Braving the BurqiniTM

Re-branding the Australian beach

Susie Khamis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A cross between a bikini and a burqa, the BurqiniTM reworks a conventional symbol of Australian culture in terms consistent with Muslim modesty. In turn, the BurqiniTM stakes a deeply ironic claim to one of the nation's most revered sites: the beach. This article thus considers its significance in relation to two dominant stereotypes in recent Australian history: the 'beach babe', typically blonde, blue-eyed and bikinied; and a view of conservative Muslim culture that had taken shape in mainstream Australian media: as restrictive, regressive and misogynist. By appropriating the traditional bikini design for a contemporary Muslim clientele, the BurqiniTM is both a confronting cultural statement and a bold example of 21st century world fashion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)379-390
Number of pages12
JournalCultural Geographies
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Australia
  • beach
  • bikini
  • burqa
  • Islam

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