If you didn't already know, a bikini is a womens two piece swimming costume. You get two triangular pieces of fabric to cover up your boobs, and a pair of bottoms to cover up your tush. That's it. That's your lot.
New bikini designs still make the headlines today. Parody Instagram accounts roasted this seat-belt style bikini top earlier this month, and women the world over lost their minds when they saw this Beginning Boutique bikini ad. - sure, those bottoms are wearable, as long as you don't plan on moving/sneezing/breathing whilst you're in them! If bikinis are causing controversy today, you can imagine the public uproar when they were first invented in the late 1940s. No runway model would wear clothing designer Louis Réard's creation, so he hired a nude dancer to model his bikini at a review of swimsuit fashions instead.
Pictured above: The first bikini, and in the next picture, its creator Louis Réard.
How has swimsuit fashion changed over time?
The bikini has undergone many changes, from the crocheted tops of the 1970s to super high-waisted briefs of the 1980s, the colourful prints of the 1990s to today's fashion, where we've seen a resurgence in thong-style bikini bottoms.
How popular are bikinis now?
Bikinis continue to be immensely popular. Although the one-piece is having a moment, this hasn't caused a drop in the number of bikinis you'll see on any beach in the world during summer.
What makes a good 'bikini body'?
Once upon a time in order to have a 'beach body' , your body had to be 'the best body'. But what does that even mean? Is the best body one that matches the era's social construct of what it means to be beautiful? Is the best body one that's able, or are people who are differently abled allowed to have a 'bikini body' too? Does the best bikini body always belong to a woman? We say, just put a bikini on your body and boom, job done!
The Top 50 Best Bikini Bodies in The World
50. Grace Kelly
Pictured: Grace Kelly
Overview: When Mika sang "I try to be like Grace Kelly" he wasn't just speaking for himself. The actress, who would later become the Princess of Monaco, looks a vision of loveliness in this white, high-waisted bikini.
49. Audrey Hepburn
Pictured: Audrey Hepburn and her son Luca
Overview: We get so used to seeing young pictures of Audrey that we forget that she lived to be 63. Here she is at age 43 with her two year old son Luca.
48. Elizabeth Taylor
Pictured: Elizabeth Taylor
Year: Circa 1956
Overview: This shot was taken whilst filming the 1956 epic 'Giant'. Elizabeth was famously married 7 times, twice to Richard Burton, so its impossible to argue that she wasn't in high demand.
47. Ursula Andress in 'Dr. No'
Pictured: Ursula Andress
Overview: This was the first Bond movie, and Ursula certainly set the standard for every Bond girl to come. She and Tessa Prendergast, the Dr. No costumer designer, designed the bikini to fit Ursula's 5'6", 36–24–36 frame. Of her big moment, Ursula later said "This bikini made me into a success. As a result of starring in Dr. No as the first Bond girl, I was given the freedom to take my pick of future roles and to become financially independent."
46. Bettie Page
Pictured: Bettie Page
Year: Circa 1950s
Overview: Pin-up Queen Bettie Page was Playboy's January 1955 Playmate of The Month, and it's not hard to see why. The model looks just as good in a bikini as she did in lingerie.
45. Diana, Princess of Wales
Pictured: Princess Diana
Year: Circa 1990s.
Overview: Diana was frequently snapped in fashionable swimming costumes during the 90s. She was very much on trend then, and continues to be a style icon for so many today.
44. The Spice Girls on Holiday
Pictured: The Spice Girls
Overview: Yo, We'll tell you what we want, what we really, really want - The Spice Girls to tour in Australia again! Until then, we'll have to be content with this nostalgic bikini picture.
43. Chanel's Itsy Bitsy Bathing Suit
Pictured: Models Carla Bruni, Shalom Harlow, and Stella Tennant
Overview: It was shocking then, and to be honest it's still shocking now. It was Chanel's 1996 'itsy bitsy bikini' and you nearly need a microscope to find it. Kim Kardashian owns a pair and has no problem showing off her vintage haul.
42. Pamela Anderson
Pictured: Pamela Anderson
Year: Circa 1990a
Overview: Pammy is most famous for her red Baywatch one-piece, but the actress can still wear a bikini like nobody's business
41. Jennifer Lopez
Pictured: Jennifer Lopez aka JLo
Overview: Don't be fooled by the abs that she's got, she's still Jenny from the Block! Jen looking insanely hot as ever while on holiday.
40. Rachel Hunter in the 'Stacey's Mom' music video
Pictured: Rachel Hunter
Overview: If there was a Stacey in your year at school, chances are she won't have fond memories of this song - but everyone else will and that's all that matters! Rachel Hunter was a fan of the band Fountains of Wayne and the song, so she was more than happy to play the titular roll in the music video.
39. Kendall Jenner
Pictured: Kendall Jenner
Overview: Legs for days! We love this blue-and-white polka dot number on Kendall.
