(Photo:www.marieprom.co.uk/plus-size-prom-dresses)Last week, 55-year-old TV presenter Lorraine Kelly hit the headlines when she was pictured frolicking in the sunshine wearing a bikini.

Lorraine was filmed gyrating to the song ‘Moves Like Jagger’ on her TV show, strutting her stuff alongside a group of other bikini-clad women, as part of her ‘Bikini Promise’ challenge, which consists of members of the public attempting to get in shape, to encourage other women to wear their bikinis with pride.

Well, Lorraine’s oblutions caused social media to go quite mad. Hundreds of people took to Twitter to express their approval, with praise that included: “Healthy, beautiful and confident @reallorraine this is my mid week inspiration!!”

Another tweeter wrote: “Lorraine Kelly is on a front page, in a bikini, with no airbrushing. She looks beautiful and the message she is sending is admirable.”

It’s hard to believe then, that just three years ago, a survey conducted by catalogue retailer isme.com revealed that 70% of Brits said they thought women should stop wearing bikinis when they hit the age of 39.

Back in 2012, the survey results incurred the wrath of a number of celebrities older than that who insisted women of any age should be able to wear a bikini.

No age limits

At the time, Italian star Nancy Dell’Olio fumed: “It’s about how they look and feel, not about an age limit. And it’s about how confident you are. You can look in the mirror at the age of 20 or 25 and think you don’t look nice in a bikini. Or you can be 55 and have a body much better than you did when you were 25.

“It’s true that some young girls shouldn’t wear a bikini. But you can be more beautiful aged 50 to 80 than you might have aged 20 to 30,” she declared.

But she was shot down by fellow guest and etiquette expert William Hanson who no doubt wouldn’t have approved of this week’s pictures of Lorraine, as he said all women over 50 should banish their bikinis to the bin.

“There needs to be a cut-off point,’ he insisted. “I’m not talking from a man’s point of view, but from the point of view of etiquette. As a society we like rules.

“Most women over the age of 50 don’t look as good as younger people in bikinis. Their skin has lost its suppleness.

“To have a clear rule that says at 50 everyone should wear a one-piece would mean that we would all know where we are.

‘In the privacy of their own home, women can wear what they like. But out in public, they should cover up. Some women are deluded,” he went on. “Men too. They should cover up at 50 as well – I’m all for equality.”

Changing times

How things have changed for women throughout the decades. Back in 1908, Australian swimmer Annette Kellerman was hauled into court for the crime of baring her legs during a swim at Revere Beach in Massachusetts.

In those days, it was commonplace for policemen to regularly patrol beaches, with measuring tape in hand, to ensure women were not showing more than six inches of thigh.

I find it fascinating how a woman wearing a swimsuit in those days was considered no better than pornography, yet a woman wearing the same swimsuit in today’s world would be considered exceptionally modest.

But whatever you might think about celebrities such as Lorraine Kelly baring their bikini bodies, they have had an incredibly powerful effect on women in general.

A new YouGov poll has recently revealed that women over 50 currently have far more body confidence than ever before.

Fashion retailer JD Williams who conducted the survey, also revealed that this summer, more women aged 50 and over have bought a bikini compared with recent years.

The survey, which is said to be the first of its kind into the thought and feelings of the mature fashion sector, discovered that 94% women aged 50 and beyond feel younger than their years.

So, whether you agree with it or not – despite her age, if wearing a bikini makes a woman feel good – what’s wrong with that?Read more at:www.marieprom.co.uk/vintage-prom-dresses

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