The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘swimwear’

Can Jennifer Hawkins Help You Find The Perfect Bikini? Not If You Aren’t A Size 8 To 16

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 29, 2008

Former Miss Universe and TV presenter Jennifer Hawkins has surprised few by taking the tried and true career route of celebrity fashion designer, launching a swimwear range in collaboration with Myer, called Cozi. At first, Hawko’s reasons for starting the line seemed promising:

Hawkins said she had kept her girlfriends in mind when designing the range and believed that the sizes and styles in the range catered for all Australian women.

Sounds good, but then, not so much:

“I’ve got a girlfriend and she’s tiny and she wanted a bit of padding in there and I’ve got another girlfriend with a really big bust and no butt and she wanted something that would make her boobs understated and her booty a bit bigger. There’s something in there for everyone.”


The swimwear range, which includes bikinis and one-pieces in a variety of colours and patterns in sizes 8 to 16, features kaftans and cover-ups and will sold exclusively in Myer stores.

I appreciate that swimwear isn’t the world’s most confidence-inspiring clothing item, but there’s something about the way Hawkins describes her line that worries me – I can see she’s going for a ‘make yourself feel beautiful’ angle, but by creating a line of bathers that shrinks and swells and pads and prods, it says, very subtly, “You aren’t beautiful until you’ve corrected all those annoying body faults with the help of my swimwear!”

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Dame Helen Mirren’s Red Bikini: It’s Okay To Be Old, So Long As You’re “Hot”

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 24, 2008

(Note: If you haven’t seen the photos of Dame Helen Mirren on holidays in her red bikini yet, have a look, lest the rest of this post make no sense.)

I’ve to’ed and fro’ed over the whole “OMG Helen Mirren in a bikini!” fuss for the past week – there’s no doubt that Mirren looks smashing in her swimsuit, but it’s the media and blogosphere’s reaction that bothers me, because the not-so-hidden undertones to the coverage essentially say, “See, we’ll put a 63-year-old woman in our paper! (Provided she looks ‘hot’.)”

If Mirren stepped out in a bikini with equal confidence but instead showed off varicose veins, a sagging bosom or crepey skin, you can bet your boots the papers would be howling, “Put some clothes on, nanna!”

And while much of the coverage purports to be batting for visibility on behalf of older women, I can’t help but feel as though all this does is exert yet more pressure on women – both older and younger – who don’t manage to fit into that small and unforgiving genre of appearance known as “hot”.

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Posted in body image, Celebrity, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »