“You know why I feel older? I went to buy sexy underwear and they automatically gift wrapped it” – Joan Rivers.
While it was an American man who invented the tea bag, it was a French man, Louis Réard who invented the bikini. In 1946 while on vacation in St. Tropez, the designer noticed women rolling their two-piece swimsuits to get a better tan and came up with the idea of the exposed midriff. In France you can sunbathe topless. In many states of America wearing a thong bikini is illegal.
You may want to avoid planning your vacation at Round Lake Beach Illinois. Not long ago, the locals passed an ordinance forbidding any female from appearing “…in such a manner that the buttocks… or any portion of the breast at or below the upper edge of the areola is exposed.” Arguing your case in court would be like a modern day version of The Merchant of Venice. “Your honor – what exactly defines ‘at or below the upper edge?’… your honor… what is an areola?”
As the summer season kicks in we’re seeing the annual media debate over the appropriate age to retire your bikini. I have the answer right here – it depends entirely on how good you feel in it, your attitude and your confidence. It’s not about age as a host of women from Helen Mirren, Sarah Jessica Parker and Heather Graham are demonstrating.
I recently reset my age to twenty-eight on Facebook because I don’t relate to the stereotyped adverts that define a woman over fifty – the stair lifts, elastic-waist pants, comfort shoes and assisted living properties. It was the ‘low cost crematorium’ one that tipped the balance.
Now that I am approaching thirty on Facebook a world of wanderlust adverts has opened up – lantern festivals in Taiwan, carnivals in Rio, nightclubs in Vegas and hikes across Kenya. I’ve taken control. I no longer see ads for miracle face creams, ‘before and after’ images of sagging jaws and necks, pills to get rid of belly fat and tests for diabetes. Thanks to the re-targeted advertisements I am offered a smorgasbord of cut-price nail products and make-up as well as discount deals on gym wear, yoga pants and thankfully yes… bikinis.