This topic page is dedicated to providing credible and factual information about the bikini, and it is certainly not a thinly-veiled excuse to show a bunch of hot girls in next-to-zero clothing.

Cracked: Helping chicks find the right bikini since 1958

This is our Sara Balint flowchart.  Make sure to follow the lines carefully.

At a bikini contest, entrants are judged by... ah, who cares.

Just The Facts

  1. The bikini is both a two-piece swimsuit and a crowning achievement for all mankind.
  2. Although the modern bikini is only about 60 years, versions of it date back as far as 1400 B.C.
  3. Bikinis are made for women. Period. We at Cracked do not acknowledge the existence of a men's bikini.

The History of the Bikini

The best early example of visual proof of the bikini arrives from Ancient Rome and the first ever edition of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. Lacking cameras (but not determination), artists from around 300 AD paid homage to hot athletic chicks by immortalizing them in mosaic form on a floor of the Villa Romana del Casale in Sicily. Dubbed the "Bikini Girls", the tiles show ten scantily-clad women in various action poses.

The artist yearned for his lovely model, but she married the dumb jerk captain of the gladiator team

The Roman's logical love of the two-piece wasn't just limited to colorful flooring. Other artistic mediums were employed as horny artists across the Empire attempted to woo promiscuous babes that were way out of their league. The ultimate example of this behavior is a statue found in the ruins of Pompeii of the Roman goddess Venus wearing a bikini. Trying to impress a sexy deity into sleeping with you takes some serious marbles, and we here at Cracked salute you, Mr. Long-Forgotten Sculptor.

As the ancient Roman Empire passed into memory, religion horned in and ruined everyone's fun (yet again) by forcing women to cover up under the threat of eternal torment. This worked until the early twentieth century, at which point humanity was done a great favor by a heroine from Australia named Annette Kellerman.

The original pin-up girl

Miss Kellerman had many interests, including writing, vaudeville, and film. Her main pursuit, however, was swimming. She loved everything about it except for the ridiculous ankle-length nightgowns that passed for women's swimwear at the time. Instead of whining about the situation, she extended her middle finger towards "proper" society and designed the more athletically suitable one-piece pictured above. Her suit got her arrested at a Boston beach on an indecency charge in 1907, but her goal was realized. Women everywhere began shedding their inhibitions by wearing the new "Annette Kellermans" to the beach. Men everywhere suddenly realized that seeing pretty women in the new "Annette Kellermans" was a very good thing, and a revolution was underway.

For the next forty years, scientists developed better fabrics, manufacturing improved to make the one-piece suits cheaper, and clothing designers worked on complex algorithms that ensured that more fabric was removed from the swimwear every year without anyone noticing. Finally in 1946, two Frenchmen (Jacques Heim and Louis Reard) engaged in a personal duel that every man could support: to make the tiniest swimsuit possible. Heim's product came first, a nice two-piece number that shockingly exposed a wearer's navel. He called the creation the Atome (French for "atom") because it was the smallest particle of matter. Reard stuck his probably gigantic snooty French nose into the air, swirled his wine around, and promptly designed a swimsuit even smaller. Declaring he had "split the Atome", he named his grand creation after an island the United States blew the shit out of while testing their new atomic bomb: Bikini Atoll. He also thought the bikini would be like a bomb going off in the world of fashion.

We bet a lot of guys just detonated a device in their pants after seeing this picture of Kelly Brook.

Reard's design was so daring that he couldn't find a model who would wear the thing in public. Finally, after some long and difficult days researching talent at various Parisian nude clubs, he met a young woman named Micheline Bernardini who was willing to model his new swimsuit.

The first bikini model. Guess how many other swimsuit models from 1946 have their own Wikipedia page.

The bikini made a huge impression, but many women were still hesitant to wear the garment in public, and acceptance of it was slow for many years. Finally, the sexual revolution of the 1960's came into play, and the bikini just needed a spark to ignite a wildfire of hot women showing off their sexy bodies on beaches across the globe. The spark arrived via a 1962 film featuring Sean Connery playing a suave British spy who befriends a pretty young lady named Honey Ryder.

Ursula Andress presents your grandfather's first HOLY SHIT moment at the movie theater.

Reard's vision came true, as the popularity of the bikini exploded to the high level it still enjoys almost fifty years later. Women everywhere wanted the sexy look and freedom a small two-section swimsuit would offer, and the men in their lives completely supported their decision, because we just want our ladies to be happy.

Gabrielle Union is an empowered, happy woman, which in turn makes men happy. Everyone wins!

The Gallery of Bikini Usefulness

Many people assume that the bikini has only limited use. Well, many people are stupid. The bikini can be utilized in many everyday applications at home, work, and play!

In this photo, Jessica Alba demonstrates a bikini in its natural habitat: the beach. Note that the lack of fabric gives her ease-of-movement so she can throw the water-logged foam football. The football. I know you see it. It's in her right hand.

Imogen Thomas shows off a bikini in another usual location: the pool. Note her dazzling smile. She is happy because she doesn't have to take a refreshing swim in a binding, body-encasing garment designed by Puritans.

Megan Fox shows off the tanning advantages of a bikini in this short video. The clip is from a show called Two and a Half Men, which is the reason they keep stupidly cutting back to Jon Cryer. Some shit about plot or something that nobody gives a fuck about when a cute girl in a bikini is on-screen. Hey CBS: JUST SHOW THE DAMN CHICK.

The bikini is a highly-useful uniform for manual labor such as washing cars. The hose she is grasping isn't even attached to a spigot. It just started shooting off a few moments after she grabbed onto it.

It is also appropriate for manual labor such as shooting and killing baby-dicked terrorist motherfuckers who like to pretend that girls in bikinis is a bad thing. Actually, this young lady wouldn't have to pull the trigger; just looking at her would make cause massive crotch explosion among her enemies.

Bikinis are important athleticwear in many sports. Sports such as swimming, women's beach volleyball, and...uh, cheerleading for women's beach volleyball!

Lovely women from around the globe, sharing their love for our favorite article of clothing. The bikini just may be the key to achieving world peace.