Australians have been divided over a call to ban G-string bikinis on Gold Coast beaches, with many labelling the move “sexist”.
The fierce debate erupted after long-time community worker Ian Grace pleaded for local Mayor Tom Tate to prohibit the skimpy swimwear in a letter published by the Gold Coast Bulletin on Saturday.
Mr Grace, the 2022 Gold Coast Volunteer of the Year, explained he was desperate for women to “cover up” as the tiny tog trend left him feeling “uncomfortable”.
Detailing an incident in which a woman, who was apparently “as close to naked as anyone could be” had walked past him recently, Mr Grace claimed he “inadvertently” looked at her, writing that while it was “a pleasant view” she was sending the “wrong message”.
“At a local event where our musicians were playing, one young lady in particular was walking on the footpath on the main road and had the tiniest triangle in front and was as close to naked as anyone could be,” Mr Grace wrote.
“You could see she was looking almost defiantly at people as they approached, almost daring them to say something. There’s something very wrong here.
“While any man would enjoy ‘the view’, I believe women are very much demeaning and cheapening themselves, portraying themselves as sex objects, then decrying it when men see them that way.
“Bare bums can be seen to be every bit as erotic if not more so, than women’s bare breasts – so would it not make sense they are banned identically? If not banned at the beach, very definitely banned the moment they are off the beach.
“This certainly should not be allowed in public pools or theme/water parks which are very much more family orientated. Young kids don’t need to see women’s bums.”
Mr Grace said the problem wasn’t just exclusive to bikinis at beaches, but also lamented at “skin-tight” activewear, which he’d run into at coffee shops and other public venues.
“Innocently I admired a shapely bare bum on the beach, and was taken aback and felt uncomfortable when that same young lady was later serving me coffee,” he penned.
“I almost felt like I had inadvertently violated her privacy.
“It also goes far from the beach and bikinis, when you look at the ‘crevice filler’ outfits women wear, whether exercising or just out and about. When walking behind women with these skin-tight outfits, you can see every single movement of each buttock – a pleasant view, but is this not the wrong message?”
Understandably, Mr Grace’s plea has angered many, particularly women who argued on Facebook his gripe was “sexist” and “outdated”.
“Wow 2024, and still being shamed for our bodies,” one woman stated.
“Can we ask men to wear shirts too then?” someone else mused, pointing out the obvious double standard.
As another scoffed: “This is so blatantly sexist and outdated. This wasn’t the flex Ian thought it was.
Many men too were also against Mr Grace’s bikini ban, labelling the idea “stupid”.
“That is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard in my entire life,” one argued.
“To each their own, if they wish to wear a thong, we have no issues with it,” another shared.
As one bloke scoffed: “Can’t people just get on with their life’s (sic) without getting upset over the stupidest things?”
There were some though who claimed they “must agree” with Mr Grace’s opinion, labelling the skimpy swimwear trend “attention seeking”.