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Burger King to fight decision on bikini ad complaints

Should the bikini girls be banned?

Burger King is to appeal against an Advertising Standards Authority decision upholding complaints against two of the fast-food company's TV ads.

After a number of complaints, the authority found the advertisements for two different burgers, each featuring three bikini-clad women, breached an advertising code of practice forbidding the use of sex appeal simply to draw attention to a product.

Burger King said yesterday it would appeal the decision, which had caused the two "highly popular" advertisements to be withdrawn.

Marketing manager Megan Denize said she was disappointed the commercials had had to be withdrawn as they had received approval from the Television Commercial Approvals Bureau before being broadcast.

Burger King had used an independent research company to track responses to the advertisements for the past seven months. The results from more than 700 consumers aged between 15 and 49 showed most of them either "liked or loved" the commercials.

"We believe this is a much better indicator of community reaction than the small number of complaints received by the Advertising Standards Complaints Board," Ms Denize said.

In one advertisement, the women in bikinis ride horseback on the beach, then - still in bikinis - are depicted in workplaces including an office and a laboratory, before riding horseback to a Burger King outlet.

Complainants said the style was extremely sexually suggestive and "indecent", degrading to women and could best be described as "soft porn".

Trimming around the bikini line

I was recently out at my apartment complex’s pool, soaking up some sun with a few friends, when one made a comment about the hair around my nether region. I was totally embarrassed and shocked that she was looking at my bikini line. So now I’m concerned about it and totally uncomfortable putting on my suit, period. What should I do? - Hairy Girl

Dear Hairy Girl:

Now that Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, it is officially summer. And summer officially signifies the time to wear tank tops, sundresses and bikinis. The thing about bikinis is that they just don’t cover up much. Any excess flab or soft curves are visible (though a little color from the sun help shade this), as well as any stray body hairs (sun is not helpful for these). The truth is, everyone has body hair. Some have more than others and some people dislike that hair more than others.
In Europe, for the most part, they let it run wild. Got a little tuft, no big deal. In South America and the Middle East, they tend to get rid of all body hair — arms, legs and other regions — all smooth. Here in the states, we’re probably somewhere in the middle. It’s not necessary to make your entire body as smooth as a baby’s butt, but it’s also unacceptable to have private hair hanging out of your bikini zone. Truly, it’s what you are personally comfortable with that should be your standard, but I’m sensing from your question that you are not comfy with what you’ve got.

So, what’s a girl to do? You have oh-so-many options, my dear. Most common options: You can trim it (easy, but still a bit noticeable), shave it (causes quite the itch), use a depilatory cream (can cause a burn while using) or wax it (painful, but works well). The first three options are all self-administered and you can try them out at home anytime. Actually, waxing can also be do-it-yourself, but you have to be pretty good at yoga to remove the hair from all the right spots. Most ladies that wax go to a salon to do so. The thing is, you have to get over the thought of someone seeing you “down there” and also decide how much you want to remove.
I’ll admit it’s painful, but a good waxer will help ease the pain in many ways. If you’re not sure where to go, there’s a laundry list of places in the phone book. But I’ll tell you a few you can try out off the top of my head — Modish, La Dolce Vita, Aqua Salon or Spa Deus. Best of luck figuring out what works best for you and enjoy the summer.

Bust is a top priority when shopping

Swimwear designer offers advice on finding right style to suit you

NEW YORK - For most women, shopping for a bathing suit is not on top of their list of favorite things to do. There are unflattering lights to deal with, flashes of skin left dull and dry by the winter and sizing that seems to make no sense, bringing up all sorts of body image issues.

The least swimsuit manufacturers can do is offer a full range of shapes and styles, upping the odds that eventually shoppers will find the best one, right?

Shoshanna Lonstein Gruss thought so. But as a tween and then a teen, Gruss struggled finding a suit that would fit a frame that was petite everywhere but her bust. When she chose a career in fashion design, she made rethinking bathing suits a priority.

``It didn't make sense that swimsuits were in sets. You wouldn't buy your lingerie in sets,'' she said.

On a recent browsing expedition through the swimwear department at the flagship Bloomingdale's on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, Gruss pointed out that many companies now offer bathing suit separates and tops based on bust size, as her line does, instead of dress size.

