Faith at Altitude

Religion and spirituality in the shadow of Pikes Peak

Friday, February 02, 2007

Itsy bitsy, it's not

So, when conservative Muslim women -- women who by Islamic law and tradition can only show a (ahem) bare minimum of skin -- want to swim a few laps in the pool, what do they do? Well, nowadays, they can put on one of these specially designed swimsuits, sometimes refered to as (and I'm not making this up) Burkhinis.

This particular outfit is made by the Australian company Ahiida, whose swimwear runs $170-190 Aussie dollars. But you get a lot more fabric for your buck than when you buy a $60 bikini.

Several companies make similar outfits, which suggests that a real need is being filled here. Certainly before such suits came along, many Muslim women would've had to keep their toes out of the pool. And, while these particular suits aren't exactly aerodynamic, full-body suits are all the rage in the Olympics these days ... it's possible the burkhini could be the start of a bona fide, cross-cultural fashion trend. or not.


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