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The Ballad of French Speedos

  • November 17, 2021

Kwadd and his wife Layla are both 26 and from Basingstoke. After saving for two years, they booked a European backpacking holiday, with the first destination being France. Unfortunately, this was how the experience went (from the mind of Kwadd). 

We decided to go to the beach, it had been so long since we left the country, and we bought a fantastic pair of matching bright pink swimming outfits. We looked so cute together, and I even had pockets on my swimming trunks. While at the beach, we got a lot of looks, so the glam must have worked. When coming back from the beach, we were surrounded by officers. A towel was thrown over me, and they yelled something. Strangely I heard people shrieking in the background. We were then taken in for questioning, and I was called inappropriate and immodest. It seems our little glammed up beach adventure had been blown out of the water. I was told that swimming trunks are illegal in France. 

That’s right: swimming trunks are verboten according to French laws set out in 1903, where the language loosely conveys the message, “It shall not be allowed…if there exists any vestige or shadow of nude figure visible upon his person thereof” To those of you who are bamboozled by reading this, in summary, swimming shorts are not allowed in public pools or beaches. This may be because the swimwear style was seen as provocative and immodest when it flared up in the pool. However, others have argued hygiene and environmental reasons (additional water becoming soaked up by the shorts). 

It’s a good idea not to wear them while walking around in towns either as you never know when the French rozzers might pinch you with a fine (or worse). 

No telling why budgie smugglers, which are typically much tighter and cover the groin only, are seen as the perfect swimming attire (perhaps it is related to the Olympics?). In stark contrast across the channel, Alton Towers theme park has banned the wearing of speedos because of the tightness and supposed proactiveness. 

Written by Jason Connolly