She's not claiming to be the first designer to do these things but she does think the rapid growth of her swimwear collection since it was introduced in 2001 certainly helped nudge the industry forward.

She began with only a handful of bikini styles and it has grown to include 40 prints each season, tankinis and one-piece suits, which she added after she became a mother in 2005.

Gruss thinks she owes that success to not only understanding her customers but also because she is a customer.

``I remember being here with my mom. I looked 29 when I'd put on a bathing suit because the styles that fit me were either too old, too sexy or nothing fit. That was the worst feeling in the world when you're 13,'' she recalled.

Because she was athletic and wanted to be able to move around without worrying about falling out of her bathing suit, she often resorted to a big baggy sweat shirt as a cover-up that rarely came off. Again, not really a look coveted by teens.

Gruss went to the University of California Los Angeles -- bathing-suit country -- and earned degrees in history and art history. Then she went to work at a lingerie factory to learn about fabric, construction and design. Her personal experience as a hard-to-fit figure has influenced everything she's done since launching the Shoshanna label in 1998.

She first produced sundresses because they were easier to market. In 2001, when she introduced swimwear, it was a personally important moment. Then, following the birth of her daughter with husband Josh Gruss, she added children's swimwear under the label of Shoshanna BabyGirl.

Now that she's 31, Gruss is looking for something different from her bathing suits than she did in her sexier single days. She's still trim and petite -- and she's still busty -- but now she needs to be able carry around her daughter, build sand castles and even dive into the water on little Sienna's command. However, she doesn't want to sacrifice style.

Gruss is, after all, part of the socialite set that is photographed regularly, including when she's at play in the Hamptons and elsewhere. For a recent -- and childless -- trip to Jamaica for a wedding, Gruss packed five suits: a pink gingham triangle bikini, two bandeau bikinis, a black eyelet bikini with a halter top and a white eyelet one with a strapless bra top.

``This is to look cool in front of my friends. If my daughter was coming, I'd have a one piece.''

The Bloomingdale's tour starts in her own section. Gruss emphasized that her tops, both for one-piece and two-piece suits, are offered with A-DDD cup sizes in either petite/small or medium/large back widths, similar to bras. (The line is primarily intended for women who wear a dress size of 0-12.)

By using an underwire bra construction with 26 components, including boning on the sides, silicone gripper tape at the top and a classic hook-and-eye closure in the back, Gruss is confident her strapless tops will stay up on women of all bust sizes. They won't flatten a large chest nor slip down on a small one, she said.

When you're in the dressing room, stand up, sit down and move your arms to make sure the suit fits, she said. ``If you think you might fall out in the dressing room, it's definitely not a suit for racing or swimming laps.''

Gruss thinks a teenager might gravitate toward a halter top, perhaps in eyelet or a madras print, because that silhouette offers the most coverage if she chooses to play a little beach volleyball or actually swim.

Conversely, though, the coverage from a halter might also appeal to an older woman who isn't interested in baring as much as she used to.

That doesn't mean this woman isn't sexy, Gruss said. She said a halter-style one piece, especially one with ruching and boning -- both tools to give support and flatter one's figure -- conjures up images of Marilyn Monroe in the 1950s.

A triangle top, especially as part of a string bikini, defines your shape for you, Gruss said, so it works well for a woman who feels her breasts are of unequal size. Also, she said, since it's often adjustable at the neck, it's appealing for someone looking for a little lift.

In general, suits with higher backs have more support, and crisscross straps are sturdier than tank straps.

Gruss pointed out a green one-piece by La Blanca with a shirred bodice, which hides a multitude of flaws, and then a Michael Kors one-piece with a plunging V front that's laced together with a chain.

The Kors suit creates the ``illusion of perfection,'' she said, because who else would dare wear such a risque suit than a perfect woman?

Except that, upon close examination, it's not that racy. Gruss highlighted the high back, built-in cups and full-coverage bottom.

The tankini is a phenomenon that Gruss doesn't quite get. She sees the appeal of a sportier style but it often comes off as a little matronly, she said. If you're going to wear one, make sure the top meets or covers the bottom and try a youthful, trend-right baby-doll style.

