Startup: An Auspicious Occasion

Truly, a great contribution to civilization.

Today may be one of the greatest anniversaries in the history of mankind, and it owes its existence to the combination of two of the most unlikely pairings imaginable: the Olympic Games, and nuclear weapons testing.

Stand up and salute, lads.

Beginning in 1946, the United States began performing nuclear weapons testing on the remote Pacific island of Bikini Atoll. At about the same time, there was a great push throughout the world of fashion to develop swimwear for women that would be more appropriate in which to compete in the Olympic Games. Men, of course, were competing in trunks that were very similar to those seen today; women, due to certain… differences… were unable to wear a similar garment, and the race was on to develop a similar appropriate swimsuit since women had been allowed to compete in 1912.

Of course, the world of fashion had to add a layer of sex appeal at the same time, and a man named Jacques Heim introduced a one-piece swimsuit that bared the entire midriff. It was marketed as “the smallest swimsuit in the world”, and given the name of the French word for the nuclear particle that was all over the news at the time, “Atome”.

Almost immediately after its introduction, the world was stunned by the news of the American tests at the idyllic Pacific island chain of Bikini Atoll. In response, when Louis Reard introduced his own new swimsuit design — marketed as “smaller than the smallest swimsuit in the world” — he quite cleverly adopted the name of that chain of islands. In essence, it took Heim’s design, removed the two pieces of cloth that connected the top and bottom portions, and presented a new two-piece design which, as he wryly put it, “split the Atome”. Hence, the bikini was born, and introduced to the world on July 5, 1946, sixty-five years ago today.

The name carried a certain secondary level of humour with it. Unable to find a fashion model who was willing to wear such a daring garment, Heim was obliged to hire a Parisian exotic dancer, Micheline Bernardini, to model the new suit. The impact of his new design, it has been commented many times, hit the fashion world like an atomic bomb.

Today, of course, the “shock and awe” aspect of both the bikini and the nuclear bomb has largely worn off. But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t mark the introduction of this marvelous piece of technology. The suit, not the bomb.

Mr. Heim, a grateful world salutes you.

  • Number_Six

    1946? Pffft. The bikini existed in 1,000,000 BC.

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    • Deartháir

      But FOX tells me the world is only 6,000 years old. How can that be?

      • Number_Six

        You have me there, sir.

      • Wait, you actually thought 1,000,000 BC was nonfiction?

  • dmilligan

    One thing I've found puzzling since the introduction of the bikini: Women (most of them anyway) don't mind being looked at while they're wearing a bikini, even extremely small bikinis, but if they're just in their underwear, which actually covers up more of their bodies, they get mad as hell if you look at them. Can someone explain this phenomenon?

    • Mr_Biggles

      I want to say something clever here about opportunities to look at women in their underwear, but I'm drawing a blank.

      What kind of situations do you find yourself in that women get upset at you for looking at them in their underwear? For instance, if it is when you "accidentally" enter the women's change room or are peeking through their bedroom curtains, there might be more to why they are mad as hell.

      • dmilligan

        Let's not make hasty accusations, Biggles old boy. Just because you have a host of nasty perversions, don't try to foist them off on me. Glass houses and stones and such.
        I was referring to an experience that most men encounter once or twice (give or take) in their lives, which is mistakenly entering a room that you think is unoccupied but is in fact being used by a woman to change clothes. Unless the woman is your wife or girlfriend (or in your case Biggles, your mother), she is never happy about being seen in her skivvies.

        • Deartháir

          Ten points for the most elegant YO MAMA joke I've ever seen.

  • Mr_Biggles

    That, Mr. Dree-Harr, is an excellent tie in between tech and sessy. I learned something good today.

  • elliylindsay121

    most beautiful ladies and looking outstanding in bikini's. I liked their styles. Colors are also lovely. I am here by searching wholesale clothing. So thanks for letting me to share my thoughts on this awesome post.