38. Jayne Mansfield
Pictured: Jayne Mansfield
Year: Circa 1950s
Overview: Actress Jayne Mansfield was one of the earliest ever Playboy Playmates, so it's only right that she and this cute green bikini get a place on this list!
Overview: What a makeover! Kelis looks so different since here her 2003 hit, a beverage that here will remain nameless, and we're in love. The hair, the print on that bikini, the whole vibe of this picture, full marks.
36. The Entire Cast of 'Spring Breakers'
Pictured: (From left to right) Selena Gomez, Ashley Benson, Rachel Korine and Vanessa Hudgens
Overview: It felt like all the main characters ever wore in this crime/drama film were bikinis, so it has clearly earned a place on this list.
35. Lindsay Lohan
Pictured: Lindsay Lohan
Year: Circa 2005
Overview: Mid 00s Lindsay was, and continues to be, a huge mood. The fact that she's holding a digital camera in this photo is giving us life.
34. Adriana Lima
Pictured: Adriana Lima
Year: Circa 1999
Overview: Victoria's Secret model Adriana Lima was snapped up by the brand in 1999 when she was 18 years old. By this time, she had already won 'Supermodel of Brazil' at age 15 .
33. Gisele Bündchen
Pictured: Gisele Bündchen
Overview: 19 year old Gisele is photographed for Big Magazine in 1999, by the controversial photographer Terry Richardson.
32. Reese Witherspoon in 'Legally Blonde'
Pictured: Reese Witherspoon
Overview: Elle Woods doing her Harvard Admissions Essay in a pink sparkly bikini is the energy we aspire to possess .
Overview: Lizzo emerging from the depths like the pure goddess she is. We know she only just gifted us with a new album, but already we can't wait for more music!
30. Britney Spears
Pictured: Britney Spears
Overview: We're loving this canary yellow off-the-shoulder bikini top Brit! This collage is from the star's own Instagram, and the pictures were taken whilst on holiday in Miami.
29. Miley Cyrus
Pictured: Miley Cyrus
Overview: Compared to that last Chanel bikini we saw, this is basically a rash vest! Miley models for Chanel earlier this year in this divine string bikini.
28. Tyra Banks
Pictured: Tyra Banks
Overview: "We're in love with this purple bikini Tyra!" we scream at the ANTM judge and talkshow host from the sand. Trust us - never in our lives have we ever yelled at a girl like this.
27. Ruby Rose in The Meg
Pictured: Ruby Rose
Overview: Model and actress Ruby Rose does Australia proud wherever she goes. The shot was taken during the filming of science fiction/action movie The Meg, .
Pictured: Singer and businesswoman Rihanna
Year: Circa 2013
In between singing, running Fenty Beauty and making inclusive Fenty Lingerine, Rihanna still finds time to look gorgeous in a bikini. We'll drink to that!
25. Jessica Simpson in The Dukes of Hazzard
Pictured: Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson was unforgettable as the bikini-clad Daisy Duke in the 2005 remake of The Dukes of Hazzard. She may have famous confused chicken and fish, but she was one of the hottest bikini bodies around in the 00's.
24. Cameron Diaz in Knight and Day
Pictured: Cameron Diaz
"How did I get in the bikini?" Cameron Diaz's character asks in this scene from the 2010 film Knight and Day. We have our own questions Cameron, the first of which is did you know you've got one of the sexiest bikini bodies we have ever seen?
23. Demi Moore in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle
Pictured: Demi Moore
Demi was 41 when she starred in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle, a full decade older than her co-star Cameron Diaz. Did that stop her from putting her best bikini body forward? No sir! Demi was, and continues to be, a radiant beauty and a style icon for women the world over.
22. Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider-The Cradle of Life
Pictured: Angelina Jolie
It is impossible to talk about mind-blowing celebrity bikini bodies without mentioning the stunning Angelina Jolie. The Tomb Raider franchise established Angelina as a leading Hollywood actress. Today, she is as well known for her human rights work as she is for her acting. Beauty, compassion and brains - Ange is truly the total package.
21. Brooke Shields
Pictured: (From right to left) Brooke Shields & Ashley Graham
Two Queens in one photo! Can you believe Brooke Shields is 53 in this picture? Together she and model Ashley Graham were part of the inclusive Swimsuits For All campaign. That's the spirit ladies, supporting each other is the way to go.
20. Rosing Huntington-Whiteley
Pictured: Rosi Huntington-Whiteley
The English model and actress channels old world glamour whilst on holiday in Capri, Italy. She is a former Victoria's Secret Angel, so it's no wonder she has one of the best bikini bodies in the world.
19. Paris Hilton
Pictured: Paris Hilton
She gave us The Simple Life and invented "That's hot" - it's Paris Hilton, the 00's socialite and heiress. Here she's looking like a living Barbie Doll as she cleans her pool. We hope you've got sunscreen on Paris love!
18. Florence Given
Pictured: Florence Given
Is it a bra, is it a bikini? Do we care - no, because it's Floss! The activist and illustrator is a dramatic blonde woman who glows wherever she goes. Here she is in all her glory reminding us to 'Dump Him!'
