Swimwear has been on my mind frequently lately, as C and I have been at the pool most days that it hasn’t been raining.
This is a fantastic video of a presentation by actress and swimsuit designer, Jessica Rey that I just saw in an article on Mercator. (Her swimsuits can be found here.)
I highly recommend watching the video - it’s just under 10 minutes - but here are the points I love that she makes.
- The bikini was invented in France by french engineer Louie Réard. He named it after the the site of the atomic bomb testing that year - Bikini Atoll. He thought the public’s reaction would be like an atomic bomb explosion and he was right. His design was based on exposing the belly button for the first time and he said it wouldn’t be a true bikini unless it could be pulled through a wedding ring. (Dang... that’s not much fabric!)
- It was so scandelous that no french model would wear it so he had to hire a stripper to debut his bikini.
- If you go to the beach today - it seems as though every woman is wearing one. It wasn’t an instant hit in the US however. In 1957, Modern Girl Magazine said it was hardly necessary to waste words on the so-called bikini because no girl with tact or decency would ever wear such a thing. One writer described it as a two-piece bathing suit that revealed everything about a girl except her mother’s maiden name.
- Obviously, times have changed. A NY times reporter called the bikini the millennial equivalent to the power suit. What kind of power does it bring?
- A Princeton study done asked How does the male brain react to seeing people in different amounts of clothing?
- When men were shown photos of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tools, such as screwdrivers or hammers, lit up.
- Some men showed zero brain activity in the medial pre-frontal cortex - the part of the brain that lights up when one ponders another person’s thoughts, feeling and intentions. Researchers found this shocking because they almost never see this part of the brain shut down in this way. A Princeton professor said It’s as if they are reacting to these women as if they are not fully human. It’s consistent with the idea that they are responding to these photographs as if they are responding to objects, not people.
- So... it does give a woman power - the power to shut down the part of a man’s brain where he sees her as a person, not an object.
Modesty. The word is often met with disdain. Does it mean we need to be frumpy, dumpy and out of fashion?
Jessica’s goal is to disprove the age-old notion that when it comes to swimsuits that less is more. You can dress modestly without sacrificing fashion.
Her model/inspiration is Audrey Hepburn - she’s got some really cute suits such as this one named Holly:
|Well, I probably won't wear my hair like this :)|
|Named for Audrey's character Holly in Breakfast at Tiffany's|
Her tagline is - who says it has to be itsy-bitsy? Modesty isn’t about covering up our bodies because they are bad. It isn’t about hiding ourselves, it’s about revealing our dignity. We were made beautiful in His image and likeness.
Her final question in the video is: How will you use your beauty?
I confess - I used to wear them. Everyone did (still does, it seems) so I joined the crowd sometime in high school. I had some cute ones that I loved. And there is no doubt - they are much, much, MUCH easier to find than an attractive one-piece. I can remember one time while on vacation (years ago) that someone commented that they thought I was running around in my bra - not my swimsuit. Yikes! I remember feeling really uncomfortable, but I still wore them for a few more years. Finally, I really starting thinking about it more and realized it was exactly like running around in my bra and underwear... the only difference is the fabric.
What did you think of the video? And honestly asking - what are your thoughts on swimwear?