Everything is stupid, and so are we. Welcome to Jezebel’s Stupidest Summer Ever, a season-long celebration of our worst, most idiotic thoughts and opinions.
Summer is here, which means a few things: the sun is out; air conditioning has suddenly topped the previously short list of things you require to live; the debate about the song of the summer is in full swing; and the race to clock in as many days on a beach is on. That last part involves figuring out what you can wear in order to both: 1) look cool and 2) stay cool, temperature-wise.
If you’re a woman of a certain age (my age, 26), then you know that for many years, the two-piece reigned over this discussion, the one you have privately with yourself in the dressing room when you’re shopping for a swimsuit: Am I actually going to wear this? How long is summer again? Until recently, when the one-piece made a humble, trend-bucking comeback (I’d say it was around last year), the two-piece was the default swimwear choice for women, making going to the pool midriff-mandatory.
When I say two-piece, I am of course talking about the bikini, designed to show as much skin as possible while still shielding your lady bits from the sun’s harsh rays and the eyes of strangers. Compared to the one-piece (which, again, I must say, is becoming kind of cool again), the bikini has historically been the most sexy, fun, and liberated option available. And again, if you’re a woman of my age (26 and a half, to be specific), then summer after summer, you made a choice: show off your boobs, butt, and tummy with reckless abandon, or don’t and risk being left out.
No more. A third, peace-seeking option has returned to the market, and it—somehow, impossibly!—offers the flirty benefits of the bikini with the nearly full-body coverage of the one-piece. Folks, yes: I’m talking about quietly cool, subversive “AF” tankini.
THE TANKINI!!!! Only a two-piece on a technicality, the tankini has more in common with the iconique one-piece than its skimpier cousin, the bikini. If you, like me (am I making this all about me? Oh I’m sorry, TOO BAD!!), grew up in the ’90s and were embarrassed by your body in your tweenage and teenage years, the tankini offered respite from the taxing enterprise of attending swimming pool parties with your hotter peers. It got a bad rep because it was basically like donning just like, SO MUCH fabric, and after getting out of the pool, it became as awkward as you felt to wear. Understandably, the tankini gained a “Remember THAT wacky trend?!?!” place in fashion history, inspiring guffaws and sighs of relief whenever mentioned. But I am here to tell you that the tankini is back, and you should believe me, because I’m always 100 percent right about these things.
You might be saying: But Frida, you’re crazy! Oh, am I? Have you noticed that having a waist is extremely in right now (don’t believe me, turn to any of the Kardashians’ or Jenners’ Instagram accounts)?
Okay, so now imagine pairing a high-waisted swimsuit bottom with a sports bra-esque top (a look that is also extremely in; please refer to my last parenthetical). Where does the eye go? The waist! Just like that, the modern-day tankini manages to be both cute and kinda slutty—the perfect balance you’re hoping to strike all summer long—at once.
In a way, the tankini predated the athleisure trend: It’s sporty as hell, calling to mind images of surfers and wetsuits. It’s ready for action! Ready for waves! It just came a little too early. In 2018, the tankini is bursting with possibility, ripped from its poolside-weary origins and imbued with a new, adventurous sensibility. The tankini WILL have another hot dog, thanks Mark, and it remembered to bring SPF 30 sunscreen, no worries guy, and omg, it LOVES THIS SONG! Will you play it again?
Gone are the days when the bikini was the only way to announce to your fellow pool-goers: hey, I’d like to remind you that I have a belly button, not that I friggin’ need to. I’m hot, and I don’t need to prove it to you, I just am. It’s form-fitting while still prioritizing comfort, like leggings or a scrunchy tube-top. It’s the revolution, and it’s now. Do not wait not one more second—join me in making this summer the most faux-sporty summer yet.