Infant Bikinis?

When I was in college and (much more) immature, my roommates tried to convinced me to wear five padded bras all at once, one on top of the other, one night when I was going out.

The impetus was a water bra I owned that had the most life-like inserts, which created the reverse of their intended effect and creeped everyone out who ever saw them. (Which was only me and my roommates, Mom.) They were basically Ziploc freezer bags filled with mercury or alien bile — a liquid heavier than water — encased in two fused cotton/spandex envelopes. The whole thing weighed about three pounds.

The multi-bra challenge was like daring someone to eat spaghetti mixed with peanut butter mixed with angst mixed with fire ants — a strange, scary combination that could take a turn for the worse at any moment.

(You should know this: When you live in a sorority house, you might not have organized pillow fights as rumored, but you do play a lot of truth or dare. And when there are lots of clothes lying around, you are almost certain to encounter clothes-related dares. Why do you think Greek life is so fraught with streakers?)

The three of us who shared it called our closet The Gap because it was the size of a backyard storage shed. It was hard to keep things like water bras a secret in The Gap. Or love affairs. The Gap was where I shut myself up to talk on the phone for hours on end with Gordon when he lived in New York City. No amount of winter sweaters could muffle the giggles that emanated from there, and I think my roommates sort of hated the whole arrangement — especially when they needed to dress for toga parties. Just kidding. That’s another Greek life rumor for you.

Now that I think about it, The Gap might have had something to do with all the bra goading.

If Memory Serves…

I negotiated my way down to just two bras — the water bra and some other more reliable bra to scaffold it in place. Off I went to the Baracuda Bar where I enjoyed my first Dos Equis with my friend Christy — who only drank Dos Equis — and who was also in on the whole bra bit. The night would have been more fun had I not been constantly monitoring the floor for signs of mutinous inserts. I could see them in my mind’s eye, lying limp in puddles of bile, pierced by wayward stilettos.

And thus was the beginning of my sophistication and class. (And paranoia.)

I don’t know what the fascination is with breast augmentation or breast attention or really even chicken breast, but I’ve been pretty numbed to the whole phenomenon since that night in college (for right or wrong). For me, a breast is something you dare to have.

That is, until today, when I saw this:

Yes. You read that right. IT’S MY FIRST BIKINI! That’s probably a, oh, I don’t know, a 13-month-old sporting a string zebra bikini and what appears to be a strand of Mardi Gras beads. The first of many, I’m sure.

You can see the suit she’s wearing in the picture draped across the metal stand on the left, and another pink version on the table below that has nipple triangles approximately 30% smaller than those on the zebra print. This is either a sardonic comment on the degradation of our society intended to show how objectifying it really is to so sexually charge a swimsuit — when it’s obvious that anyone wearing it was once a precious, innocent baby girl.

Or it’s a baby bikini. Straight up. And people buy it with a poker face.


Maybe. Maybe I’m a giant hypocrite. I have been very up-front about my recent swimsuit purchase, but let me say for the record that I resisted the string-ed bottoms — granted, this is due more to embarrassment than morality. But give me credit for my top, which is more sporty, less sexy.

But really, where IS the line? And is the line the same for all ages?

I should state for the record that I do, in fact, own a two-piece top for Madeline. It’s borrowed from a friend. But there are no slinky strings or animal stripes or plastic beads, and the top is more of a bando style in a happy polka dot print. And because it’s sans nipple triangles, it sure is a far cry from this prostitot’s. So maybe that’s where I draw the line: nipple triangles. Yes. Those and Mardi Gras beads.

Where’s the line for you?


Am I being a fuddy-duddy? Do I need to wear five water bras and drink a case of Dos Equis to relax?
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3 Comments to “Infant Bikinis?”
  1. You are not being a fuddy-duddy. As a father of a daughter, it is increasingly difficult to instill the values of moedesty, although Trinity is the most modest in the house. The padded training bra is another example of what you are writing about. Keep up the writing, you are on the right track. . .

  2. Eric says:

    As a dude, all I can tell you is: #1, I’m nervous about going through all that with Madison, and #2, knowing how a man’s brain functions, I would greatly appreciate it if all women wore a parka to the beach!

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