The bikini has come a long way. While the progression of swimwear has radically changed over the years, what’s astonishing today is how we’ve embraced all body types to model and wear beach attire. On this day 71 years ago, a Frenchman named Louis Réard who was an amateurish fashion designer debuted the bikini and changed the way society views women’s bodies forever.
While vintage photographs of women in swimwear seem to show that people had no problem with real body types, on magazines and the like, it’s a different story. Most editorial photoshoots love to show the “ideal body” completely flawless: no body hair, no imperfections, and, of course, no cellulite or stretch marks.
These sorts of unrealistic standards adds on so much pressure to women whom are already burdened with trying to look perfect. But there’s a real change now. Because the term “body positivity” has been widely accepted, brands such as ASOS and Rheya Swim are making sure their customers know their models are real and not photoshopped.
Several models on the ASOS site proudly show off their realness in a way that is so refreshing. Women can finally shop for bathing suits and see a woman that perhaps might not look like them, but does have the same imperfections as they do. This kind of representation matters on so many different levels.
One of the most important aspects to consider is how women view themselves. Because the majority of us look to society standards of what beautiful is now we can see that we’ve always been amazing. Whatever size we are — whether we’re a 2 or 12 — companies need our money to stay alive so they better embrace all of us, and not just by selling clothes in our size, but allowing their models to show off who they really are.