17. Megan Fox in This Is 40
Pictured: Megan Fox
In This is 40, actress and model Megan Fox plays shop girl Desi. Profits have gone up since Desi joined the team, and everyone has a fair idea why that is!
16. Kim Kardashian-West
Pictured: Kim Kardashian-West
Kim Kardashian-West has been slammed for not dressing 'like a mother' but what does that even mean? Mums can flaunt their sexuality, mums can be nude and mums can definitely swim in a bikini! You keep doing you Kimmy.
15. Sofia Vergara
Pictured: Sofia Vergara
Year: Circa 1990s
Sofia Vergara posted this stunning 90's throwback on her Instagram, and if this picture was ours we would do the same! Before Sofia became one of the highest paid women in American television, she was a successful model and we can see why.
14. Jennifer Aniston in Just Go With It
Pictured: Jennifer Aniston
"She takes spinning classes like they're M&Ms" says Jen's on-screen son, and we're inclined to agree. If you could stop putting us all to shame for just one second Jennifer, we'd all be eternally grateful.
13. Priyanka Chopra Jonas
Pictured: Priyanka Chopra Jones
Actress and singer Prinyanka Chopra is a beauty queen, philanthropist and she's hella intelligent ( she wanted to study aeronautical engineering before her on-screen career took off). We are living for this green bikini, off-the-shoulder combo.
12. Serena Williams
Pictured: Serena Williams
Serena captioned this post 'Just Because', and it's currently still her Instagram display picture. And for good reason too, have you ever seen a woman looking so strong and powerful?
11. Kate Upton
Pictured: Kate Upton
American model and actress Kate Upton posted this very fitting picture for National Bikini Day. After starring on multiple Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue covers, we definitely respect her choice of image!
10. Naomi Campbell
Pictured: Naomi Campbell
The English supermodel and businesswoman posted this breathtaking 'behind-the-scenes- shot on her Instagram. She's wearing what looks like an animal print bikini, and she's wearing it like she was born to do so.
9. Megan Jayne Crabbe
Pictured: Megan Jayne Crabbe aka 'Bodi Posi Panda'
The body positive activist and blogger wears a gorgeous embroidered bikini in this Instagram post. It's almost pointless to say it suits her, because everything Megan wears is pure fire.
8. Beyoncé in Drunk In Love
If you say this video clip doesn't stir something in you, you're lying. Queen Bee sizzles in the black and white video for her saucy track Drunk In Love. Jay is a very lucky man idea.
7. Helen Mirren
Pictured: Helen Mirren
Pictures of Helen Mirren in her red bikini caused such a stir that she eventually auctioned off the bikini itself for charity. Now if that doesn't deserve a spot on our list, we don't know what does!
6. Ashley Graham
Pictured: Ashley Graham
Model Ashley Graham wears a string bikini like a pro in her recent campaign for Swimsuits For All. We are living for the block colour bottoms and the patterned top - but then again we'd probably fan girl over anything Ashley modelled.
5. Elle Macpherson
Pictured: Elle Macpherson
She isn't know as The Body for no reason. Australia's own Elle Macpherson posted this beautiful 1980s throwback on her personal Instagram account. Isn't her smile infectious?
4. Tess Holliday
Pictured: Tess Holliday
Tess Holliday's Instagram account is constantly under fire from body shaming trolls and the fatphobic. But the #EffYourBeautyStandards creator couldn't give a damn, she's too busy slaying on the daily. Here she is cooling off on a recent holiday to Mexico.
3. Marilyn Monroe
Pictured: Marilyn Monroe
Year: Circa mid 1940s - early 1950s
Here's a lady who needs no introduction. You can see that the bikini Marilyn is wearing covers her navel, which tells us that this was the earlier, more demure style of the swimsuit. You may have seen posts on social media that claimed that Marilyn would be a size 14-16 in modern sizes today, but posts like these aren't accurate. Today, Marilyn would fit into clothes sized S to XS. Norma Jean was indeed a stunning woman, but there are other plus size women we can look up to instead of pretending that Marilyn herself was one.
2. Chidera Eggerue aka The Slumflower
Pictured: Chidera Eggerue, also known as The Slumflower
The caption reads 'Far too cute to cover up' and we certainly agree! The influencer and author (check out her book What A Time To Be Alone) has taught us a lot about self-love, Chidera is also the face behind the #SaggyBoobsMatter hashtag, so she was always going to rank high on our list.
1. Halle Berry in Die Another Day
Pictured: Halle Berry
Halle Berry's Bond girl Jinx made franchise history when she left the water in that eye catching orange bikini. The scene was a homage to earlier Bond girl Ursula Andress, complete with diving knife to match. Despite what you might think from the sun and the sea, in reality shooting took place on a cold and windy day. Footage exists of tough as nails Halle wrapping up in towels between takes to stay warm. Halle won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in A Motion Picture for her role as Jinx that year and she comes in at No.1 on our list.