A Thinking Man’s History of the Bikini

Published by in Humor
1st Mar 2008

This is a sensitive topic because some ladies will already perceive an oxymoron in the title. But surely we can take an unbiased look at this popular female garment that’s turned so many heads over the years.

The bikini’s not only the official ladies’ attire of our contemporary spring break. Women in garments resembling this modern day swimwear can be seen in ancient artwork from over 1,700 years ago in Villa Romana del Casale. Although similarly to spring break, if you look closely in the background of these images there’s an excellent chance you’ll see gentlemen holding in their stomachs.

The bikini is held is such high esteem, Sports Illustrated publishes an annual “Swimsuit Issue” in celebration of it. You may find the occasional one piece suit in the issue, but many subscribers consider that “excessive packaging.” The issue’s so popular you’d think other magazines might try one. How about a Scientific American “Swimsuit Issue” with bold articles on fabric composition, bar graphs about waistband stress and pie charts reflecting fastener failures? On the other hand, that theme probably wouldn’t be welcomed by the “readers” of Playboy. Frankly it’s remarkable that they’ve tried a Swimsuit calendar.

One of the more extreme versions of this swimwear involves a skimpy lower half called a “thong.” This piece of fabric resembles an ancient sling shot, used by our ancestors to hunt for food. Let’s refer to that as a thong. As a species we’ve developed so much, we now have effectively bypassed the hunting process for food. We now have edible thongs. Wouldn’t you expect vegetarians and animal lovers alike to be excited about this? Is it only the Alpha male big screen TV sports fans that “get it?”

The bottom line, if you’ll excuse the expression, is that the bikini as a garment is truly magical. Aside from its stunning appearance, it has been know to transform itself. Hang around a swimming pool long enough, and eventually you’ll witness a lady who dives in wearing a two-piece and emerges wearing a one-piece. That’s magical. And hopefully the other half won’t clog the pool filter.