Cosmo's South Beach Bikini Blast
Miami Beach, United States
I was sitting on the bed, feeding Aidric out of a bottle, when the 12:00 Noon news flipped on the television. The remote out of reach, I let it quietly drone on whilst my son greedily slurped down his formula and his mother slept in the shade-drawn room.
Local news in the United States is about as stimulating as a root canal, and generally paid it no mind—until I noticed that the screen had filled with bikinis. Oh? What's this?
"Hurry up and come down to South Beach and be a part of Cosmopolitan Magazine's attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest swimsuit model photo shoot," the reporter said. "1,200 girls age 18-34 are sought for the record attempt, so grab a bikini and head on over here to be a part of the fun!"
Daaaaaaamn, I thought to myself, this is somethin' I gotta see.
Aidric eventually passed out, I grabbed a shower, and confirmed the photo shoot with a quick Google search before heading out the door. It was taking place about as far south along the South Beach shoreline as you can go before hitting the jetty (that all the cruise ships and cargo ships in the area use), and was nearly a quarter to two o'clock before I made it down there by foot.
The girls were already standing in formation as I arrived, spelling out a large 'COSMO' with their bikini-clad figures in the sand. The event was supposed to be BYOB(ikini), but looked like most girls opted to wear the free Old Navy bikini they were given for participating. Showing Tatiana the photos from the shoot when I got back, she remarked, "Yuck! Why are all these girls wearing diaper bikinis? You know, the type that covers up your entire butt! Eww. Were they giving these things away?"
Over the speakers, a male voice directing the scene boomed, letting the girls know that to keep them from getting fatigued they were going to have them sit down for the shoot. I honestly laughed out loud when he instructed the girls to "sit down facing your right and bring your legs up at a 45-degree angle." A fifth of the girl did as instructed, while the rest of the group fell into total chaos.
I watched the organized circus from the sidelines while a helicopter with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent Laforet circled above, noting that the number of girls present was far fewer than the amount needed for the record, that they were mostly Caucasian, and that at least one woman certainly seemed to have slipped through age group requirement.
Listening to an interview being conducted by one of the television crews at the close of the event, I heard that only three hundred or so women participated, but still set the record for the largest swimsuit shoot in the United States.
I couldn't help but think that maybe if they'd held the shoot on a Saturday and done some bilingual promoting they could've scooped up plenty of lovely local Latinas and broken the standing world record (accomplished in a previous Cosmo shoot in Bondi Beach, Australia with 1,010 women).
The afterparty was held at the hotel Nikki Beach, where I again laughed, this time at the sight of women in bikinis binging on free pizza. Good times.