It is almost summer and, in spite of the lockdown, most of us are dreaming about the sea, sun and a lovely swimsuit. I usually wear a white or black bikini. I like the style: it is always as glamorous as comfortable because these small pieces of fabric dry very fast and, as well, you avoid freezing after a bath. I must confess that I am extremely sensitive to the cold, even in the summertime.
I always felt grateful to Louis Réard who designed the “smallest swimwear” in 1946. With only a small piece of fabric, he allowed ladies to get the tanning they desired, bringing out for the first time their navel. He chose the name inspired by the Bikini atoll. These famous triangles have indeed been popularized by Brigitte Bardot during the Cannes Film Festival in 1953, and then by Rita Hayworth, Esther Williams, Ava Garner or Raquel Welsh to quote only the best-known examples.
What I did not know is that, at the Villa Romana del Casale (Sicily), evidence was found of ladies wearing this kind of beachwear as early as 5600 BC!! The bikini was definitely not born in the XXth century. These antique mosaics, in the Chamber of the Ten Maidens, depict women athletes, dubbed the “Bikini Girls”, exercising: weight-lifting, racing and discus throwing.
Here comes a question: why did they opt for such attire? In my humble opinion, the answer is very simple, they were looking for comfortable clothing, allowing them to exercise easily, freely. Plus, women were not allowed to attend Olympic games in ancient Greece. Only men could watch and participate in prestigious games. What were wearing all these male athletes? Etymologically, “gymnastic” means “lightly-clad or naked” and so were the gymnasts, naked indeed! I cannot imagine that our Ten maidens would have been allowed to exercise fully naked. Furthermore, the small amount of fabric they were wearing avoided them soaking in their sweat. Wetness is always a problem: it could produce irritations, discomfort, coldness, etc. Nobody appreciates toxic effects.
We women are always seeking a better way of life. We want to make our lives easy and to break free from the straitjacket. We want the freedom we deserve. Our bodies need to be liberated from anything that should hinder them. Thinking about these Ten Maidens, I would like to praise their female modernity. Remember that none female born were able to attend ancient Olympic Games nor participate as athletes and yet proofs were found of them, exercising centuries ago. I am asking myself how would act these athletes nowadays. In my opinion, the Ten maidens embody modernity. So I imagine them wearing sustainable activewear to keep themselves fit and active, they should buy non toxic skin care products online to avoid wasting time and get always exactly the best for them and they would look as gorgeous as they want because they do respect themselves.
Summer is here. I hope we will all be able to enjoy it. Be that as it may, let’s not forget that wearing a bikini or any kind of beachwear is exciting, but I was wondering if I would not go for sun-protective swimwear to preserve my skin and keep my favourite bikini for midnight bath..