Of Burkinis In fashion, Rio, Bans And Freedom

Burkinis, also known as modest swimwear, was designed by Australian designer Aheda Zanetti relatively recently in 2004. They are full-body swimsuits with a play on the words bikini and burqa.

France has been on a burkini ban spree, citing their main concern as one pertaining to wearing religious clothing in public, in the wake or recent terrorist attacks in the country. Photographs of French police asking a woman on the Nice beach to remove her burkini have kept the focus clearly on the controversial ban.

Responding to the uproar, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls defended a ban on burkinis in more than a dozen coastal towns, saying France was locked in a “battle of cultures” and that the full-body swimsuit symbolised the enslavement of women.

This is an interesting interpretation of the garment, as most Muslim women have the exact opposite perception of the full-body suits. Take the recent Rio Olympics Games, for instance. There were several instances of Islamic athletes competing wearing a burkini – which, given the rules of the faith they follow – would have been an unlikely occurrence had the garment not been in existence.

Burkinis, also known as modest swimwear, was designed by Australian designer Aheda Zanetti relatively recently in 2004. They are full-body swimsuits with a play on the words bikini and burqa. France has been on a burkini ban spree, citing their main concern as one pertaining to wearing religious clothing in public, in the wake or recent terrorist attacks in the country. Photographs of French police asking a woman on the Nice beach to remove her burkini have kept the focus clearly on the controversial ban. Responding to the uproar, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls defended a ban on burkinis in more than a dozen coastal towns, saying France was locked in a “battle of cultures” and that the full-body swimsuit symbolised the enslavement of women. This is an interesting interpretation of the garment, as most Muslim women have the exact opposite perception of the full-body suits. Take the recent Rio Olympics Games, for instance. There were several instances of Islamic athletes competing wearing a burkini – which, given the rules of the faith they follow – would have been an unlikely occurrence had the garment not been in existence.