Bikini Island? The Truth Behind the Origin of Bikini!
Where does the Bikini come from? You see, when a mommy-kini and a daddy-kini love each other very, very much…Kidding! Seriously, though, let’s talk about what is arguably the most famous swimsuit in the world: The Bikini. I don’t mean the Bikini Atoll…that’s an island chain who suffered from dozens of nuclear bomb explosions in 40s, 50s and 60s by the US military. Granted, the bikini swimsuit was named after the Bikini Atoll islands in the mid 1900’s.
Before the mid 1900’s, swimsuits were ginormous. Literally, they were huge. They were often, essentially, one-piece burlap sacks. Back in the day, it was considered decent to cover up the goods. Nothing hung out or was showing, and lounging was a modest event. Even men rarely showed their torsos.
However, in the 1940’s, the term “bikini” showed up after Louis Reard invented it. Reard was a French engineer, and he named the two-piece, scandalous swimsuit after the Bikini Atoll, which was where atom bomb testing was taking place. Ever heard of the term “bombshell?” Same principle. This guy knew what he was talking about!
There are several types of bikinis currently. There is the monokini, the tankini, and the microkini, just to name a few. Basically, we add a prefix to “-kini” and go with it. Monokini refers to a bikini that is all connected by one piece of fabric, but still typically keeps with the triangle tops and bottom. A tankini is really simply a tank top upper portion, with a bikini bottom. A microkini is a bikini that is very small; hence, “micro.”
As the years have gone by, the bikini has had significant cultural impact, both domestically and internationally. At the time of its creation, the bikini still covered quite a bit more skin than it does now. Its shape has had hundreds of modifications since then, none of which has come without its own era of blowback from more conservative consumers. And yet, it also has proven that it can stand the test of time, as well as evolve with it.
So many styles and variations of this two-piece wonder exist, and the possibilities are endless in its still evolving design. From Victoria’s Secret to Sports Illustrated and beyond, the glorification of two rather small pieces of material is spectacular. The popularity and widespread use of the bikini is immeasurable, and really quite amazing. One has to wonder if Mr. Louis Reard had any idea what his very simple idea would “blow up” to become.