Weigh in: Men’s swimsuits

Another quick one – but fashion related!  Yay!  [On the thesis front – things are much much better than my last post.  That was clearly a low day in the PhD quest.  I am feeling more and more like I will finish in 10 days time.  Well…  that is, until my primary supervisor comes back from her holiday on Monday and tears me down.  But alas, we shall see.  Maybe she’ll say its OK to be handed in.  But I’m not holding my breath,  yet]

Anyways, slate posted a fantastic article about whey American men don’t wear Speedos.  Oddly, New Zealand men don’t wear them either, which is surprising because in many respects, NZ is more like the UK and Australia (where, apparently, speedos are acceptable).

I am probably biased in that I was on a co-ed swim team from the age of 9, so I spent many formative years with boys in speedos and it was no big thing.  I totally agree that board shorts are ridiculous.  Especially when in their quest to be uber-masculine, they are inevitably orange and purple and covered in hibiscus flowers [excuse me while I throw up a little in my mouth].

Why can’t men just wear something like this?

Perfectly sensible.


Ok, obviously most men don’t look like the dude above.  But most women don’t look like Miranda Kerr and still seem to wear swimsuits that might suggest they think otherwise.  Bodies are bodies and they come in all shapes in sizes and virtually no one looks good in togs (I’ve been to the local Dunedin pool far too often to think otherwise).  So lets just all get over this swimsuit body image thing already and just relax and have a good time at the beach/lake/pool/etc.

Is it just due to the USA’s Puritan stance on the male form – which seems unlikely to be overcome any time soon?

Please weigh in.


3 thoughts on “Weigh in: Men’s swimsuits

  1. I don’t believe it has to do with Americans being “Puritan.” That seems like a rather ridiculous assertion. I would like to blame marketing. Somewhere along the way, surfer dude fashion caught on and hasn’t gone away since. When we start seeing American celebrities in Speedos, and advertisements for more skimpy guy swimwear, then we’ll start seeing American men wearing them.

    • Oh you may be onto something there! Considering how popular surfing is in NZ, that would make sense. However, Australia is known for its surf but they (reportedly – I’m not entirely sure I believe it) wear speedos there.

      So if speedos were marketed to look cooler and were worn by celebrities, they would be more popular. Yep, sounds about right!

  2. I’ll never forget when we were in France in 2009 and we went to a public swimming pool. The men/boys are required to wear speedos (this is true in most public pools in France). They cannot swim in boxer/shorts type swim suits. You should have seen the look on my boys’ faces – absolute horror. They simply couldn’t imagine it. “Sanitary reasons” is what they tell you if you inquire why speedos must be worn. European men are very comfortable in their speedos. American men are not, they would not need to wear one unless they in swim training. Is it a cultural thing? It is a style/fashion thing? Is it what you were brought up with? I don’t know, but currently, if I see a speedo dude at the lake or whatever I immediately assume he must be a foreigner (which is unfair and stereotypical).

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