Beauty and the Beach

Broadcasters (various) including W, CBC, CTV, TLC, Radio Canada

This international hit sold around the world and put CineFocus on the map. Director Joan Prowse was struck one day by how long it took for a woman to choose a swimsuit. Intrigued, she made a revealing discovery that resulted in an insightful look at the love-hate relationship women have with their bathing suits.

Using a retrospective of swim wear styles, along with commentary from those who create bathing suits, those who observe them, and those who wear them, Beauty and the Beach looks at the complex relationship between the bathing suit, social and cultural values, and women’s body image in the 20th century.

Beginning with the arrest of long distance swimmer Annette Kellerman in 1907 for appearing in a one-piece bathing suit, to the public outcry in the sixties over the bikini and the topless bathing suit, changing swimsuit styles not only influenced morality, but also helped chart the changing images of women in the twentieth century.