Saturday, June 16, 2012

BUDGIE SMUGGLERS


I have a question to throw out into the great cosmic void… “Why, oh dear God, WHY is it okay to wear budgie smugglers in public, in Australia?” Not only are these skin-tight, band-aid sized pieces of fabric worn, but they are worn PROUDLY! I mean…what’s up with that?!

I grew up always being aware of the existence of this particularly miniscule-sized item of men’s clothing. After all, Ken (Barbie’s boyfriend) wore them! They have also been famously worn by super heroes like Superman. (With the body to pull it off I might add!) And to be fair, these garments are worn today by competitive swimmers, but even then they have a specific place and purpose for wearing them!

On my recent trip to Lorne, Victoria, Australia April 2012
What exactly, is a budgie smuggler, you ask? Well, Americans know them generically as Speedos! Aussie’s affectionately refer to them as “a-4-letter-word-rhyming-with-Rick bathers!” Yes, that’s right! When you wander out onto the iconic beaches of Australia to enjoy the sunshine, beautiful white sand beaches and blue ocean waves, you might also find yourself unintentionally ogling an Aussie man, butt naked, except for the postage-sized swimsuit covering his…uh…er… “budgie!” Instead of gazing upon the gorgeous, scenic surf and sand, you might find yourself wanting to look the other way!

At this point I find it necessary to defend the men of Australia. Fortunately not all of them feel it is important to parade their “stuff” on the public beaches in front of women and children. In fact, most of them do not! (For which I am most grateful!) Most are wise enough to know that they could potentially scar children for life! Besides, what’s the point of wearing one if we are too embarrassed to look!

I grew up at the beach…a tourist destination on the Oregon coast, and I can honestly say that in spite of growing up there, I managed to go throughout my life without being “blessed” by seeing a Speedo worn in public! So why is it that some Aussie men find sharing their glorious naked bodies with God and everyone a totally respectable thing to do? I mean, where’s the Australian tourism industry when you need them???!



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16 comments:

  1. Did you come here to educate us on what is acceptable swimwear. Speedo is an Australian icon. The company started on Bondi beach in 1928, and they invented the brief style in 1961. The cossie is worn by many as a matter of national pride.

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    1. sometimes people just have to take a leaf out of Australian lifestyle, and stop taking the world so seriously.

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    2. Obviously a budgie smuggler wearer? I didn't come to Australia to educate anyone. I don't take myself that seriously! Just having fun with the differences that I observe. It's all tongue-in-cheek.

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    3. Sorry Warwick, can't accept that Speedo invented the style in 1961. It was the standard beach dress for males in the late '40s onwards in Blighty. And in '50s USA.
      Nowadays, alas, we've gone all shy and the only people I see wearing them are those who always have.

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    4. Totally agree with Dayna Trueman; too many men who should not wear them are gallivanting around with them.

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  2. Thanks Warwick! I know the Speedo was invented by Australians. I give you guys cudos for that! It looks great on some men, and that's fine...but some of the others, well....

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  3. Thats true; you do need a level of fitness to pull em off...umm I mean, put them on. You know what I mean

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  4. How is it any different to women wearing bikinis? They are tiny, tight material hugging parts of the body.

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  5. It may just be a U.S. thing, but you just don't see American men on the beach in a Speedo. I'm guessing it's more common to see men dressed this way on the beach in Europe as well as Australia? I wonder what other countries might consider this a "normal" way to dress on the beach?

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  6. Just an FYI (and a gigglr), in my family they are know as a four-letter-word-that-rhymes-with-Rick stickers!!!!!!

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    1. Lol. Yes, I knew that. But thanks for sharing for other readers to enjoy! ;)

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  7. I'm an Australian living in America, and I find this topic very interesting because it is emblematic of a bigger issue. I have to say: I find American men very shy with their bodies and rather prudish. I remember thinking that the "privacy shields" at the urinals were hilarious. (Actually, I find Americans kind of prudish, full stop) Australians have a reputation for machismo, but I find American men MUCH worse. Specifically, American men seem terrified of being seen as "feminine" in any way. The other day someone laughed at me because I was wearing a scarf. Apparently they're regarded as being "for girls". I find this American horror of male nudity to be somehow linked to the American fear of emasculation - a man baring himself is making himself vulnerable and, therefore, "feminine". As another poster says: how are budgie smugglers different to bikinis. And, of course, it's very common to see topless women at the beach in Oz. As for the fear that "children might see them" - huh? I grew up wearing them, my dad wore them and they were comparatively decent, because I saw him naked all the time. In fact I remember he once screamed at me for watching TV in the morning while he was stark naked. I don't know what's caused it, but I have noticed a decline in men at the beach in Speedos in Australia. Now the guys who wear them are mostly older or gay. I don't know why this is, but I suspect it's an American influence. Wog boys seem to wear them a bit more, because they have a bit more of a European easiness, but I do wish Aussie men would actually go back to Speedos. I prefer it to American self-consciousness.

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    1. Thanks for your response. I appreciate your view on the subject. Perhaps you could blame Quicksilver, Rip Curl and Billabong for the lack of Speedos. Seems like all they sell is board shorts any more. Personally, I'm a much bigger fan of those! ;)

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    2. Over the years since WWII I've seen girls wearing less and less on the beach; boys more and more.

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  8. Totally agree with Dayna Trueman; too many men who should not wear them are gallivanting around with them.

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