The phrase “bikini body” may not have been popularized until the early ’60s, but by then, the reign of the modern beach babe was already well underway. Marilyn Monroe had been flashing her career-making curves in a two-piece swimsuit on the sand for nearly a decade, her healthy hourglass shape subconsciously setting the cultural bar for true surf-and-sun sensuality.
She joins a legacy of women who have cemented their place in history as present-day Venuses. From the mile-long limbs of Veruschka and Karlie Kloss, to the buxom shapes of Ursula Andress and Ashley Graham, and the chiseled frames of Serena Williams and Gisele Bündchen, the best bodies to ever set foot on the beach defy a singular ideal, instead acting as a reminder that the best asset for pulling off a gingham two-piece or simple maillot is always unbridled confidence.
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