Bikinis Made Mandatory on Cannes Beaches

That isn’t quite right, but it’s close: the city of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis on local beaches:

The mayor of Cannes has banned the wearing of burkinis – full-body swimsuits – on the beaches of the French Riviera resort famous for its annual film festival, officials said on Thursday.

Mayor David Lisnard signed off on the ruling that “access to beaches and for swimming is banned to anyone who does not have (bathing apparel) which respects good customs and secularism,” which is a founding principle of the French republic.


For one who grew up in the American Midwest at a time when wearing a bikini was rather scandalous, there is a certain irony here. But in France, if I am not mistaken, the wearing of full burqas and niqabs in public has been banned for a while, while the bikini is almost a patriotic symbol.

A burkini ban would never fly in the United States; I assume it would be unconstitutional as an infringement of the right of free exercise, and in any event would never gain traction. Our approach to combatting Islamic extremism is different in a number of ways from the French and other Europeans. We will see which works better in the end.

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