Why bikinis in public swimming pools should be banned

By Andrea Petrou on November 13th, 2009 14 comments

Barbie.jpgOur guest writer Lauren has done an outstanding job of bringing all our fashion faux pas into the spotlight. She’s cussed the cleavage and caused a mini fashion war with her article on Uggs. But she’s also got me thinking about all the little fashion things that really get my goat and I feel it’s time I spoke out. First on my hit list are those Bikini wearing Barbies in public swimming pools.

Last week I decided it was time to rid myself of the growing love handles (the joys of working from home) and hit the local pool.

Dressed in my no nonsense Speedo swimming cozzie and mentally congratulating myself at getting halfway through my first length I was rudely interrupted by the man in front of me stopping suddenly. So much so that if we’d been in cars there would have been a serious clash of metal and full blown arguments.

So what had made him stop? A heart attack? Or perhaps that pesky swimming stitch you get when you decide to go full throttle on a rather bloated stomach? Or maybe the poor man was having trouble breathing. Either one would have been equally acceptable, but looking up I realised the real reason for the collision, which involved far too much skin contact deemed acceptable for a leisurely weekday swim, was the itsy bitsy bikini wearing Baywatch barbie that had just stepped in from the grimy changing rooms.

Posing and preening in her glorious polka dot (I kid you not) bit of rag complete with little bows, she painted a farcical picture amongst the grey and 60s styling of the pool, but she seemed selfishly oblivious to her surroundings.

Like a mythical siren from Greek literature she had managed to stop every single man, each of whom were doing a very good impression of a gaping swimming pool drain, in their front crawl tracks. Not only were these men close to drowning (it’s never a good idea to open your mouth when you’re immersed in water) but their sudden swimming strike was inconveniencing us serious female fitness fanatics.

If it had not been an offence you can be sure we all would have lynched her. Maybe that’s going a bit too far. Considering where we were, drowning would have been a better option.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not a fuddy duddy granny who can’t bear bikinis and this isn’t a piece fuelled by jealousy. I’ll happily don one on the beach. Afterall we’ve fought to be able to wear them since they first crashed into French fashion in 1946.

French fashion historian Olivier Saillard got it spot on when he said: “The emancipation of swimwear has always been linked to the emancipation of women.”

Designed by French engineer Louis Réard, the beachwear, was named after Bikini Atoll in the Pacific, the site of the Operation Crossroads nuclear weapon tests in July that year. The reasoning behind the name was that the burst of excitement created by it would be like a nuclear device. However, I don’t think the genius designer could have known how much of an explosion it’s made, especially when it comes to my war against public pool bikini abusers.

Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad if, after their grand entrance these bikini bunnies actually swam, but no, thats far too much to ask. Instead they incessantly pose, taking great delight in the attention they attract and stand giggling with their bikini buddies while blocking our safe shallow end haven.

But is there any pool rule against this. Amongst the signs of “no heaving petting” “no spitting” and “no diving” is there anything that says “no Barbies bearing bikinis blocking serious swimmers”? Like heck there is. That would ruin the male life guards fun.

I asked my local government run leisure centre what their take on this trend was. A spokesman for the organisation told me “We allow any type of swimwear as long as it’s deemed respectable, doesn’t offend and is safe for swimming in.”

And what exactly would the centre class as offensive? G-strings and “those new see-through creations.”

However, just because a leisure centre deems it acceptable it doesn’t make it right. In my eyes there’s a time and place for everything (take note Jordan) and wearing a bikini in a public swimming pool is as wrong as Cheryl Cole’s David Koma dress, or a pair of winter crocs complete with socks . With perfectly acceptable sensible swimwear out there no one needs to bare all at the local pool.

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  • swimmer

    fatty is jealous much? you are out of line

  • swimmer2

    I swim in a one piece but if someones more comfortable in a bikini, who cares? Just you fatty. I don’t notice what other people wear at the pool because I go there to swim.

    Concentrate on your own swimming and mind your own business. Don’t try and ban something because you’re jealous you can’t wear one.

  • Katie

    Jealous because noone stopped and stared at you? Bikinis are hardly any more revealing that a swimsuit and less revaling than a pair of speedos. Don’t go swimming if you don’t want to see people who are more attractive than you, you old biddy.

  • georgie

    touch of the green eyed monster much?

  • susan

    What a bunch of nasty bitches you all are.
    i’m a size 18 and not all of us have got the figure to
    wear a bikini. i bet you are all really skinny and i bet you were nasty to woman like me.

    SNOBS

  • susan

    What a bunch of nasty bitches you all are.
    i’m a size 18 and not all of us have got the figure to
    wear a bikini. i bet you are all really skinny.
    get over yourself, you’re not that great.

    bunch of snobs

  • http://www.shinystyle.tv Andrea-Marie Petrou

    This was intended to create some healthy debabte, not to bring bikini vigilantes out of the woodwork. For those of you making assumptions about my body type, you couldn’t be further from the truth, but this isn’t a size issue, it’s about etiquette.

    And Susan, thanks for showing that bigger isn’t just beautiful. It’s intelligent too.

  • loulou

    im in the half way camp here. Im a skinny size 8 and love flaunting it in a bikini on the beach but do always wear a costume to swim in…however not because of etiquette but because no-one can do serious swimming in a bikini..they fall down and fill with water and basically just aren’t practical for lengths! Then again the one time myself and my boyfriend decided to go swimming i did wear a bikini..guess it just depends on what you are comfortable in and if thats a bikini then go for it.

  • A

    have a look what they say about you on Cosmo :

    http://www.cosmopolitan.co.uk/chatroom/topic/105604

  • jess

    A lot of people don’t go to the pool to get fit, they go to have a good time! So who really cares if people want to wear skimpy swimwear? I own a polka dot bikini and I do wear it to the pool every so often. I don’t wear it to attract anyone, I wear it because it’s pretty and it’s comfortable.
    And fyi, I’m not really skinny. I’m a UK size 10 and I’m proud of my curves. This isn’t an issue about skinny. A confident person can carry off almost anything as long as they believe that they look great. So if you are too insecure to feel comfortable in a bikini, there’s no need to knock girls who aren’t.

  • jess

    A lot of people don’t go to the pool to get fit, they go to have a good time! So who really cares if people want to wear skimpy swimwear? I own a polka dot bikini and I do wear it to the pool every so often. I don’t wear it to attract anyone, I wear it because it’s pretty and it’s comfortable.
    And fyi, I’m not really skinny. I’m a UK size 10 and I’m proud of my curves. This isn’t an issue about skinny. A confident person can carry off almost anything as long as they believe that they look great. So if you are too insecure to feel comfortable in a bikini, there’s no need to knock girls who aren’t.

  • G

    Okay…because people feel comfortable enough in a bikini you feel like having a rant? I find them much comfier. And a size 18 woman could wear a bikini if she wants. Nobody CARES!! people don’t go to the swimming pools to get attention, majority as previously said go for fun, or just to get fit! god, accept it, people will NEVER stop wearing bikini’s because you’re jealous. Get a grip.

  • katya

    Woah, jealous? A public pool is exaclty that, everyone is free to swim in whatever they want.

    Would you whinge if that man in front of you had slowed you down because he wasnt a good swimmer?

    Get over yourself.

  • http://juliatime.blogspot.com/ Julia

    People can wear whatever they want to the pool. Why should you monitor what others can wear because of your own personal tastes?




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