FDL Late Night: Happy Birthday, Bikini!

July 5th marks the 65th anniversary of the bikini’s debut in Paris at the Piscine Molitor, a public swimming pool. The original two-piece swimsuit, modeled by nude dancer Micheline Bernardini, had a G-string style bottom  that measured just over 13 square inches. Oo là là!

While considered shockingly modern at the time, the style of the  bikini bathing suit can be traced back to ancient Greece, with images appearing in Pompeii and in a mosaic floor at the Sicilian ruins of the Villa Romana del Casale, circa 300 CE.

Designed by engineer/designer Louis Réard, the bikini was named after the the Bikini Atoll where nuclear bomb tests had occurred earlier in the week. Réard felt that the suit would heat up beaches and inflame minds more than the explosive tests–and also he was riffing on a competitor’s less revealing suit named Atomique.

He was right: the launch of the daring two piece suit, which revealed the belly button for the first time, caused more outrage than the bomb explosions.

Now at 65, the bikini is very socially secure and has spawned dozens of variants and trends including the “fruit basket” European swimsuit for men and the Brazilian bikini wax…

51 Responses to "FDL Late Night: Happy Birthday, Bikini!"
Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:00 pm 1

I have a version we jokingly call the burqini because it covers more than a one piece and has a skirt. Frankly the less skin exposed to the sun the better!


Elliott | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:03 pm 2

I’m old enough to remember the itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini


Elliott | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:05 pm 3

DrDick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:06 pm 4

The suits in that video seem quite tame today, but I still remember how exciting they seemed in the mid-60s. Of course, I was 14 at the time and any sight of a woman’s body was pretty exciting to me at the time.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:07 pm 5

The bikini was a mad revolutionary step, but it took a long time for it to really penetrate in America.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:09 pm 6

And it says a LOT about society and culture that exposed navels caused more of an uproar than bombing the bejesus out of an island with nukes.


CTuttle | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:09 pm 7

…can be traced back to ancient Greece

*heh* Many staid Modern Greek Historians attribute it as the very first Victoria’s Secrets catalog…! ;-)


tammanytiger | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:11 pm 8
In response to Elliott @ 2

“1, 2, 3. 4. Tell the people what she wore.”


DrDick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:11 pm 9
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 6

Back then nukes were our friends and there was nothing to fear. Ignorance really was bliss, until the cancer rates and deformities started peaking down wind from the Nevada testing ranges.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:19 pm 10

My mom made her own bikinis wiht coordinating cover ups.


Jim | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:24 pm 11

“Aim for the body rare you’ll see it on TV

The worst thing in 1954 was the bikini

See the girl on the TV dressed in a bikini

She doesn’t think so, but she’s dressed for the H-Bomb

(For the H-bomb)”


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:24 pm 12

Bathing suit shopping is always not fun.


DrDick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:28 pm 13

Speaking as a fat old man, I have basically adopted the bathing burkha. Much more aesthetically pleasing for all concerned.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:29 pm 14

Marlon Brando had a good look–hawaiian button shirt and trunks.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:42 pm 15

I was gonna bring up Casey Anthony speaking of bikinis…


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:46 pm 16
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 15

oh jeebs…dont


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:47 pm 17

i remember modeling them….strictly one piece these days……..aw


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:50 pm 18
In response to sadlyyes @ 17

My step mom gave me a photo of me in a one piece from 1991…I was rather doughy, more so than now.


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 08:56 pm 19
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 18

i grew up in Miami,had a boat when i was 15…i lived ina bikini….those were idyllic daze


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:01 pm 20

Lisa left you a comment on your trip thread…wow looked like fun…i too missed my plane to France and spent 1 day in Atlanta A(never again),and 1 day at Amsterdam Shitpool A(never again)


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:03 pm 21
In response to sadlyyes @ 19

Trader Joe’s sells a spray-on sunscreen that smells just like Coppertone oil, it makes me feel just like I’m 15!


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:10 pm 22
In response to sadlyyes @ 20

An Irish friend gave me a tip for Boston–you can take a water boat over to restaurants and have a nice meal and zip back, 15 mins each way. I was in Dublin at the wrong time to get into town (7am) and needed to be back at 2 which means about 2 hours total in city center for a pricy cab ride. The airport had lots of shops and a food court, and I was able to find the right adapter plug–and I had food vouchers which was nice. At my gate the nice Aer Lingus lady told me (after 8 hours there) that they had sleeping pods available, something the fix-it clerk had neglected to tell me. oh well…


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:15 pm 23

Ooo, what is the SPF? We wear Goth block here–55 is for cloudy days. 110 is the HOLY GRAIL of sunblock!


