Happy Birthday Bikini

There are very few items of fashion that please both women and men. The Bikini would be one of them, women like to wear them and men like to look at them, although nowadays some men wear them too, why? I do not know.

The bikini was born at a Paris poolside photo shoot on July 5, 1946, a week before Bastille Day and in the midst a global textile shortage. The designer, former automobile engineer Louis Réard, hired the only model willing to expose so much model, a 19-year-old nude dancer from the Casino de Paris named Micheline Bernardini. She put on the four small patches he had strung together and showed the fashion world the female belly button.

Benardini agreed to model, on 5 July 1946, Louis Réard’s two-piece swimsuit, which he called the bikini, named four days after the first test of an American nuclear weapon at the Bikini Atoll.

However Réard’s bikini was not the first 2 piece bathing outfit . For that we have to go back to about 5800 bc.

In the Chalcolithic era, the mother-goddess of Çatalhöyük, a large ancient settlement in southern Anatolia, was depicted astride two leopards while wearing a bikini-like costumes Two-piece garments worn by women for athletic purposes are depicted on Greek urns and paintings dating back to 1400 BC.[ Active women of ancient Greece wore a breastband called a mastodeton or an apodesmos, which continued to be used as an undergarment in the Middle Ages. While men in ancient Greece abandoned the perizoma, partly high-cut briefs and partly loincloth, women performers and acrobats continued to wear it.

In Coronation of the Winner, a mosaic in the floor of a Roman villa in Sicily that dates from the Diocletian period (286–305 AD), young women participate in weightlifting, discus throwing, and running ball games dressed in bikini-like garments.

Even in the modern era that there had been two piece swimsuits. Actresses like Jayne Mansfield had been wearing two-piece bathing suits, But never with the navel showing. That was deemed to be scandalous .

Bernardini modeled the bikini 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. Réard’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.”

The bikini has spawned many stylistic variations. For example the Monokini.

A monokini, more commonly referred to as a topless swimsuit and sometimes referred to as a unikini, is a women’s one-piece swimsuit equivalent to the lower half of a bikini.

In 1964, Rudi Gernreich, an Austrian fashion designer, designed the original monokini in the US. Gernreich also invented its name, and the word monokini is first recorded in English that year.

Despite the bikini’s initial success in France, worldwide women still stuck to traditional one-piece swimsuits. Below a picture of an Italian police officer issuing a woman a ticket for wearing a bikini on an Italian beach, 1957.

The bikini was banned from beaches and public places on the French Atlantic coastline, Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Australia, and was prohibited or discouraged in a number of US states.

The Vatican declared it sinful. The United States Motion Picture Production Code, also known as the Hays Code, enforced from 1934, allowed two-piece gowns but prohibited the display of navels in Hollywood films.

Increasingly common glamour shots of popular actresses and models on either side of the Atlantic played a large part in bringing the bikini into the mainstream. During the 1950s, Hollywood stars such as Ava Gardner, Rita Hayworth, Lana Turner, Elizabeth Taylor, Tina Louise, Marilyn Monroe, Esther Williams, and Betty Grable took advantage of the risqué publicity associated with the bikini by posing for photographs wearing them—pin-ups of Hayworth and Williams in costume were especially widely distributed in the United States.

By the end of the 20th century, the bikini had become the most popular beachwear around the globe.

Now that bikinis have become a normal part of summer wardrobes, we have to tackle the next discussion of who is “allowed” to wear them. An international conversation has been taking place over the internet and within the fashion industry surrounding inclusivity and representation of all bodies, not just some. In my humble opinion women should be allowed what they want to wear whatever it is. However I still have issues with man wearing bikini type of fashion garments. the so called ‘mankini’ made popular by Borat.

Who would have ever imagined though, that something so destructive as an atom bomb would become the inspiration of something so beautiful as the bikini.

sources

https://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/bikini-introduced

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/retropolis/wp/2018/07/05/a-scandalous-two-piece-history-of-the-bikini/

https://www.thegoodtrade.com/features/history-of-the-bikini

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bikini

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monokini

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When nuclear radiation was harmless-Not!!

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Most people will have heard of the “Manhattan Project” it was a research and development undertaking during World War II that produced the first nuclear weapons. It was led by the United States with the support of the United Kingdom and Canada.

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Despite the data gathered from the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombing, the nuclear testing were still conducted in an extremely reckless manner far in to the 1950s and 1960s.

The picture on the top shows five air force officers standing directly below ground zero for an atmospheric nuclear test. 18,500 feet above their heads, a two-kiloton atomic bomb is about to go off.

Their goal is to prove that these nuclear tests are safe. When an NPR reporter tried to look into these men’s fate, the photographer told them, “Quite a few have died from cancer. No doubt it was related to the testing.”

A pig is placed into an aluminum barrel before a nuclear test.
This pig, and others like it, were placed in barrels in various places around ground zero for various nuclear tests so that researchers could study the effects of radiation on living things.

San Antonio, Texas. 1957

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Just after a nuclear bomb was detonated, two soldiers use their hands to frame the mushroom cloud for the camera.

Nye County, Nevada. May 1, 1952.

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An “atomic pin-up girl” at a Las Vegas party dances for the camera while a nuclear bomb explodes behind her.

Nevada. April 6, 1953.

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Military men watch as the mushroom cloud from a nuclear blast drifts up overhead.

Nye County, Nevada. April 22, 1952

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The U.S. Army 11th Airborne Division sit and watch the mushroom cloud rise.

Yucca Flats, Nevada. November 1, 1951.

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From a parking lot in Nevada, miles away from the test site, a mushroom cloud is still visible. Radioactive particles can be seen drifting through the air, toward the neighboring towns.

Frenchman Flat, Nevada. June 24, 1957.

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After the first nuclear test in Bikini Atoll, a man is put through a medical examination to see how being exposed to radiation has affected him.

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands.

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A mushroom cloud erupts over Bikini Atoll during a nuclear test. July 25, 1946.

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The people of Bikini Atoll are relocated to the nearby island of Rognerik Atoll so that the U.S. Government can continue nuclear testing.

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. March 7, 1946.

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A crowd, mostly news correspondents, lines up to hop on the bus so they can watch an “Open Shot” nuclear test.

“Open Shot” tests were open to the public. Reporters and dignitaries were invited to come out to the Nevada desert and watch a nuclear bomb explode.

Las Vegas, Nevada. March 16, 1953.

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“Explosives,” reads a warning sign, one of the only lines of defense keeping civilians from wandering onto the site of an underground nuclear test.

Lamar County, Mississippi. September 1964.

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Photographers set up their camera to film the first ever nuclear test to appear on national television.

Nye County, Nevada. April 1952.

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An audience at an “Open Shot” nuclear test gaze up in excitement to watch a nuclear bomb explode.

Nye County, Nevada. April 6, 1955

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Marines participating in a nuclear test run their morning exercises around the Nevada Proving Grounds.

Nye County, Nevada. June 22, 1957.

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A Goodyear Blimp, flying five miles away from ground zero, crashes into the ground, torn down by the heat of the blast.

Nye County, Nevada. August 7, 1957.

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The USS Independence after being stationed too close to a nuclear test.

Navy officers are on the ship, trying to study its remains and salvage what’s left of it.

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands. July 23, 1946.

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