1600 B.C.
Wall paintings on the Greek isle of Crete show women in revealing two-pieces. Men across the Greek Empire rejoice—except those Spartans from 300 who are too busy training for war.
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1932
The controversial musical, Footlight Parade, features underwater choreography with women wearing naval-covering precursors to the bikini. Not to mention a threesome loving midget.
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1946
French designer Louis Reard creates the "bikini,” which he named after a U.S. Nuclear Test Site during World War II. He thought the suit would have an explosive effect.
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July 1946
Reard's suit was so scandalous, however, that French models treated them like dinner: They avoided it. So he enlisted exotic dancer Micheline Bernardini to model it at the Piscine Molitor in Paris. The lesson: Never hire a model to do a stripper's job.
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1958
By the mid-‘50s, bikini-clad women were all over the French Riviera, but when Brigitte Bardot cavorted around in And God Created Women, she made a believer out of even the most ardent atheist.
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1963
Beach Party, the first of the countless beach-themed movies starring former Mouseketeer Annette Funicello, fills theaters. Americans finally realize how uptight they've been. Soon after, Mike and Carol Brady are sharing a bed, and Paris Hilton's coochie is all over the Internet.
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January 1964
Model Babette March wears a white two piece on the cover of Sports Illustrated's inaugural swimsuit issue. It forever links men's two favorite pastimes: sports and sex.
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1974
Brazilians do it better—and with less fabric. The tanga suit, which is even skimpier than the traditional bikini, minimizes tan lines with its dental floss-string bottom. Within two weeks, Bloomingdale's sells out its initial shipment of 150 suits. The Hamptons would never be the same.
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1983
Sex-starved Star Wars geeks spontaneously combust at the sight of Princess Leia in a gold-lamé bikini in Return of the Jedi. Unsurprisingly, the bounty hunter Boba Fett had the same effect on some fanboys.
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1996
Talk about brush strokes: Georgiana Robertson becomes the first Sports Illustrated swimsuit model to rock body painted-on swimwear. It's a clever loophole that skirts the magazine's no-nudity policy.
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1997
Back before she was rivaling Oprah in the mogul game, Tyra Banks was all boobs and flat stomach on the cover of Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue. Whatever kept her away from a TV studio was fine with us.
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2007
U.S. designer Andrew Schneider's solar-paneled garment, which allows women to charge their iPod, phone or other USB-compatible gadget while sunbathing, is a score for the Green movement. But we beg Al Gore, please don't cop one for Tipper.
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