HUFFINGTON POST

These Photos Remind Us That Burkinis Are An Awesome Expression Of Personal Style

Some French towns are banning the swimwear, claiming that doing so helps protect women's rights.

The seaside city of Cannes, France, has made the controversial decision to ban women from wearing “burkinis,” or full-body swimsuits. Mayor David Lisnard has said the move is supposed to to protect women, but the ordinance ignores the fact that wearing a burkini ― just like wearing any other type of swimsuit ― is a personal choice and means of expressing individual style. 

Two other French towns, Villeneuve-Loubet and Sisco, in Corsica, put similar bans in place this week. Le Touquet, which is on the Atlantic coast, reportedly plans to follow suit.

France’s government defended the ban Tuesday, saying it aimed to respect women’s rights.

“The burkini is not some new line of swimwear, it is the beach version of the burqa and it has the same logic: hide women’s bodies in order to better control them,” women’s rights minister Laurence Rossignol told French newspaper Le Parisien. “It is not just the business of those women who wear it, because it is the symbol of a political project that is hostile to diversity and women’s emancipation.”

The concept requires a design that covers everything but a woman’s face, hands and toes ― but that still leaves plenty of creative license when it comes to choosing the shape, color and fabric. Plus, the choice to remain covered up at the beach should be respected.

The burkini market has boomed in recent years, giving many Muslim fashion designers new ways to experiment with design. British retailer Marks & Spencer even sells a burkini line meant to keep the body covered “without compromising on style.”

Check out the latest in burkini fashion:

  • 1
    Aheda Zanett, inventor of the burkini swimsuit, poses with a surfboard created by artist Phillip George at Bondi Be
    The Sydney Morning Herald via Getty Images
    Aheda Zanett, inventor of the burkini swimsuit, poses with a surfboard created by artist Phillip George at Bondi Beach in 2008.
  • 2
    Sama Wareh, a Syrian artist, in Newport Beach, California.
    ASSOCIATED PRESS
    Sama Wareh, a Syrian artist, in Newport Beach, California.
  • 3
    Muslim fashion designer Aheda Zanetti makes adjustments to Australian model Mecca Laalaa's swimsuit.
    AFP via Getty Images
    Muslim fashion designer Aheda Zanetti makes adjustments to Australian model Mecca Laalaa's swimsuit.
  • 4
    Laalaa, who is part of Australia's first group of Muslim lifesavers, wears a colorful burkini on Sydney's Cronulla
    STRINGER via Getty Images
    Laalaa, who is part of Australia's first group of Muslim lifesavers, wears a colorful burkini on Sydney's Cronulla beach.
  • 5
    A black and blue burkini made of lycra and polyester is displayed at a sports store in Dubai.
    MARWAN NAAMANI via Getty Images
    A black and blue burkini made of lycra and polyester is displayed at a sports store in Dubai.
  • 6
    A woman surfs a website that sells burkinis. 
    JEAN-CHRISTOPHE VERHAEGEN via Getty Images
    A woman surfs a website that sells burkinis. 
  • 7
    A burkini is sold alongside other swimwear at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.
    MOHD RASFAN via Getty Images
    A burkini is sold alongside other swimwear at a shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.
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