It’s hard to imagine a world without Sports Illustrated’s highly anticipated swimsuit edition, but believe it or not, the bikini has not been around forever. The world was introduced to the bikini on July 5, 1946 by a French engineer named Louis Reard. The explosive new two-piece staple was named after Bikini Atoll—a site used for nuclear testing.

Reard had a difficult time finding a model to wear the bikini because it was just a little too scandalous back then. He turned to Micheline Bernardini who was a nude dancer and had no problems revealing some skin.

 

Bernardini made quite the impression and received an enormous amount of fan mail.

Nowadays, most women have at least one (or several) bikini bathing suit to wear every summer. We have come a long way, but we are still making improvements.

Ashley Graham, for example, made quite the splash when she became the first plus-sized model to be featured in Sports Illustrated in 2016.

What’s your favorite bikini look?

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