An Illustrated History of the Bikini
Posted on Jul 10, 2006
Sure, the FCC may be cracking down on indecency, but if you want to see how far society has come in that department, check out this Victorian-era “bathing machine,” a hut on wheels that protected bathers from public scrutiny until they were far enough from shore to avoid being observed.
Sixty years ago this week, the world’s first bikini made its debut at a poolside fashion show in Paris. The swimsuit is now so ubiquitous?and, when compared with, say, the sight of Britney’s pregnant, naked haunches on the cover of Bazaar, so demure?it’s hard to comprehend how shocking people once found it. When the bikini first arrived, its revealing cut scandalized even the French fashion models who were supposed to wear it; they refused, and the original designer had to enlist a stripper instead. Click here to read a slide show that explains how the bikini slowly gained acceptance?first on the Riviera, then in the United States?and became a beachfront staple.