What Does A Bikini Say About The Woman Who Wears It?

Here’s the most ridiculous thing I know about the bikini: A 1949 article in the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano reportedly likened the skimpy two-piece swimsuit to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. And yet, 67 years later, Hollywood has yet to make a movie about four women in bikinis who are members of a horse gang. Major missed opportunity.

Of course, the bikini itself has been a consistent presence on the big screen, often serving as a way to telegraph a character's identity. Why tell an audience that Martha isn't well-versed in Renaissance hermeticism when we can just show them she isn’t by putting her in a hot-pink G-string? (That's Hollywood's thinking, btw.) With that in mind, I’ve gone through some of the most iconic bikinis in film and drawn some rather far-fetched conclusions about what those itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny little bathing suits tell us about the characters wearing them.

For the record, this is not a comprehensive list, nor is it a definitive ranking of the best bikini moments in movies, or an analysis of beachwear trends throughout history. The suits are in chronological order, and I’ve given each look a made-up name.

No bikinis were harmed in the making of this list.

Warning: Spoilers ahead, but the most recent movie included is from 2014, so you’re probably fine.