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6 Fast Facts You Didn’t Know About The History of the Bikini

April 4, 2022 | Shapermint Team

It’s swim season and we think that it’s just about right to share a few fast facts about how this iconic swimsuit came to represent carefree summer confidence as we know it today.

Wearing swimwear

  • Fact #1 Though two-piece bathing suits have been around for quite some time in one variation or another, it wasn’t until WWII that the style really took hold in the western world. Due to war rationing, the United States government limited the number of fabric manufacturers could use, and the modern-day two-piece was born.

Bikini Top and Bottom

  • Fact #2 In 1947, French designer Louis Réard introduced a swimsuit made of just 30 inches of fabric and named it “the bikini” after Bikini Atoll, the site of the first atomic bomb test.
  • Fact #3 In 1951, the bikini was banned from beauty pageants all over the world for being “too scandalous.”
  • Fact #4 In the 1950s and 60s, bikinis grow in popularity as more and more Hollywood starlets like Elizabeth Taylor, Bridgitte Bardot, and Marilyn Monroe start to confidently wear the new style.

Bikini confidence

  • Fact #5 In 1964, Sports Illustrated kicks off what will become its famed annual tradition: the Swimsuit Issue.
  • Fact #6 The 1980s and 90s bring with them even tinier styles and more iconic bikini movie moments.

Swimwear Collection

For being so little, the bikini sure has made a big splash. We’re grateful that in recent years there’s been a change in the conversation around the idea of who does or doesn’t look “good” in the famous suit.

Remember, all bodies are beach bodies!

Check out our new Shape Enhancing Swimwear Collection.

Don’t forget to connect with us on social @shapermint!


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