Letters: Bikinis In Women's Volleyball

Listeners responded to Tuesday's story on the subject of swimsuits — specifically, the bikinis that the women's Olympic beach volleyball players wear. Many listeners weren't satisfied with the explanation.

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MICHELE NORRIS, host:

Now, your comments on yesterday's program - most of them had to do with bathing suits.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

We brought you some explanation of why Olympic women's beach volleyball players wear bikinis.

Former player Holly McPeak said that players like bikinis because they are comfortable. Well, we got a number of e-mails from listeners not satisfied with that.

NORRIS: Oh, come on, that's from Susan Reiner(ph) of Colorado Springs. She put a common complaint succinctly. If bikinis are so overwhelmingly functional, why aren't the men wearing them?

SIEGEL: And Cecilia Merz(ph) of Boise, Idaho wrote in with this: Buying the argument that bikinis provide comfort for the players requires suspension of disbelief. Frequent TV zoom shots give ample evidence that the uniforms were designed to provide stimulation for male viewers. No disrespect to the athletes - but their provocatively immodest dress left me wondering whether I was watching the Olympic Games or reruns of "Baywatch."

NORRIS: We did get one letter from a listener who didn't think any explanation was necessary. It's from Katya Cullen(ph) of Clemson, South Carolina. She writes: Why is America all hung up about the use of bikinis in the women's beach volleyball competition? I grew up in Brazil, where the bikini is a national uniform in going to the beach than national pastime. Bikinis are truly the most comfortable attire for sandy beaches. Give me a break. Grow up, America.

SIEGEL: Well, send us your comments by going to our Web site, npr.org. Click on Contact Us at the top of the page.

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