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This Day in History: July 5, 1946 Bikini introduced
History.com ^ | July 5 2009 | unknown

Posted on 07/05/2009 9:34:38 AM PDT by Daffynition

On July 5, 1946, French designer Louis Reard unveils a daring two-piece swimsuit at the Piscine Molitor, a popular swimming pool in Paris. Parisian showgirl Micheline Bernardini modeled the new fashion, which Reard dubbed "bikini," inspired by a news-making U.S. atomic test that took place off the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean earlier that week.

European women first began wearing two-piece bathing suits that consisted of a halter top and shorts in the 1930s, but only a sliver of the midriff was revealed and the navel was vigilantly covered. In the United States, the modest two-piece made its appearance during World War II, when wartime rationing of fabric saw the removal of the skirt panel and other superfluous material. Meanwhile, in Europe, fortified coastlines and Allied invasions curtailed beach life during the war, and swimsuit development, like everything else non-military, came to a standstill.

In 1946, Western Europeans joyously greeted the first war-free summer in years, and French designers came up with fashions to match the liberated mood of the people. Two French designers, Jacques Heim and Louis Reard, developed competing prototypes of the bikini. Heim called his the "atom" and advertised it as "the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard's swimsuit, which was basically a bra top and two inverted triangles of cloth connected by string, was in fact significantly smaller. Made out of a scant 30 inches of fabric, Reard promoted his creation as "smaller than the world's smallest bathing suit." Reard called his creation the bikini, named after the Bikini Atoll.

In planning the debut of his new swimsuit, Reard had trouble finding a professional model who would deign to wear the scandalously skimpy two-piece. So he turned to Micheline Bernardini, an exotic dancer at the Casino de Paris, who had no qualms about appearing nearly nude in public. As an allusion to the headlines that he knew his swimsuit would generate, he printed newspaper type across the suit that Bernardini modeled on July 5 at the Piscine Molitor. The bikini was a hit, especially among men, and Bernardini received some 50,000 fan letters.

Before long, bold young women in bikinis were causing a sensation along the Mediterranean coast. Spain and Italy passed measures prohibiting bikinis on public beaches but later capitulated to the changing times when the swimsuit grew into a mainstay of European beaches in the 1950s. Reard's business soared, and in advertisements he kept the bikini mystique alive by declaring that a two-piece suit wasn't a genuine bikini "unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring."

In prudish America, the bikini was successfully resisted until the early 1960s, when a new emphasis on youthful liberation brought the swimsuit en masse to U.S. beaches. It was immortalized by the pop singer Brian Hyland, who sang "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" in 1960, by the teenage "beach blanket" movies of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon, and by the California surfing culture celebrated by rock groups like the Beach Boys. Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.


TOPICS: Business/Economy; History
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VIDEO

1946


1 posted on 07/05/2009 9:34:38 AM PDT by Daffynition
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To: Daffynition

A great service to mankind!


2 posted on 07/05/2009 9:37:25 AM PDT by SolidWood (Palin isn't retreating, but taking the fight in another direction.)
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There's nothing new under the sun....

Famous "bikini girls" mosaic (found by archeological excavation of the ancient Roman villa near Piazza Armerina in Sicily), showing women exercising, running, or receiving the palm of victory and crown (for winning an athletic competition).

Bikini Mosaic Villa Romana del Casale M. Disdero Juin 2006

3 posted on 07/05/2009 9:38:11 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: Daffynition
Since then, the popularity of the bikini has only continued to grow.

As have the incidents of skin cancer and other sun related skin damage grown.

4 posted on 07/05/2009 9:39:56 AM PDT by fso301
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To: Daffynition

That’s actually a pretty ugly suit, but I guess we had to start somewhere.


5 posted on 07/05/2009 9:42:29 AM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama! (If you're old enough, you'll understand the reference))
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To: Daffynition
Bridget Bardot


6 posted on 07/05/2009 9:43:11 AM PDT by spald
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To: SolidWood

Reard with 1st bikini 1946

7 posted on 07/05/2009 9:43:37 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: fso301
the incidents of skin cancer and other sun related skin damage grown.

Unless you can demonstrate that the incidence of skin cancer has increased on the upper butt cheeks and the midsection--areas covered by a traditional one-piece bathing suit--then I don't think you can argue that wearing bikinis leads to skin cancer.

8 posted on 07/05/2009 9:45:00 AM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama! (If you're old enough, you'll understand the reference))
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To: fso301
Something ......sometime is gonna kill ya...........


9 posted on 07/05/2009 9:47:46 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: ottbmare

10 posted on 07/05/2009 9:48:40 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: ottbmare

Not bad but not crazy about it either.


11 posted on 07/05/2009 9:49:45 AM PDT by wally_bert (My doctor says that I have a malformed public-duty gland and a natural deficiency in moral fibre)
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To: fso301
As have the incidents of skin cancer and other sun related skin damage grown.

Yeesh man, that's because of global warming, not bikinis

12 posted on 07/05/2009 9:50:17 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: spald
Classic!


13 posted on 07/05/2009 9:50:55 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: Daffynition

14 posted on 07/05/2009 9:52:14 AM PDT by GregoTX (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: spald

Viva,LeFrance!


