Going to the sea for a swim – that hardly requires any strategic considerations when packing your suitcase; Summer dresses, sandals and beach towels are quickly packed together. But there is still a basic decision to be made: only swimsuits or at least a bikini?
"Can I still wear this? Is that still possible?” You have to be of a certain age for this crucial question of a beach holiday, and it is not a welcome development that it has become clearer with the years. In the beginning it's still allowed, but mostly stays in the suitcase, from the late 50s you leave it at home - if you still own a bikini at all.
At least that's what happened to my friends and I, a pure swimsuit group, who meet in the south in late summer, for years. Older people are out and about by the sea, especially women. A sun hat, pareo and bathing suit in muted colors are a popular combination for a walk on the beach.
But last year, in Andalusia, we were surprised. The bikini triumphed – at least with the Spaniards. Young and old, no matter how battered and wrinkled life had left them, they all wore it. "The bad Ballermann manners," one of us thought, which would have rubbed off on the locals: "Whereas the German tourists on Mallorca go to the supermarket in bikinis."
The Ballermann, we countered, was a distant cosmos here in the southwest of Spain, where people value a well-groomed appearance, as can be seen every evening in the restaurants. Curiously, we observed an 80-year-old bikini wearer who had her pleated back creamed. No one here on the beach seemed to give a thought to whether something was still going on or not.
Basically they were right. Bathing suits are actually the last thing, either wet or sandy, uncomfortable plastic sheets. Besides, men's bellies overhanging swimming trunks are tolerated in silence. And so we were sure: Spain with its strong women's movement - this swimwear clearly has something to do with emancipation. The bikini, textile of self-liberation!
If the Spanish government had been to the beach in Conil last summer, they could have skipped the equality campaign they recently presented. And with it all the trouble caused by the poster with the inscription "Summer belongs to us too".
It shows women on the beach, several fat ones, one with a mastectomy, one with armpit hair, one black. The badly sincere message: no woman should be ashamed of her appearance.
The Ministry for Equal Opportunities wanted to promote more "body positivity" with this campaign, which then went completely wrong: the designers used photos of women on Instagram as templates - without them knowing about it.
The women were of course outraged when they recognized themselves on the poster, and one of them, Sian Green-Lord, was deeply shocked: The English model has been wearing a prosthetic leg since a car accident and shows it quite consciously - on the poster she found herself without it prosthesis with healthy leg again. body positivity The campaign will be withdrawn for now.
And the bikini? We're going to the beach again soon. Coincidentally, just to try it out, one of my friends recently told me that she had ordered one. I had already tried my old ones.