Gruss identified other key looks for the summer of 2007: geometric or nautical prints that have a 1970s jet-set vibe; the sweet sexiness of a full-coverage, Brigitte Bardot-style bikini in a gingham or eyelet fabric; or metallics. Gold, she said, is flattering on almost any skin tone.

``Swim is always all over the place but this year is very feminine, very celebratory of the body,'' Gruss said.

A fit that flatters


Every woman's body is different, which means that just about every body needs a different bathing suit.

The tank suit that looks so good on your neighbor might be flattering on you, too, but it might be even better if the leg were cut just a little bit higher or you went with a bandeau top instead.

Swimwear designer Lori Coulter deems there are 140 measurements relevant in choosing the best swimsuit for your body. Those measurements, taken by a digital body scanner to produce a three-dimensional image of each of her customers, are the basis of each suit produced by her company, Lori Coulter TrueMeasure.

There are 40 basic styles that can be adapted with different necklines, straps, leg heights, built-in bra types, fabrics and embellishments.

But Coulter, whose business is based in St. Louis, also says that personal style and mindset affect which bathing suit is right for you. Even a fabulous figure doesn't mean there isn't a good, better and best suit out there.

Dorothy Abrahams, a 33-year-old actress in New York, finally found the right bathing suit last year for her athletic frame - a J.Crew bikini - so she bought several on sale at the end of the season. "They elongate me. They've got lift, and the bottoms aren't too skimpy, so they're functional but look good."

Before that, she wore boy shorts. She says they're a genius idea but, surprisingly, she finds the smaller bikini bottom more flattering.

Like many women, Ellen Duffield, a 26-year-old British tourist shopping in Manhattan on a recent day, noted that her bottom is a bigger size than her top. She opts for bikini separates, usually a halter-style top and a medium coverage bottom.

According to Coulter's letter-based system of categorizing shapes, Duffield would be an "A," a narrower top and wider bottom.

A halter really is ideal for a woman with a V-shaped figure, someone who is broader on top, or an "0" shape, a full trunk often with slender arms and legs, Coulter says, but it actually works on almost anyone as long as she doesn't have very narrow shoulders.

Coulter's other recommendations, based on swimsuit shape:

A tank gives good coverage and bust support and is best suited for classic hourglass "X" figures or for "V" figures. Especially on an X, Coulter says the tank "is not a boring suit."

String bikinis are surprisingly flattering to a lot of figures. An "A," with narrow shoulders and wider hips, benefits from the smaller bottom on this kind of suit because it makes the bottom appear proportional.

The string top, with its triangles covering the bust, helps emphasize the bust and define the waist of an "H" shape, someone with an equally proportioned upper and lower torso, a straight waist and typically slender arms and legs. "An H looks great in a bikini almost all the time. You want the lower rise to elongate the waist," Coulter explains.

An "X" also can wear a string bikini if she's petite and the swimsuit isn't too skimpy.

A bandeau top is for women with a C-cup bust or smaller. It works best on H and A figures because they don't have overpowering shoulders.

A skirted suit is not Coulter's favorite silhouette on anyone, since she almost always recommends a higher leg opening to create an inverted V at the hips. But, she adds, a woman with full square hips and slim legs might find the skirt flattering.

The boy short is another style that Coulter steers women away from. "It's for the surfers or people doing athletics and have great bodies. It's hard to wear."

Coulter leaves the question of wearing a one- or two-piece suit up to the individual, since you don't really know which one will look better until you try it on.

"The one-piece is on the comeback, but if you have a great body and you want to show it off, the bikini never goes out of style."

Golden Bikini to Raise Funds for Charity

eBay India, in association with Peches Lifestyles, a European lingerie brand, has launched an online auction of a bikini made of ultra fine gold fibers and embedded with 215 topaz stones weighing 50 carats and 409 rubies weighing 53 carats.

Proceeds of the sale will support the Breast Cancer Management by the Cancer Patients Aid Association. The auction starts Sunday and will close Thursday June 7.

The bikini, reported to be one of the most expensive items ever to be auctioned on the site, was created by five craftsmen in 400 hours using a fabric made from extremely thin gold fibers, each thinner than a strand of hair.

The result is an extremely flexible and elastic bikini, weighing approximately 357 grams in gold.

The cost of creating this unique ensemble was reported at over Rs. 6,000,000 ($148,000). To participate in the auction go to

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