With so many options, you can make a statement and express your personal style with relative ease. New swimsuit styles from some of the industry’s most popular labels are making their debut this year. In 2010, popular companies like Tigerlily, Rusty, Roxy, and Billabong will bring you a wide variety of stylish swimwear options, from the most basic to the most provocative.

Colorful Swimwear by Billabong

Billabong swimwear is a safe bet if you want to make a statement via your love of bright colors and patterns. There’s little doubt that you’ll get noticed on the beach when you’re wearing Billabong, thanks to the brand’s high-quality fabrics and distinctive dyes. This season’s most popular bikinis from Billabong are the Supreme, Crystal Caribbean, Stardust, and Lily Purple styles.

Stylish Swimwear from Tigerlily

In recent years, Tigerlily’s line of stylish swimwear has skyrocketed in popularity thanks to its many new and exciting designs. Women in Australia are flocking to this brand for their summer wardrobes, whether it be a ruffled top or an exquisite bikini design.

Some examples of Tigerlily swimwear styles are the Sirene Bandeau Bikini, the Perla B/j, the Azular Teenie Bikini, and the Iluminar bikini. To avoid showing too much skin in public, try on one of Tigerlily’s one-piece swimsuits like the colorful and ruffled Moreno or the Dipping Lirio.

Trendy Swimwear from Roxy

Roxy is yet another reputable Australian company that produces trendy swimwear. These trendy pieces of swimwear are suitable for any warm-weather get-together, as they strike a happy balance between feminine and athletic styles. In addition to their one-piece swimsuits, Roxy also sells bikinis, so they can accommodate any woman who wants to wear either.

The Roxy Abigail O’piece body suit with long sleeves, the Trixy Slider Bikini, the Born to be Wild Bikini, the Roxo Bandeau Bikini, and the Angel Daq Bikini are just a few of this summer’s top swimwear.

Wet shirts, cap-sleeve rashguards, zip-up tops, and long, full-coverage faja postparto bodysuits are also available at Roxy. Surfing, jet skiing, or even just boating are all great examples of water sports that may be enjoyed while wearing less conventional swimwear.

Many other labels also have swimwear that is both stylish and functional for the summer. Fox, O’Neil’s, Unit, Rusty, Fiesta, and 2 Chillies are just some of the best-known names in women’s swimwear design. There’s a design and shade for every occasion and budget, whether you’re lounging by the pool, at the beach, at a friend’s house, or zipping down a water slide.

Beauty Archetypes: Tattooed Ladies, Part Two

Tattooed women are commonly associated with notions of uniqueness, freedom of expression, and personal agency when we observe them in the media. And in the United States, women’s tattoos have a long and proud tradition of symbolizing empowerment and individuality. In contrast, Asian cultures have a different view of how women should interact with tattoos. The history and contemporary meanings of tattooing in Japan are woven together from a variety of sources.

the ancient Japanese had a penchant for body art and tattoos. Since most “civilized” Chinese adhere to the Confucian belief that tattooing was polluting to the body, foreigners to China often referred to the practice as “barbaric.”

However, tattooing was practiced by the Chinese, especially to permanently label criminals. Women south of the Yangtze River would adorn their hands with tattoos of insects and snakes as talismans, and soldiers would obtain talismanic tattoos of axes to prepare for warfare.

In medieval Japan, criminal tattooing had supplanted the practice of decorative tattooing. Crime symbols were tattooed onto the convicts’ arms and sometimes even their faces as a form of punishment for serious offenses. In a society where interpersonal bonds are highly valued, the social isolation that ensued from such a penalty would have been unbearable.

The practice of tattooing, however, continued to thrive in Japan’s more rural regions. Tattooing has been a female-only ritual among the Ainu, a people who have occupied the same area in northern Japan for 12,000 years. Women of the Anchipiri (or “Black Stone Mouth”) tribe had their lips tattooed by a “Tattoo Aunt” or “Tattoo Woman” to ward off evil spirits and signal that they were ready for marriage. Having a tattoo in such a tender spot was meant to prepare the young woman for the intense discomfort of labor. However, the incantations administered alongside the soot might have helped lessen the discomfort: “She’s stunning even without the makeup. How amazing is the tattoo that circles her lips! It’s puzzling and leaves us wondering.”

Women of the Ainu culture also had tattoos of braided geometric patterns on their hands and arms. These designs were intended to ward off evil spirits and were taught to girls as young as six. In a similar vein, the designs for these braided “girdles” were passed down from mother to daughter.

Tattoos were prohibited by the Japanese shogunate in the early 1800s. The Ainu still tattooed their females, even though they weren’t allowed to get married or into the hereafter until they did. The last known Ainu tattooed woman passed away in 1998, indicating that the practice had faded by the early twentieth century.

Indeed, the trend of tattooed women was not confined to the country’s northern regions. After harvesting season is over on the southernmost Ryukyu islands, women spend the winter getting tattoos on the backs of their hands and fingers. Some of the tattoos were symbols of the woman’s family or her husband’s ancestry, but many were aimed to demonstrate that the woman had learned intricate weaving patterns.

Women with tattoos weren’t automatically seen as more attractive or more skilled. The courtesans of Edo-era Japan often wore tattoos bearing the names of their lovers or most favored customers. Tattooing was less destructive to the “merchandise” than the alternative — sometimes women would chop off a chunk of one of their fingers and send it to their beloved as a gift, which may make new customers envious of the names that preceded them.

The number of males getting tattoos increased dramatically between the 17th and 18th centuries. Criminals would try to hide their identifying insignia by getting larger designs until 1870 when the practice was abolished. The first people of the era to seek out full-body designs were firefighters, who were also obtaining tattoos. These tattoos served as both status symbols and badges of honor for firemen, who regularly fought blazes while clad only in loincloths. Also, the rise of the Yakuza, a criminal organization known for its intricate full-bodysuit tattoos, contributed to the trend, as did the fact that its members’ reputations for toughness. Even though these tattooing traditions often drew from other, more established art forms, they were still stigmatized because of their affiliation with “rough dudes.”

The present Japanese view of tattoos is influenced by the customs of “the floating world” for ladies and the tattooing practices of the mafia for males. Although many people acquire tattoos that are inspired by or pay homage to Japan, and many tattoo artists travel to Japan for training and inspiration, most Japanese people are not fond of having their skin inked. Moreover, outside of tribal communities, women have typically been motivated to get tattooed because of a guy, typically a member of the criminal underworld.

Despite this, a growing number of emancipated Japanese women are getting tattoos. Tattooed women of the present era, however, walk a narrow line between Good Girl and Bad Girl. Most public baths won’t let you in if you have tattoos because you look like you belong in an infamous gang and you’ll scare away the other customers. It’s common practice for banks to refuse loan applications from persons with visible tattoos, and commuters often look at inked bodies with disgust. As a result, most Japanese women, especially those living outside of major cities, have no plans to acquire tattoos any time soon.

It’s only natural that as the practice of getting tattoos for decorative purposes spreads beyond Japan, more and more Japanese women would want them for themselves. Already, celebrities like singers and hairdressers are promoting gender-neutral styles that emphasize femininity rather than criminal devotion. Women who want tattoos but are self-conscious about exposing their flesh to a male artist now have access to a growing number of female tattoo artists. However, it will be a while before tattoos are accepted as merely another form of body art; until tattooed grandmas appear (or a new fad of tattooing our skills on our hands), Tattooed Ladies in Japan will not be treated with the respect they deserve.