October 2, 2006

"You must wear the maillot de bain sportif."

An America guy freaks out at the news that American-style bathing suits are forbidden at the Parisian swimming pool. Why, you're basically wearing your shorts into the pool! "A person could wear one all over the city — on a filthy bus, a park bench. And then he could just jump in the pool, covered in germs!"

The maillot de bain sportif, you need to know, is a Speedo.

26 comments:

Maxine Weiss said...

I thought a 'maillot' was a woman's one piece....or is that a 'bandeau' ???

One piece or two?

After a certain age, no self-respecting lady would wear anything but a one-piece.

I like the ones that look like a two-piece from the back, but really a one-piece from the front!

Peace,
Maxine

Fenrisulven said...

After a certain age, no self-respecting lady would wear anything but a one-piece.

At any age, no self-respecting man would wear a speedo.

Maxine Weiss said...

Are you saying Parisians have no self-respect?

Peace,
Maxine

MadisonMan said...

At any age, no self-respecting man would wear a speedo.

Even Ann makes a shorts allowance for sports playing. The son wears one when he swims competitively, as les maillots de bain sportif are de rigeur in that case.

SteveR said...

Reminds me of a horrifying experience with some Europeans at a Disneyworld water park 10 years ago. A speedo on a short man 50 pounds over weight w/o deoderant is not a good thing, repeated dozens of times over a day, gross.

Germs? 1. That's why they Chlorinate and 2. Don't plan on drinking it.

Ann Althouse said...

Well, if you're in a race, you'd be an idiot to wear American bathing "trunks."

Maxine Weiss said...

...much less some of the skimpy women's swimsuits....for racing.

I just wonder when they'll institute mandatory bathing caps for everyone.

French plumbing and French toilets, in general, (the 'bidet' notwithstanding) are not exactly the most sterile and germ free.

I

Peace, Maxine

mcg said...

Actually, for racing, swimsuits are going in the opposite direction, and now cover more, not less---although they are skintight.

Maxine Weiss said...

Yeah, tell that to Sports Illustrated !

I'm sure they'll take note.

Peace, Maxine

Brian O'Connell said...

I'm sure there's no skimpy dress code the French will institute for Muslim women, health reasons notwithstanding.

Paddy O. said...

"Actually, for racing, swimsuits are going in the opposite direction, and now cover more, not less---although they are skintight."

Let's hear it for technology!

George said...

I'll be brief—If there's not going to be any discussion of Bill Clinton here, it's hardly worth my time to post anything.

sully126 said...

Great article. However, the article missed the boat by translating the slang French phrase for a Speedo as "penis cast" with no other comment. The name "moule bite" actually means "cock mold" & is pretty vulgar.
BTW, Speedos on Franch beaches are far less common than board shorts, especially among the Gen X crowd. Similarly, topless bathing is mostly popular with women over-50 (shudder). Pre-menopausal girls seem content to wear both halves of their bikinis.

Anonymous said...

banana hammocks

Synova said...

My daughter insists on wearing knee length men's swim trunks over her two piece with a rather modest halter style top (no triangles on strings).

I approve.

JohnF said...

Thank you S.Cottage! I was trying to think of that expression, used so effectively by Phoebe Buffay on Friends.

Doug said...

banana hammocks

I was going to throw that term out there, but you beat me to it.

Speaking of suits, when my father was in high school, they swam in the nude during swim class.

Johnny Nucleo said...

All Europeans wear those crazy things. Even the Brits!

The history and culture experts can spout their egghead theories all they want, but the fundamental difference between Europe and America is that European men wear speedos even when they are not racing, while American men do not.

It is objectively insane to wear speedos when you don't have to, because when you wear speedos everyone can see your wiener.

Some may say, "Well this is enlightened, because it is good to know that most men have average size wieners, especially in cold water, and therefore should not be hung up about wiener size."

But it is not enlightened. It is insane! Because some men have big wieners that make your wiener look pathetic, and then where will you be, loser?

Ann Althouse said...

Well, Johnny, now that you mention it, it seems that women ought to demand it as a point of equality. How is it fair that men are able to easily see the size of women's body parts if they choose to make a comparison and count size as significant, while women are deprived of the equivalent information?

Pogo said...

Re: "women ought to demand it as a point of equality"

Of course. But the cumulative damage from being forced to see 50 ugly men in Speedos for every one worth perusing seems an awful price to bear for equality.

And then, as with more and more women today, one will have to wonder if Spinal Tap-type prosthetics are being used.

A government-issued codpiece with verified dimensions would then be the only alternative. Like a car license, excpet renewal at the DPM would be a bit more onerous.

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo: Well, women wear padded bras, so the men can go equal with padded codpieces. It's perfectly fair.

Pogo said...

I dunno, but the thought of 50 ugly men in Speedos, especially if padded....the mind reels.

Oh, the humanity!

(And wasn't "50 Ugly Men in Speedos" a minor midwestern new wave band circa 1986?)

Ann Althouse said...

Pogo: Well, I never go to the beach, but I do enjoy thinking about people embarrassing themselves there.

dmm9999 said...

As a Brit I can categorically state that we do not wear speedos! Not that there's anything wrong with that.

For more on Britishness and swimwear, see Professor Wolff's post here: http://leiterreports.typepad.com/blog/2006/07/linguistic_divi.html

OddD said...

"Yeah, tell that to Sports Illustrated !"

It's a common misconception that the women of the "Swimsuit Issue" are, in fact, wearing swimsuits.

Those are modeling suits. If actually worn to swim, they would fall off.

Johnny Nucleo said...

Ann Althouse said: "How is it fair that men are able to easily see the size of women's body parts if they choose to make a comparison and count size as significant, while women are deprived of the equivalent information?"

It is not fair. But women don't care about wiener size. That's what they keep telling me, anyway. You don't think...Wait a second. Could they be lying to me?!