Modern Swimwear Styles

Burkini, Bikini, “Nukini”

The Burkini swimsuit is similar to “swim costumes” worn almost 100 years ago required by “civilized” society for modesty. It covers a woman's entire body except for her face, feet and hands. Women wear it for religious reasons, modesty, almost total protection from the sun's rays or to make a statement. It is required swimwear by those who believe women should not show their skin or curves in public. It is not very conducive to actual swimming or free movement in the water.

The Bikini is worn for fashion, sexiness or “showing-off” with a little modesty. It usually covers at least the nipples, genitals and part of the butt. It often draws attention to the areas it covers. Some styles are comfortable and conducive to swimming while others are not. A woman may be ridiculed for wearing a small bikini if she doesn't have a “sexy” or “hot” body.

Between the burkini and bikini are many styles of one-piece swimsuits. Men no longer have to cover their breasts for modesty as they once did. In some cultures, neither do women. Men's suits range from briefs to baggy, long swim trunks. Men may also be ridiculed for wearing a very brief swimsuit unless they have a fit body. All swimsuits whether tight or loose have varying degrees of discomfort. All of them usually require removal if sand or other things get inside the suit. Some styles reduce freedom of movement. Some can be very expensive. All have to be replaced eventually.

The ultimate swimsuit is no suit or nudity. Wearing nothing exposes all of the skin and allows the maximum freedom of movement and comfort. Being nude allows the entire body to feel air and water. The body dries easily and quickly. It costs nothing. It is easy to wash and dry off. Wearing nothing has always been the best choice for swimming, sunning and most forms of recreation. People have been doing it for thousands of years and it never goes out of style. It doesn't leave tan lines or marks. When people are nude, they judge less and accept other's bodies more. It says the human body is not shameful or disgusting and does not have to be hidden from other people. Modesty is irrelevant.

4 thoughts on “Modern Swimwear Styles”

  1. I agree with much of what you say here, Don. Just a few small and one significant (at the end) differencs of opinion:

    Technically speaking, the burkini is similar to some wet suits that divers wear. It still shows body curves, and would still be considered offensive in many strict islamic cultures.

    I don't know if the original Olympics (performed by nude athletes) had swimming events, but it seems competitive modern male swimmers have adopted full-torso "onsies" in recent years, so it seems some high-tech suits may give a speed advantage over nudity. Nude swimming is far more fun IMO.

    Modesty is relevant; people's views of modesty vary widely, and those who hold the strictest views often try hardest to control everyone else, when in fact, their views may lead to more immodesty than simple nudity does.

    • I know there are great variations in religious cultures. Some allow more skin or body shape to be shown than others. My point was comparing the practicality of suits from total coverage to very little to none.
      As far as the Olympics suits, I think it's interesting that some female sand volleyball players still wear brief bikinis while the swimmers wear the high-tech suits with more coverage. I guess they reduce drag by compressing parts of the body. Personally, I don't they they should be allowed. It's like using technology to get an advantage for running or jumping. Nude swimming is far more practical.
      I meant that modesty is irrelevant to a nude person who does not want to wear a swimsuit. They are not trying to be modest or immodest. Modesty is the main purpose of the burkini rather than being practical for swimming.

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