Jul 18, 2013

Styles Change. I'll Never Wear a 1920’s Bathing Suit!

Smoking is Outdated; Vaping's In Vogue. What Fashion Statement Are You Making? 

I love many of the fashions from the 1920’s flapper period, with one major exception: their bathing suits.

Bathing suits from the 1920’s now look incredibly outdated, overly modest and downright uncomfortable to me. During these dog days of July, I’m thankful for the bathing suits we have now, and that I don’t have to don the beribboned bloomers from back then.

This looks more like a dress than a bathing suit to me. 
However, these bathing suits were a tremendous improvement from the late 1800’s Victorian bathing costumes.

Those things were made of heavy flannel or wool, with three-quarter length trousers and tops looking like overcoats. Then, you put all that on over your black stockings, lace-up slippers, and finally pull on your bathing cap. Ugh. No thanks!

When women finally got the right to vote (Aug. 18, 1920), a lot changed for them. Dress hemlines were raised to mid-knee, and their swimsuits also shrunk: necklines were lowered and armholes began to get bigger. Bathing caps topped off the look, protecting the bob haircuts that were all the rage.

Women's bathing suits from 1920's. Not exactly flattering. 
When women finally gained the right to vote, it increased her sense of entitlement, freedom and independence.

Naturally, tobacco companies took full advantage, and began marketing cigarettes such as Lucky Strikes (Virginia Slims wasn’t introduced until the 1960’s) directly to women, featuring heroines such as Amelia Earhart.

These ads were smart, hitting women in their weak spot, appealing not just to their newfound sense of identity, but to their body image and vanity. They showed beautiful, slim, carefree and confident women, and made exaggerated claims about how Lucky Strikes could improve your life and help them slim down. In a particularly aggressive campaign, they even urged women to “reach for a Lucky instead of a sweet.”

We've come a long way, baby.
And we're not just talking about bathing suits.
Since then, to borrow one of Big Tobacco's famous tag lines, we’ve come a long way, baby.

And that doesn’t just apply to bathing suits; it also applies to cigarettes (now e-cigarette starter kits), cigarette cases (now e-cigarette cases), and much, much more.

We now know with complete and utter certainty how bad smoking is for you. We don't need to dwell on that. But some women still like the sensation and the habit of smoking.

And thankfully, we now have a whole new alternative to smoking called vaping. It's here to stay, because it offers a great new way to enjoy the sensation of smoking without the huge health risks.

I also strongly believe that it should eventually replace traditional cigarettes, much like today's bathing suits, now made of spandex and Lycra, have replaced the silk and wool bloomers of yesteryear.

We even have lots of choices in the styles, sizes and colors of e-cigarettes we can buy – heavy smokers might prefer the larger, EGO-style battery, while social smokers tend to prefer the slimmer, 510 battery that's lightweight and more closely resembles a traditional cigarette.

We have tons of choices in e-cig flavors – something that cigarettes can’t begin to rival.

And we have a product that in the long run is much, much cheaper than buying real cigarettes, especially now that taxes on them are going way, way up.

I’m heading out to the beach this weekend, and while I may not be wearing a string bikini, I promise you I won’t be wearing silk bloomers or carrying a parasol.

Next time you head out for a night on the town, think carefully about which fashion statement you’ll be making. Will it be outmoded cigarettes or the hip and healthier alternative?

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