Ever wondered where the bikini came from?
By the time the 1940s rolled around, American actresses had popularized the still-modest, high-cut two piece bathing suits. With the end of the war, however, came a resurgence of independence and attitude. French automobile engineer Louis Réard set out to win a contest to design the world’s smallest bathing suit. What he came up with was one that would leave the belly-button exposed, a fashion feat that had never been performed. He called it the “bikini” after the atomic bomb test site in the Pacific known as Bikini Atoll. Apparently, he wanted the shock to be as explosive as an atomic bomb. Go figure.
And there you have it! The bikini was born! And here are the top ten (in my book, anyway), that followed.
#1. Micheline Bernardini wore the first ever bikini at a poolside fashion show in Paris on July 5, 1946. Nineteen-year-old Bernardini was actually a nude dancer for the Casino de Paris at the time, and she was hired for the show because none of the other French models would wear the “scandalous” bikini.
#2. Brigitte Bardot made waves with a skimpy floral number at the Cannes Film Festival in 1953 that shocked American housewives and had all the men drooling.
#3. Ursula Andress played the role of Honey Ryder in the 1962 first-ever James Bond flick Dr. No. She won a Golden Globe for the role as well as the title of “quintessential Bond Girl” and one of the most iconic film moments of all time.
#4. Babette March was featured on the cover of the 1964 Sports Illustrated first Swimsuit Edition. She was the first elite model with gapped teeth (move over Sookie) and the highest-paid model in her day.
#5. Raquel Welch in the 1966 One Million Years B.C. put a whole new spin on sexy cavemen.
#6. Carrie Fischer as Princess Leia will stand out in our hearts forever in the 1983 Return of the Jedi. Who could forget the sexiest sci-fi babe of all time?
#7. Halle Berry in the 2002 Die Another Day. Okay, so maybe she’s a bit of an Ursula knock-off in this suit, but she’s still damn hot.
#8. Jessica Alba in the 2005 Into the Blue. I’m pretty sure I watch this movie to drool over Jessica Alba as much as Paul Walker. She is my summer motivation for a six-pack and perfect beach hair.
#9. Demi Moore kicked some serious patootie as a fallen angel in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. So what if she was partially plastic?
And last but not least…
#10. The Itsy, Bitsy, Teenie, Weenie, Yellow Polka Dot Bikini is the most classic of them all. It even has its own song.
So, did I miss any? Let me know in the comments below!