The man behind the mic
On a recent trip to France, I suffered another dose of swimming pool ignominy, when my choice of swimwear was deemed so offensive, that they chucked me out. My brightly coloured swimming shorts, designed to make a man of my shape look acceptable on a beach or in a pool, were looked upon as a garment ‘not in keeping’ with how men are supposed to look while swimming in public. I encountered a similar experience last year, which at the time I put down as an isolated incident. An idiosyncrasy of the small French town we were in.
And so, rattled as I am by the lunacy of these rules, I have investigated the history of tight swimming trunks.
They are defined online as an ‘underpantlike garment with a drawstring, often worn by male swimmers.’ The original Speedo design was invented with the intention of offering greater speed while swimming competitively. With less material there is less drag, so the speed is increased when gliding through the water. Also the material of the swimsuit does not absorb much water adding to the buoyancy.