15 posted on 07/05/2009 9:52:31 AM PDT by Dr. Ursus
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To: Daffynition
Wow, that's pretty risque for 1946....I like it :)
16 posted on 07/05/2009 9:53:05 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Daffynition
Ya just had to go and wreck a perfectly good thread, didn't you?
17 posted on 07/05/2009 9:54:34 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: ottbmare; fso301

Biggest wet blanket I’ve ever seen get thrown on such a promising thread, oy


18 posted on 07/05/2009 9:59:20 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Las Vegas Ron
Then & Now


19 posted on 07/05/2009 10:01:55 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: Daffynition
I need a little Barbra Eden to soothe the eyes after the Winehouse jolt:


20 posted on 07/05/2009 10:03:29 AM PDT by Wardenclyffe
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To: Las Vegas Ron

LOL .... it was either that, or Helen Thomas. ;-(


21 posted on 07/05/2009 10:03:43 AM PDT by Daffynition ("If any of you die, can I please have your ammo?" ~ Gator113)
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To: Daffynition
LOL .... it was either that, or Helen Thomas. ;-(

Whoa...in that case, thanks for sparing us then ;^)

22 posted on 07/05/2009 10:07:49 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Wardenclyffe

Looks like BE has a little CT goin on there


23 posted on 07/05/2009 10:09:21 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Daffynition

We should build a shrine to him. He did after all give us the bomb.


24 posted on 07/05/2009 10:11:42 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: ottbmare

I like anything women wear. Except MO. That girl cannot dress.


25 posted on 07/05/2009 10:18:13 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Daffynition

Are you trying to blind me. WTH is wrong with you, anyway?


26 posted on 07/05/2009 10:19:11 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Wardenclyffe

Bless you! My eyes feel better. I should pass a spell on that other poster.


27 posted on 07/05/2009 10:21:57 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Daffynition

Later, the "strap" was invented, eliminating the necessity of a nerdy man following young ladies around holding up their tops.

28 posted on 07/05/2009 10:22:57 AM PDT by T Minus Four (Matthew 15:8 - 9)
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To: Daffynition

Oh, so our choices were: blindness or damnation?

Thanks.


29 posted on 07/05/2009 10:23:03 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Now that is funny. You must have put your nose on the monitor to catch that one. LOL


30 posted on 07/05/2009 10:24:01 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Daffynition

I thought the bikini has been here since One Million Years BC

31 posted on 07/05/2009 10:26:56 AM PDT by GregoTX (The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Better BE with the CT than HT...Ouch!


32 posted on 07/05/2009 10:29:28 AM PDT by Wardenclyffe
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To: Vendome
I dunno, shows up pretty clear on mine.

Maybe I was just looking for it though :)

33 posted on 07/05/2009 10:29:46 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

I’m a woman, what do you want.


34 posted on 07/05/2009 10:33:55 AM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama! (If you're old enough, you'll understand the reference))
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To: GregoTX; Wardenclyffe; Vendome

35 posted on 07/05/2009 10:35:00 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: ottbmare
I’m a woman, what do you want.

Sorry, good thing I didn't ping you on the last pic I posted then :)

36 posted on 07/05/2009 10:38:54 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Las Vegas Ron

:-)


37 posted on 07/05/2009 10:40:40 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Las Vegas Ron

Thanks I was washing my out. I feel better now. A little out of breath but better.


38 posted on 07/05/2009 10:49:21 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Vendome
My last post didn't come out right.  That's how much pain I was in.
 

Thanks I was washing my eyes out. I feel better now. A little out of breath but better.


39 posted on 07/05/2009 10:51:23 AM PDT by Vendome
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To: Las Vegas Ron

I don’t at all mind looking at pictures of women in bikinis. I wear bikinis myself, and looking at pictures of other women reminds me to do my ab crunches and other exercises. I wouldn’t have visited this thread except that I need some inspiration for exercise this afternoon.


40 posted on 07/05/2009 10:56:01 AM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama! (If you're old enough, you'll understand the reference))
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To: T Minus Four
Straps are great!


41 posted on 07/05/2009 11:15:28 AM PDT by Goldsborough
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To: Daffynition

That one girl looks more like a child!


42 posted on 07/05/2009 11:23:21 AM PDT by red irish (Gods Children in the womb are to be loved too!)
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To: ottbmare
Unless you can demonstrate that the incidence of skin cancer has increased on the upper butt cheeks and the midsection--areas covered by a traditional one-piece bathing suit--then I don't think you can argue that wearing bikinis leads to skin cancer.

Women wear bikini swimsuits primarily to go out in the sun. That more skin is exposed by a bikini obviously increases the risk of sun damage versus other swimwear styles all other things being equal.

43 posted on 07/05/2009 11:26:06 AM PDT by fso301
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To: ottbmare
I could stand to do some crunches myself...believe me, I'd look terrible in a bikini.

I hope I didn't sound snarky, I really didn't men to be

44 posted on 07/05/2009 11:26:34 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Goldsborough

Straps, what straps? I don’t see no straps


45 posted on 07/05/2009 11:28:30 AM PDT by Las Vegas Ron (zer0 is doing to capitalism what Kennedy did to health care)
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To: Daffynition

46 posted on 07/05/2009 11:39:44 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
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To: ottbmare

Let’s see a picture. Everyone knows that Republican women are hot!


47 posted on 07/05/2009 3:02:34 PM PDT by Vendome
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To: Goldsborough

Smmmmoking!


48 posted on 07/05/2009 3:03:08 PM PDT by Vendome
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To: JoeProBono

You are dog!

No, take that back that woman is a dog. Throw her a bone.


49 posted on 07/05/2009 3:05:27 PM PDT by Vendome
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To: Vendome

Nope, sorry. Ladies in their middle years do not post bikini-clad pictures of themselves on the Internet—at least, not if they have any sense of discretion. But thanks for the interest and the implied compliment!


50 posted on 07/05/2009 3:41:34 PM PDT by ottbmare (Ein Reich, ein Volk, ein Obama! (If you're old enough, you'll understand the reference))
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