Memorabalia Swimming Upstream
The cover of the 2016 Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition features Ashley Graham, a so-called “plus-sized” model.Not surprisingly, this generated deafening media buzz, as though publishing an image of a beautiful, young, white and—wait for it!—size 14 woman in a bikini might break fashion, fat and feminist barriers. Such a conclusion, however, would be as slippery as a slathering of Coppertone suntan oil.
Public scrutiny of women’s bodies is nothing new, and women’s swimming attire—from full-length Victorian swimming gowns to itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny, yellow polka-dot bikinis—has received more than its share of censure.History reveals that no matter what women choose to wear to the beach, they are subjected to the dictates of sexual morality.
As beach resorts gained popularity in the 18th and 19th centuries, women donned long swimming gowns, weighted at the hem to prevent the garments from billowing up in the water.They also made use of bathing machines, small seaside