muffin top. We should let the Bikini do all the talking really, and sit back relax and soak in that Summer sunshine, that is, if it ever reaches London!
There is a plethora of different styles of bikinis available on the British high street, ranging from halter neck, printed, vintage, to various different shapes and sizes ensuring every different type of figure will find something to suit them. However, many people aren’t aware of the ethical options available to all the girls and women searching for that perfect Summer bikini. So I’ll leave you with some fun links you can explore, but remember whether you are basking in the Sun in your local park munching on a Calippo, or perched on a rock by the ocean watching the Sun set and searching for Nemo, embrace that body, that fun and flirty bikini and know that its come a long way through history so make the most of it ;)
Some ethical but fabulous places to buy bikinis:
Peace and Love,