CTuttle | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:17 pm 24

Wow, from PEI to Yellowknife…! What a journey for the Royal Newly-Weds…! ;-)


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:21 pm 25
In response to AitchD @ 21

remember that….my days before basil cells


PPDCUS | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:23 pm 26
In response to CTuttle @ 24

Touring the colonies isn’t what it used to be, CT.


CTuttle | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:25 pm 27
In response to CTuttle @ 24

Btw, not only have I been to both places, Yellowknife, and, I was in Charlottetown, PEI in Sept. ’81, when Charles and Diane also did a walkabout too, shortly after marrying…! ;-)


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:25 pm 28
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 22

keeeeeeeeeeeeerist,that trip almost killed me,however i did get to see 2 competent ,truth telling French docs,and that was the main purpose…i loves them


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:25 pm 29
In response to CTuttle @ 24

Then they come to Los Angeles and the following weekend CARMAGEDDON


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:27 pm 30

One of the most major freeway closures ever, 405/101 interchange, effectively clogging up everything. I am debating leaving town a day before since the overflow will be brutal.


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:28 pm 31

AitchD
what is the music tonite?


MailersGhost | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:28 pm 32
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 6

But any modern society is predicated on taming, rather than inflaming, men’s uncontrollable sexual appetites.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:32 pm 33
In response to MailersGhost @ 32

Humanity’s uncontrollable sexual appetites!


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:33 pm 34
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 23

50, it’s called sunscreen but says UVB protection & UVA protection, the can is Miami Beach Blue, has a locking/unlocking cap you can twist with just your pinky, and it seems to work here in Charlotte where the Equator has relocated to in the last decade.


CTuttle | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:35 pm 35
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 29

*heh* That reminds me of what Edmonton had hosted for the ‘Great One’ Gretzky for his city-wide wedding, to which he showed his great appreciation, by playing for the LA Kings the very next season…! *gah*


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:36 pm 36
In response to sadlyyes @ 31

The trusty French jazz Internet radio station, lotta piano tonite, as we speak, DK: I’ve Got The World On A String


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:41 pm 37
In response to AitchD @ 36

i got this,but looking for the Roberta Flack version

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAIQVh7sfmk&playnext=1&list=PL72D9BE9A6F89DC64


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:42 pm 38
In response to AitchD @ 36

That reminds me: I bought Patricia Barber’s music/documentary DVD she made in France quite a few years ago (I think her gf made it), and she’s complaining about the press interviews, “All they wanted to ask me was what I thought about George Bush”. Half the DVD later, she mutters again, “Bush and Diana Krall”. She and I love Cognac.


MailersGhost | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:42 pm 39
In response to Jim @ 11

I love Gang of Four. Their song ‘Everybody Wants To Come’ is an excellent portrait of a porn-saturated dystopia.
.
Don’t forget who controls the page 3 girls.


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:43 pm 40
In response to CTuttle @ 35

too funny Tutt


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:47 pm 41

sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:51 pm 42

oh crap,ya gotta buy it…only 20 seconds of heaven……..g


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:53 pm 43
In response to MailersGhost @ 39

I saw them play Magic Mountain amusement park during the CocaCola sponsored New wave summer. Yup, Gang of Four with a Coke banner behind them…


sadlyyes | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:54 pm 44

okay…niters all its almost 1


MailersGhost | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:56 pm 45

No, men’s. Women understand the ties between sex and survival more readily. Men have to have that connection forced upon the brain against its will.
.
There are outliers of both men and women, but the majority are prone to these simplistic descriptions, I think.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:56 pm 46

My cold/flu cough is getting the best of me. Night all! And thanks for c elebrating the two piece!


MailersGhost | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:59 pm 47

Having trouble linking to specific posts…I’ll figure it out later, I guess.
.
Re: Gang of Four and Coke
Oh so excellent.
.
My current musical Marxist favorites are the Mekons.


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 09:59 pm 48
In response to Lisa Derrick @ 46

Is there a Pacific atoll called Speedo?

Get better and healthy again!


AitchD | Tuesday July 5, 2011 10:02 pm 49
In response to MailersGhost @ 47

You hafta refresh/reload the screen/thread so that a ‘Reply’ tag appears on all the comment windows. It doesn’t appear after you hit submit like on other FDL threads.


Lisa Derrick | Tuesday July 5, 2011 10:29 pm 50
In response to MailersGhost @ 45

Western church portrayed women as lust inducing, over sexed creatures, the cause of evil. ANd thus witch trials/torture.


Knut | Wednesday July 6, 2011 05:43 am 51

Actually, the Bikini was around in the 4th century. We were in central Sicily a couple of weeks ago, and much to my amazement we came across a mosaic in the Villa Romana outside the city of Piazza Armina showing about a dozen girls doing sports in bikini’s. Dates to about 300 or so. One of them was doing weights, just like in an aerobics class.

Nothing new under the sun, and all that


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