Swimwear, surfwear, and the bronzed body in Australia

Craik, Jennifer (2010) Swimwear, surfwear, and the bronzed body in Australia. In Eicher, Joanne B. (Ed.) Berg Encyclopedia of World Dress and Fashion. Berg Publishers, Oxford; New York.

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Moral Debates about Swimwear in Colonial Australia

While the beach and surfing connote freedom, active sports, and outdoor leisure, the history of swimwear and surfwear in Australia is one of successive attempts to regulate swim and surf behavior and sanction appropriate modes of dress. In short, swimwear ignited cyclical battles between modesty and immodesty. The legacy of Victorian morality was intense concern about the naked body, and bathing costumes inevitably created a play between revelation and concealment. While the swimmer might revel in being seen in her/his athletic glory, the spectator also revels in watching the spectacle of the swimmer. In years past, brazen young men known as “Kodak fiends” were accused of loitering by the shore or pool to catch apparitions of “Venuses” rising from the sea. In essence, swimwear and spectatorship are intertwined.

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ID Code: 99525
Item Type: Reference Entry
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.2752/BEWDF/EDch7019
ISBN: 9781847888563
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Deposited On: 26 Sep 2016 23:27
Last Modified: 26 Sep 2016 23:31

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