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Over the last few decades, swim shorts and Bermudas have overtaken Speedos as the swimwear of choice for men in the UK.
In fact, 12 years ago Alton Towers banned the aggressively tight trunks in its water park and now they’re rarely seen on anyone bar athletes and in photos from the 1980s.
Even on Love Island, where skimpy is the the style-du-jour, the blokes tend to opt for a pair of shorts when going for a dip.
But, while Brits opt for loose and modest it seems a little known law in France means that swimmers must wear a Speedo when in a public swimming pool.
Holidaymakers and locals alike will be ejected from the water if they attempt to go for a paddle in looser, Bermuda swim shorts.
Anyone who’s ever been to the beach or a lido in our neighbouring country may have been shocked to see so many men wearing the skin-tight, reveal all clothing, but it seems it's a civic duty.
Thanks to the the 1903 law all men – and boys – of all ages must wear a Speedo to swim in public pools.
Emmanuel Dormois, a head pool attendant in Paris's 11th arrondissement previously told the Guardian why Frenchmen are forced to parade their bulges.
In 2009, he said: "Hygiene. Small, tight trunks can only be used for swimming. Bermudas or bigger swimming shorts can be worn elsewhere all day, so could bring in sand, dust or other matter, disturbing the water quality.
“By banning them outright, we're not forced to stand there measuring what can be defined as swimming shorts. I accept that some men feel very ill at ease wearing small trunks, but others don't mind."
Some areas in France have been hoping to change the rules regarding swimwear in France in recent years.
Just a few weeks ago, Grenoble city council loosened the strict rules around swimming attire and chose to let people wear what “they like” at outdoor municipal pools.
This included allowing the wearing of Burkinis and even letting women swim topless and may have allowed men to wear less tight-fitting trunks.
But, the French government challenged the city’s decision and the regional authority cut funding to the area.
An investigation was even launched into the ruling.
So, it seems for now French sunbathers and swimmers at public pools must bare all in a teeny-weeny Speedo.
And, any holidaymakers must obey the law too.
Do you know an unusual holiday rule? Tell us at [email protected]
In fact, an Irish journalist once told the Guardian about how he was followed into the pool by the lifeguard in Paris after attempting to swim in shorts.
He said: “Three other attendants fetched a big hook for fishing out drowning people and hauled me in.
“I had to come back in an unbelievably skimpy pair that were somehow acceptable, but bloody uncomfortable for me and anyone who had to look at them.”
Well, at least there will be fewer British men with golden calves and pale thighs upon their return home…
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