Swimsuits That Changed the World

From Bettie Page’s sexy leopard print to the bikinis of James Bond girls, VIEW OUR GALLERY of the most infamous and iconic bathing suits in history.

Zuma / Newscom

Zuma / Newscom

Marilyn Monroe

The Some Like It Hot star’s white one-piece revealed little but spoke volumes to her fans in the 1950s.

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Bo Derek

The model starred in the 1979 film 10 alongside Dudley Moore and shocked audiences with her nude swimsuit. She quickly became a sex symbol because of the suit—and, of course, her unique hairstyle.

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Farrah Fawcett

The infamous poster of the late Charlie’s Angels star broke records by selling 12 million copies worldwide.

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Before he became the impeccably groomed and hairless Bruno, comedian Sacha Baron Cohen bared almost everything in a neon green thong as his fictional alter-ego Borat.


Bond Girls

Ursula Andress set the standard for all future Bond girls in the first Bond adaptation Dr. No. Halle Berry mimicked the famous scene in the 2002 film Die Another Day.

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Rita Hayworth

The actress graced the cover of Life magazine in August 1941, a mere two years before marrying legendary director Orson Welles.


Barack Obama

Photos of the Obamas vacationing in Hawaii rocketed around the Internet shortly after his election. The paparazzi snaps show that the president, not surprisingly, prefers black board shorts over anything more daring.

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Betty Grable

The dancer, singer, and actress became the No. 1 pinup girl for soldiers during World War II on the basis of her famous looking-over-the-shoulder bathing suit photo.

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Princess Leia

Actress Carrie Fisher provided one of the most memorable moments in Return of the Jedi. As Jabba the Hutt’s slave in the third Star Wars film, she wore a gold metal bikini and long loincloth that won over many, many fans.

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Phoebe Cates

In the 1982 teen film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Cates dropped her bikini top and changed the lives of young boys everywhere.

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Daniel Craig

Quite a few James Bond fans doubted that Craig could live up to legendary 007 Sean Connery. But his gritty portrayal of Bond in Casino Royale won over male fanboys, and when he emerged from the ocean in a light blue La Perla suit, female fans were swooning, as well.

AP Photo


The first edition of Barbie, which was released in 1964 and went on to sell around 350,000 dolls, wore a black and white zebra swimsuit.

Terry O'Neill, Hulton Archive / Getty Images; AP Photo

The Olympians

Mark Spitz won seven Olympic gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games and quickly became a pinup for the ladies in his patriotic Speedo. At the 2008 Olympic Games, Michael Phelps donned a swimsuit designed for speed and beat Spitz’s record, taking home eight gold medals.

Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images

Bettie Page

Before Bettie came onto the scene in the 1950s, photographs of bikinis—much less tiny leopard print ones—were rarely made public. The pinup girl’s iconic images helped land her a centerfold spread as Playboy’s Playmate of the Month.