The underside of the swimming costume: Another history of the body
BOOK IN FRENCH
Writter: Audrey Millet
- Number of pages
- Publication date
- 14,2 cm × 20,5 cm × 2,5 cm
- Bookshop, Fashion, Exhibition, Exhibition - Fashion & Sport, from one catwalk to another
Tan, monoi and bikini... At the pool or on the beach, swimming is synonymous with relaxation and lightness. Yet for a long time, this practice was frowned upon, and swimwear has only recently conquered our wardrobes. Haunted by mythological tales, our societies were built on a fear of water, echoed by a fear of the feminine, associated with dampness and strangeness.
It took centuries for us to tame the waves, and it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that bathing and swimming were democratised, paving the way for the development of a new industry: the swimming costume industry, which flouted modesty and contributed to the uncovering of bodies. But if women gradually freed themselves from a thousand years of invisibility, it was only to be subjected to the injunctions of a standardised beauty, an unattainable perfection, leading to waxing and dieting with a view to the famous summer body.
From the swimsuit to the burkini, from the bikini to the monokini, Audrey Millet impertinently demonstrates that the swimming costume is less futile and more political than it seems. Through her story, she offers us a rereading of gender norms and our relationship with the body.