While this is a display bathing suit, meant for tanning and cocaine poolside, there are other, more distressing bathing suits that mirror the crotch situation that Kendall Jenner seems to be comfortable with. Refinery29 has drawn my attention to the Tarzan bikini, also referred to as the curtain string bikini, which is a bathing suit bottom that is essentially a maxi-pad of fabric attached to a string. I clicked through the slideshow and was pleasantly surprised to see the bathing suit on bodies that weren’t thin, but that gesture towards size inclusivity was not enough to make me feel better about the suit as a concept.

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Screenshot: Bissy Swim

This model seems to be squeezing every single muscle in her body and holding her breath, lest she exhale and reveal her pudenda to the world. The bathing suit is the same size in the front as in the back, which creates a “cheeky” look, but also, I don’t know, maybe some confusion? Like, confusion around which part of the bathing suit is the front and which part is the back, meaning that when you took it off to put on your little sleepy-time pants and then put it back on in the morning to go lay by the pool you run the risk of putting the bathing suit on backward, thereby doing a passive version of wiping back to front, which is not really how we’re supposed to do that activity.

I understand that this is some gesture towards the ’80s. I love fashion and begrudgingly respect the choices made by anyone interested in subjecting their nethers to this situation. But I feel like a “curtain string” bikini bottom would greatly increase the likelihood of a front wedgie, and also, if not arranged just so, would give the puss the appearance of a hastily wrapped pork butt or a side of beef. I’m not a doctor, but I am confused. How is this a tenable swimsuit and why?

(Updated 3/2/22 with new details)