Saturday, July 05, 2008

Beach Bikinis Scrubbed - World Record Safe

The Pensacola News Journal's sucky slick magazine, Bella, which aims itself at "fashionistas", is co-sponsoring on Pensacola Beach at 3 pm today a live "swimsuit" photo-shoot behind Crab's restaurant. Only "women 18 and older" are invited, the News Journal began reporting yesterday.

Here's the joke: until just a couple of days ago everyone connected with this misconceived Independence Day event was touting it as "the world's largest bikini photo-shoot." And the public was being told it was open to "any woman age 18-34."

Event sponsors originally claimed the event was being staged to break the "Guinness World Record" for the most "bikini" clad women in a single photo-shoot. (An early press release is here.) Now it's being said, rather more vaguely, that promoters are aiming "to help set a Guinness World Record for the most swimsuits in a photo shoot."

Meanwhile, someone is madly dashing around the Internet trying to scrub out the earlier "bikini" references as if they never existed. Compare the News Journal's "events" page then and now (click the image to read):

As of early Saturday morning, the SRIA's web site still carries the beach chamber's promo here. And Doug McAllister of Fun Coast Promotions hasn't yet changed the promoter's web site, either. "World Record Bikini Shoot," it advertises. "The Goal is to attract 1500 girls and break the Guinness World Record."

But just wait. Those references will soon disappear, too. The web scrubbers are still at work.

There is in fact a "bikini-shoot" record, if you're interested. But the local promoters got that one wrong from the start. It's no longer held by 1,010 Australian woman, as was being claimed. The current Guinness record, the New York Times helpfully reports, was set by 1,200 women in Guanzhou, China earlier this year.

Those record numbers, by the way, offer a clue about what's going on with the sudden switch from "bikinis" to "swimsuits" and "women from age 18-34" to "women 18 and older." As even the self-absorbed "fashionistas" at Bella could have told you, there aren't that many women in all of Northwest Florida who would wear a bikini in public; certainly not enough of them to break any world records.

This whole misadventure in beach promotion had to have been dreamed up, and approved of, by men. Men who were thinking with the wrong part of their bodies.



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