Go Ahead And Stare


It seemed nobody could do more with a bikini than Brigitte Bardot.

Here in the United States, it took two decades of pinup girls, surfer girls, Bond girls and even cave girls to make the bikini acceptable, if not entirely respectable.

"The bikini's associated with scandal and that's why it's survived. You know, the bikini is for the bad girl. The bikini's not for Barbie," Bensimon says. "The bikini is about freedom. It's about fun. It's about -- it's a -- it's a lifestyle."

Designer Malia Mills' swimwear company is founded on the notion that there's a bikini for every-body.

"The design is really the easy part," Mills says. "It's the fitting that takes so much time and you have to be so precise. And, you know, we fit each bottom to fit a very specific shape. So, if you're nice and round, there's a tiny tie side for you. And if you're taller and slender, there's also a skimpy bottom for you as well because they're cut very differently to fit you beautifully.

"Every little eighth of an inch is a difference between a beautiful fit and one that's just slightly off," Mills explains.

And nowhere does the bikini have a more perfect fit than in women's beach volleyball, the only Olympic sport where it's the official uniform.

"The sexy body is one that can -- looks like it can do something. And when you see women, athletic women, or just women that are, you know, in a bikini, you really see their body. You really see that they can do something with it," Bensimon says.

But not all the action on the beach is quite so physical.

Magazine's like FHM keep the camera's clicking year-round, which, of course, keeps the magazines flying off the stands.

It all begs the question: how low can it go?

For her part, Bensimon thinks the smaller the better. "You know, it's like when you wear tight jeans, you look better. When you wear baggy jeans, you look like you're hiding something. When you wear a smaller bikini, it just looks better," she says.

So for the rest of the weekend, celebrate this anniversary -- go on, stare. And while the movie may say God created woman, it's clear, only man could have created the bikini.