I was driving by the beach yesterday and almost lost control of the car—there were these two girls walking around wearing t-shirts and no pants. Just swinging their arms, laughing, enjoying the day. Okay, they had bikini bottoms on, but the overall effect was that they were walking around in their underwear. I steadied my car and started thinking…
Why is it considered acceptable for girls to wear skimpy bikinis in public, but unacceptable for those same ladies to go shopping at the mall in their bloomers? Again, not complaining. In fact I think somebody deserves a metal.
I’ve seen girls wearing some pretty skimpy, revealing, gravity-defying bikini bottoms that looked like they came out of some Farrah Fawcett movie from the 70’s, and yet these women walked right by families and children with complete impunity. No motherly shrieks of disgust. No parental hands swung out to block children’s eyes. Because those were officially “bikinis” the sex goddesses were wearing, not underwear.
These particular bikini bottoms were likely made using less actual fabric/material than a typical pair of women’s underwear.
Same goes for guys and boxer shorts. I’ve seen dudes walking around with some embarrassingly short shorts—or even speedos—that pretty much looked exactly like terrible underwear. I think I’ve even seen a dude walking around just like the girls I mentioned at the beginning of this post—he wore nothing but a long t-shirt and black speedos underneath. Black speedos in particular? Gross as hell. Speedos are another thing, actually; I don’t even want to get into them. (that sounded pretty bad, yet accurate).
I’ve even worn too-short bathing suits as underwear on select laundry days. I noticed exactly no difference. Completely forgot I was wearing a bathing suit under my jeans.
If you ask me, bathing suits have an alarming amount of leverage over the public consciousness. They keep getting smaller and smaller, and nobody seems to give a fig. But go ahead and try and wear a big saggy, knee-length pair of grandma “bloomers” on your next trip to Kohl’s. See how far you get.
Are skimpy bikini bottoms/speedos really so different than underwear? The material is usually different. A quick (and exciting) Internet search told me bikini bottoms are sometimes made with alien materials such a elastane, and polyamide. This as opposed to the silk or cotton (both softer and lighter materials) common with women’s underwear.
Well la di freakin’ da!
Okay, so bikini bottoms have a bit more body to them, or something. This makes for more separation between mother nature and the outside world. Fabric-wise. But what about when it comes to overall skin coverage? I’ve seen some thick bikini material as thick and sturdy as the weave of a 1980’s shoelace, and with a similar diameter too. Are we comfortable trading material thickness for much less material?
Face it. “Bathing suits” have carte blanche. Period. Just say it’s a bathing suit and nobody can really say anything (as long as there’s a water source reasonably nearby). Think about this for a minute: a big hairy greasy dude can power-walk his way down a crowded downtown shopping district, wearing nothing but a sweaty t-shirt and black speedos, as long as he’s heading in the general direction of a nearby swimmable water source. He’s wearing less material around his “business” than if he was wearing freaking Hanes tagless boxer/briefs!
But here’s the most important point. Not only are you not supposed to say anything to the above dude, you’re not even supposed to think you should say anything. We are supposed to turn a blind eye to the bathing suit/underwear double standard. Bathing suits are above the law.
Not that I want to walk around the local beach community flaunting my Hanes tagless, but if I did I’d be tackled by cops/security guard post haste. Not if I wore circulation-strangling speedos though!
I’m pretty sure if you scissored out a little 2 inch by 2 inch square of polyester, taped it to your left thigh, and then paraded around town completely naked (except for the square), you’d be totally fine. As long as you kept shouting “I’m in a bathing suit, I’m in a bathing suit, you can’t stop meeeeee!”
What about you, Reader? Do you think bathing suits have too much leverage in our culture? Will they be running as a third party in the 2016 elections? Weigh in!