August 25, 2013

Vintage...

... photo of a woman in a bathing suit.

It's not just the bathing suit. It's the woman.

ADDED: Try finding a bathing suit like that today. A search for "vintage one-piece bathing suit" got me to this pageful of tatters worn by mincing, wincing waifs. A search for "retro swimsuit" got me to this horror:



The suit for the out-and-proud anorexic.

Cartoon bones aside, the shape of the suit is all about rejecting a womanly body. I remember the time before the leg openings were cut way back to create the illusion that the hips and half of the ass were part of the legs. In the vintage photo, the region between the waist and legs is massive, valuable territory, owned and occupied by a woman of substance.

30 comments:

Bob_R said...

And today she'd be in for a round of fat shaming...for her own good.

Inga said...

She's lovely, yet not beautiful. I bet she had slathered herself wih baby oil to make the suns rays even more powerful on her skin.

cubanbob said...

A good looking woman of a certain age appropriately and stylishly attired. What's not to like?

Conserve Liberty said...

OMG. It's my mother.

Dr.D said...

Both the suit and the woman looked just fine to me. I fail to see what attracted your attention. It is a scene I have seen thousands of times.

Ann Althouse said...

@Dr. D

What made you assume my reaction was negative?!

Ann Althouse said...

Ironically, your assumption establishes that YOU think something was not fine!

Ann Althouse said...

"She's lovely, yet not beautiful. I bet she had slathered herself wih baby oil to make the suns rays even more powerful on her skin."

When I read that comment in the moderation list, I thought it went with the Julie Harris post, and I had to stop and think why old Julie would have gone looking for sunburn.

Ann Althouse said...

What attracted my attention was a beautiful evocative photograph displaying a style of bathing suit that women don't wear anymore that's actually pretty wonderful (as the comments at the site, a fashion photography site, will attest).

The color (including the color of the chair and the woman's tan) is very striking.

The woman figure type is what was at one time regarded as normal, but it looks unusual today. She doesn't read as fat (in my opinion), yet she has very ample hips and thighs. I think back then, she would have been called "womanly," a word that you don't often see.

Women today seem to have more overall amplitude (when they are not thin).

I liked the figure type combined with the suit design and the way both of these old things are vintage.

Ann Althouse said...

Try to find an equivalent bathing suit today.

I Googled "vintage one-piece bathing suit," and here's an example of the kind of thing that's sold today. If you look at those suits after looking at the suit I highlight, if you're like me, you'll think: How pathetic!

The suits and the women!

RigelDog said...

I like the colors of the adirondack chair and her sunglasses, and her look in general. HATE the colors of the bathing suit...avocado green and harvest gold. Not good associations for me.

Ann Althouse said...

A search for "retro swimsuit" got me to this!

MomRunningFromCancer said...

I love the look in the photo!
Oh the woes of being a (middle aged) women and finding a reasonable swimming suit. We have a boat and 2 jet skies and are on the water for much of the summer. Finding something nice - that covers, but doesn't look frumpy, that is age appropriate (whatever that means) is difficult - add to that the fact that the suit must be a mastectomy suit and it is nearly impossible. Thankfully there are so many more online possibilities compared to just a few years ago.
I think the look in that photo is extremely sexy!
I remember using baby oil on my skin and "sun-in" on my hair and laying for hours in the sun! Now I don't leave the house without sunscreen - usually 50spf.
Oh how times change!

gadfly said...

Does this qualify as a vintage photo of a woman in a bathing suit?

"It's not just the bathing suit. It's the woman."

Michael K said...

Here are a few photos from the 1940s. This beautiful woman was the mother of a lady friend. The photos were taken in the 1940s, perhaps in the war.

Here are the couple after the war . He was a fighter pilot at Guadalcanal and flew again in Korea for the Marines. He was also a starting lineman for Fordham when Vince Lombardi was on the team.

They are both gone but both were great looking people and lived full lives. They have seven children and I can't count the grandchildren.

Full lives and pretty attractive people, too.

Tom said...

All skin and bones!

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Nice thigh gap.

El Pollo Raylan said...

@gadfly: Donatella Versace just proves that you can be too rich and too thin.

Kathy said...

This is vintage swimwear:
http://www.ReySwimwear.com/

Available now, but mostly backordered.

Birches said...

When I saw the picture, I said to myself, "Oh look! Someone who looks like they've actually had children."

As for more old timey swimsuits, you just have to look in the right place.

http://www.limericki.com/WOMEN

madAsHell said...

She's hawt!!
Nice box gap.

Deirdre Mundy said...

No need to publish, but: Vintage Style swimsuits:

http://www.pinupgirlclothing.com/swimwear.html?swimsuit_type=19

They have some fun dresses, too.

Meade said...

"Nice thigh gap."

You think that's nice... check out the gap between her 1st thoratic vertebra and her Manubrium.

Hubba hubba.

Meade said...

If only we could get a good look between her Sacrum and Coccyx.

Bart Hall (Kansas, USA) said...

Check out Wisconsin's own Lands' End. They have a wide range of pretty decent one-piece suits. When I was a kid they were still far more common than two-piecers, and I guess that's why I still find them attractive.

David said...

"mincing. wincing waifs . . "

Vivid.

Some of those early photos of you shows some waifish physical qualities (not the law school one) but I doubt you minced or winced. Surely not now.

Ann Althouse said...

Those links to so-called "vintage" things on sale now do not look like that suit in the photograph at all. They might be inspired by that old look, but they are missing something. They are made of lycra, which is a great material for a one-piece, but the intensity of structure is utterly lost. Those old suits were made out of a much thicker almost rubberized material, and there were more specific sections and seams. By contrast the lycra you see today is filmy and forgiving. It makes the old stuff seem like bondage.

rwnutjob said...

A LONG time ago, my uncle took a bunch of my cousins swimming in a farm pond. We stopped by my great aunt's house & asked her if she wanted to go. She said: "Lord no. My bathing suit's so old, it's got a hole in the elbow."

Stephen said...

Vintage comment: Hubba hubba!

CarolMR said...

On today's swimsuits and panties, the legs are cut high so as to make the legs look - supposedly - longer.