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6 Iconic Bikini Moments We Love

It's that time again, folks: Bikini season!

By Nora Crotty, Allure

Whether you wait for it all year or are simply indifferent, there's no denying the impact those two itty bitty pieces of fabric — first introduced by French engineer and designer Louis RĂ©ard (yes, a man) in 1946 — have had on our culture. From launching careers to inciting controversy, the bikini remains as relevant today as it was nearly 70 years ago. Below, 6 iconic bikini moments we love.

1953 French film The Girl in the Bikini was one of the first movies to feature a woman wearing a two-piece. Star Brigitte Bardot has since been credited as having helped popularize the skimpy swimsuits, and has epitomized classic summer style for decades.

Considered to be the very first “Bond girl” for her appearance in 1962’s Dr. No, actress Ursula Andress said that she owes her whole career to the belted white bikini she wears in the film. "This bikini made me into a success,” she said in 2001. “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." Halle Berry’s orange bikini, seen in 2002’s Die Another Day, paid homage to the original.

If there’s one thing anyone remembers about 1982’s coming-of-age comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High, it’s probably Judge Reinhold’s fantasy of Phoebe Cates wearing (and then not wearing) this now-iconic red bikini.

On-screen for just about two minutes, Princess Leia’s golden “slave bikini” in 1983’s Return of the Jedi catapulted actress Carrie Fisher to sex symbol status among Star Wars fans. The sculptural ensemble sold at auction in 2015 for $96K.

Before model Kate Upton scored three covers of Sports Illustrated, she found fame online in 2012 when photographer Terry Richardson posted a video of her dancing to Rej3ctz’s “Cat Daddy” in a red bikini small enough to fit a six-year-old.

Though bikinis are no longer the mandated uniform for Olympic female beach volleyball players (the guidelines were changed in 2012 to be more “culturally inclusive,” writes USA Today) many players, including Team USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross, still choose to wear them.

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Women's Lifestyle: 6 Iconic Bikini Moments We Love
6 Iconic Bikini Moments We Love
It's that time again, folks: Bikini season!
Women's Lifestyle
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