Although it can be thought that so much audacity is born in the present day, in truth the two-piece costume was already in vogue around 1400 BC in the Greek-Roman era.
Illo tempore, the woman lived a greater freedom , which was then lost with the advent of Catholicism.
To regain your independence, you have to wait until 1900: but let’s go step by step and dissect the history and origins of the bikini point by point .
Origins of the name
The name takes its inspiration from the Bikini Atoll , in the Marshall Islands, where in the boom of the Second World War, the United States was intent on carrying out particular atomic experiments.
The two-piece is therefore inspired by the concept of bomb, precisely to indicate an explosion of novelty in defiance of the traditions of the time. And indeed it was.
To date, the only question is who gave this name to the fantastic costume that today still enhances female beauty in all its forms .
The dawn of the bikini
The bikini is the symbol of holidays, the sea and freedom of expression. This typical open-mindedness was already granted in Ancient Greece and in Roman society, where the two-piece was not used for sunbathing or for a swim in the sea (for an open and brazen society like the Hellenistic one, the spas and the sea were naked bathroom).
In fact, at the time the two-piece was perfect for practicing sports such as athletics, gymnastics and dance.
According to some historians, however, perhaps the concept of bikini was born even before the Greeks and Romans, but in the civilizations that had settled in the area of modern Turkey.
From the punished swimsuit to the bikini
After the period of excesses and transgression, as mentioned, the advent of Catholicism punished the concept of woman, and for the following centuries until 1700, discovering one’s body was considered a symptom of little inhibition on the part of women.
In fact, in any circumstance and even for the bathroom, dresses with bodices and trousers were used to which large skirts or abundant cloaks were superimposed.
In practice, every flap of women’s skin had to remain covered and hidden from the eyes of men.
During the Victorian era (1837-1901) in the United Kingdom (and less widely in other countries) the so-called bathing machines were born, i.e. wooden cabins with wheels which, brought into the sea by horses with the women on board, allowed them to once you go out, to swim away from prying male eyes.
Whatever it was, you could never, ever show off your body in front of other people.
The revolution of 1900
However, it was in the last century that a strong female propensity for rebellion and transgression began to emerge: clothing for going to the beach began to shrink in width and length .
Coco Chanel in the 1920s revolutionized the fashion of the moment and brought to the catwalk collections made of shorter and low-cut dresses, with shorts detached from the bodice.
Continuing on this wavelength, in the 1930s Jacques Heim created the two-piece (called “ atom “) consisting of a high-waisted bra and culottes that hid the navel. We are getting closer and closer to the concept of bikini .
In 1946 it was Louis Reard who brought the bikini as we know it today into society : a bra and a panty that also highlighted the navel.
To show off the first model was the stripper and model Micheline Bernardini during a parade by a swimming pool in Paris.
For the values embodied by the company of the moment, that was a 360-degree scandal, so much so that the bikini was censored and only returned to sale in the 1950s.
And in fact, during the 1951 edition of the Miss World contest held in London, the unworthy two pieces were banned: even that America considered a liberal nation par excellence let itself be scandalized by the semi-exposed body of the woman.
Change in the cinema
Meanwhile, in the world of cinema, the transgression typical of the ” female ” was beginning to emerge .
And so in 1952 Brigitte Bardot wore the bikini in ” Manina, girl without veils “. Marisa Allasio did the same in 1956 in ” Poveri ma belli ” and the same year again at Bardot in ” And God I create woman “.
But the era of the bikini begins with Ursula Andress , the first Bond girl, who in 1962 in “ Agent 007 – License to Kill ” became the most famous female icon in bikini in the history of cinema. In 1966 it was the turn of the beautiful Raquel Welch in ” A million years ago “.
Social changes up to the present day
From ancient civilization to today, the concept of bikini has always been associated with female emancipation , and especially in the past centuries women have always tried to carve out the right margin of freedom within society.
Perhaps thanks to the feminist movements, the film revolution, the advent of the media and the economic boom, the bikini has made women all over the world fall in love with it, revealing itself as an emblem of femininity .
It was certainly no coincidence that at the beginning of the 1900s, the Vatican, needless to say, declared it sinful.
Continuing the battle for emancipation in the 80s, we even go from the bikini to the triumph of topless.
The classic briefs lost the centimeters to make room for the thong.