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  • A bikini is generally a two-piece swimsuit that comprises panties-style bottoms that cover at least a female's crotch and a bra-style top that covers at least her breasts, but which leaves her midriff exposed, and usually the navel and waist. The size of a bikini bottom can range from full pelvic coverage to a revealing thong or g-string design. The modern bikini was popularised by French engineer Louis Réard and separately by fashion designer Jacques Heim in Paris in 1946. The take up of the style was controversial, and many western countries banned it from beaches and public places, with the Vatican declaring it sinful. Popularized by filmstars like Brigitte Bardot and Ursula Andress it became common in most western countries by the mid-1960s. Though widely popular, the bikini continues to be controversial with it being banned in parts of the world, and even in western countries it is banned in schools and commonly covered in places away from the beach or swimming pool. The original bikini style has developed in popular culture a positive connotation, giving raise to variations of the term being used to describe stylistic variations.

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