Trunk call: the comeback of skimpy Speedos

Trunk call: the comeback of skimpy Speedos

Back in the 1950s, the lifeguards of Bondi Beach, Sydney, were not only charged with rescuing surfers and scanning for sharks. In their role as “beach inspectors” they were also responsible for ensuring that swimsuits conformed to New South Wales state regulations.

At least 3in of fabric was required over the thigh, no navels were to be exposed, and shoulder straps had to be “sturdy”. …

The exalted status of the Speedo in gay iconography goes some way to explaining why it is viewed with such fear and loathing elsewhere. In 2018, a brief-wearer named Chris Donohoe complained that he was the victim of homophobia after being thrown out of a pool party at a hotel in Las Vegas for flouting the “no Speedo” rule. “It so obviously targets LGBTQ+ and non-gender-conforming people,” he argued. “They need to stop policing people based on their gender identity and sexuality.” …

And perhaps we should stop being so judgmental. Peter Travis – who went on to design the interior of the Australian parliament building – expressed regret that his creation should have become a source of ridicule. “I’ve heard people saying things like, ‘Oh that fat old man looks terrible in Speedos,’ and I don’t like that,” he once told an Australian paper. “The point is, he looks just as bad in anything, but he shouldn’t be criticised because he wants to wear something to swim in. He’s not there for people to look at. Why shouldn’t a person who wants to swim wear that and not be criticised?”

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