Monday, May 23, 2011

The 50th Anniversary Of The Bikini

Fifty-five years ago on May 20, a new style of swim suit caused quite a ruckus around the world.

This swim suit was the bikini.
Louis Réard, a French car engineer, created the bikini, which he named after the Bikini Atoll nuclear test. He designed two small pieces of clothing, calling them “the smallest bathing suit in the world.”
The reaction was immediate! The bikini became a sensation. A swim suit called the Atome had been invented shortly before the bikini, so a running joke was that the bikini split the atom. Ha ha! The suit caused such an uproar in some quarters that an American beauty queen thought it peachy for the French but for American women? Not so much. The suit really took off in the James Bond film "Doctor No", when Ursula Andress rose from the waves in that iconic image everyone knows about.
It turns out the bikini was nothing new. A third century A. D. Sicilian mosaic shows women playing on the beach wearing bikinis. In Pompeii, several statues of Venus were found and she was wearing a bikini.
So in honor of this monumental event, here are some shots of sexy women in bikinis. Including Ursula Andress in the most famous one of all.


  1. Great post, Elizabeth. I think it was Brigitte Bardot who wore the first bikini that made big news. Then, of course, you have the pic of the bikini that made it into song!! Fun way to start my day.

  2. Still won't get me in a bikini! not at this age and with this body. hahaha

    Great post!

  3. Ah, yes, Brigitte Bardot! And the Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini! Glad you liked my post.

    For those wondering, the pix are of 1) Ursula Andress,, 2) Angelina Jolie, 3) Julie Newmar, and 4) She looks familiar but I can't place her.

    I had several bikinis, my favorite one being a velour leopard skin bikini I wore in the late '70s. What fun!