Well, wouldn’t you just know it, we girls always have it rough—the expectations in Birmingham! And what we have to work with!
Do you regret eating that last cupcake? I do, too. I know I’m a little off the subject, but my mind is detouring through the sixties (I see Marilyn, and she’s a little pudgy, in fact), through the seventies (I thought about getting paisleys and peace signs for my de rigeur tattoo and navel ring before I decided, no, that truly is a stupid idea). I may not have studied much in school, but I’m not a fool. Besides, I have Anonymous to remind me.
Punk is the new country, he told me, with pink hair and tongue studs. And “no country girls allowed” is his motto. Don’t get me wrong, he loves us girls from Trussville and Springville and Pelham. It’s not the place we live in, or even the music we listen to. It’s a tacky state of mind he objects to. And we don’t always have the best influences around here, it’s true. I’m just talking girl to girl. Me and you. Oh, and my gay friends, too.
Well, back to the bathing suit, that monokini can even take me back to the fifties. I know, I’ve never been there, but I have heard of Fidel Castro and Kruschev, even Eisenhower. Do you know that dude?
Well I know they had a more demure attitude in society then. Our grandparents weren’t supposed to be sleeping together. Yeah right. Separate beds on the Lucy show. Well, we all got here somehow. I’ve read the Kinsey report, too, at least the good parts.
So those gals in the fifties were supposed to keep their voluptuousness under wraps. And of course that is what makes them so sexy. I could almost grab one of those bosomy girls myself.
Yes, that is what I am talking about. The one-piece bathing suit is finally back from the past. But I guess we haven’t totally turned the clock backward from the days of bare midriffs and bikinis. Thus they call it the monokini.
Just like Jane Russell, yes- -Shirley Temple Black, not a chance--that one-piece is turning heads everywhere by revealing what it conceals in a subtler field of vision. Originally made to show off the killer curves women were born with—we can turn them to angles that can cut you and hurt you, I swear, soft as they seem— while remaining tasteful.
Of course that’s just someone’s opinion, and the one-piece bikinis in 2012 do that and a lot more. They are oxymorons, for starters, and no, them’s not fighting words. They’re just shockingly concealing.
With a few modifications (I’ve seen tops and bottoms that are barely connected, and even lace up corsets that make the fifties seem downright kinky), fashion has taken a swerve right through the middle of our chastity. Of course I prefer the most popular style, the crocheted in-between.
In any case, this trend has put the traditional 50s fashion back in stores everywhere—unless you count Birmingham, where you almost have to get them online. But we don’t let corporate homogeneity in stores or Bull Connor fashion censors stop us any more. By adding cut outs, patterns and low Vs, the swimsuit from the past has gone from clunky to sleek, from quaintly frumpy to chic and modern.
What was designed for modesty is now being worn by the most daring of all. I’d like to say that’s me, but I’m a little nervous about all the kids staring at my cleavage when I’m walking down the street. It’s not easy to be different, but I feel safe with this fad. It’s gonna feel good at the beach.
Photos by Stephen Humphreys