Cactus Bikini

It's become a bit of an iconic image — a young woman wearing a cactus bikini. The photo dates back to 1940 when the Tucson Sunshine Climate Club dressed some University of Arizona coeds up in cactus apparel as a publicity stunt. Of course, it wouldn't have been called a 'bikini' back then, since that term wasn't yet coined. It was called a "cactus sun suit." The suits were made out of Saguaro and prickly pear cacti.

The photos then spread far and wide, including into Nazi newspapers, where they were offered as examples of American decadence, "a peak of utter lack of taste."

The model in the top photo is Merri Ciochetti.



Life - Apr 7, 1941



Arizona Daily Star - Feb 27, 1945



Update: One more photo from the photoshoot.

San Bernardino Sun - Mar 27, 1940

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jul 15, 2017
Category: Fashion, 1940s



Comments
Good for wearing on a date with an octopus-man.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 07/15/17 at 11:20 AM
Cactus would make a good material for a chastity belt.
Posted by Fritz G in Soudan Level 27 on 07/15/17 at 12:35 PM
Doesn't look very comfy, but it could be helpful when out with a particularly "handsy" date. Plus, anything that pissed off the Nazis is good
Posted by Brian on 07/15/17 at 09:50 PM
Not the sort of thing to wear while doing a bubble dance . . . or is it?
Posted by Phideaux in in his own little world on 07/15/17 at 10:16 PM