Among the many moments of laughter he gave us, we owe the popularization of the mankini to Borat, a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen, who had the guts to wear it. Yup, also called the men’s suspender swim thong or the sling bikini for men, it’s exactly that – a piece of swimwear that makes its way down from the wearer’s shoulders and converges at his private parts. Needless to say, this kind of textile construction can only be flattering on maybe one in a million. Here are the 10 worst mankini moments as proof.
10. The Stylish Version
Okay, we’re starting off tame with Jim Carrey donning a stylish version of the mankini while taking a stroll along a beach in Malibu, CA with Jenny McCarthy. Actually it was hers, and Carrey – always good for a laugh – tried it on. Hope he’s not started a trend there. Though we already can’t stop humming “Dude looks like a lady” – and we promise it’ll get worse.
9. The Absolutely Unstylish Version
Our next mankini moment leaves almost nothing to the imagination. Saving grace? The wig, the glasses and the Oscar the Grouch’s trash can in the background. Good advertisement for the irresistible and durable combination of lycra and spandex though.
8. The Mankini Streaker
Australia’s own Borat, Rene Dooling, a.k.a. Mankini Man, outran security at TIO Stadium during an AFL match in June 2007 when he streaked across the field wearing only a blue mankini. The 11,000-strong crowd loved his act, calling it “the highlight of the night”. That doesn’t say much about the Western Bulldogs or Fremantle, nor about the security, who couldn’t catch Dooling, thus helping him avoid a $5,000 fine.
7. The Mankini Tribute
Sadly and unexpectedly, Dooling passed away just a year later. So what better tribute to pay the mankini legend than by donning another one? That’s what his friend Kym Jarvis thought when he cruised through Darwin City on his mini-scooter, wearing nothing but a black mankini. Jarvis’ tribute found an abrupt end when the police stopped him, requesting he wear some clothes after they had received a public complaint. For Jarvis, it was worth it though; as he said, Dooling “is a good man and would have loved it – it’s his thing… He used to stand up for the little man.”
6. The Lost Bet – Yeah, Right
Carey Smith, pictured above, had to run through the streets of Perth, Australia, dressed only in a mankini because he lost a bet. The 39-year-old research analyst got adventurous when betting in a pub back in 2005 that gold prices would not hit $1,000 an ounce before 2011. Well, by as early as 2008, he had to stand by his word. Not afraid to make a fool of himself, Smith even donned yellow angel wings (or shoulder flaps? We’re not sure) and off he went. Being pragmatic about his defeat, Smith did his rounds for a good cause, raising more than $6,000 for a local hospital.
5. When It Gets Really Hot
Skiing doesn’t seem to be the ideal sport for wearing a mankini, given that it must be terribly cold and uncomfortable, and you’re at risk of exposing yourself fully after an unfortunate turn. The guy pictured here seems quite comfortable in his own skin. With hat, goggles, gloves and boots, he even seems warm enough. Or maybe it’s the embarrassment that’s causing all the extra heat.
4. Three’s Safe
We’re not sure what these three guys on the streets of Rendsburg were thinking but they don’t seem to be scared of becoming the laughing stock of the small northern German town. (Don’t miss the person in the background who can’t seem to believe his or her eyes.)
3. On Vacation
But we’re quite sure what this tourist must’ve been thinking when he ventured into Beijing’s Crab Island water park wearing only a mankini: ‘I’m on vacation, no one will know’. Little did he count on the trigger-happy cameras of fellow bathers which made this picture go around the world.
2. The Mankini Spectators
What would you think if you were trying to finish a tough bike race – well, maybe the toughest, the Tour de France – and suddenly, two mankini-clad guys jumped out of nowhere, cheering you on? We give Luxembourg’s Andy Schleck and Spain’s Alberto Contador credit for finishing the 17th stage of the Tour de France under these conditions…
1. The Mankini Champ
Here’s a wearer who’s been taken completely in by the mankini concept. With privates happily dangling and proudly displaying his tan lines, this Borat impersonator looks like he feels like a winner. He’s definitely ours.
To finish, we leave you with a really terrifying thought: the whole mankini craze has given rise to a new trend, the mankini wax. That’s right, men, tired of displaying their hairy legs and, er, other regions, let hot wax get where it’s never gone before. High-five!