Water polo players don’t get enough cred. I mean, have you ever tried treading water for 32 minutes, being clawed at, dunked underwater, passing/catching/shooting a ball, all while contending with a permanent wedgie?
I mean, have you seen the cossies they wear?
So tight. So small. So high riding.
We haven’t seen that kind of poolside get-up since the 80s. You know, the kind Christie Brinkley and Elle McPherson used to swan around in.
Elle Macpherson, circa 1987.
The fashion world has (thankfully) moved on, meaning most of us don't feel obliged to subject ourselves to such invasive attire. Nor the extensive lady grooming that goes with it.
But it's still well and truly the cut of choice for water polo players.
And for good reason.
If you've ever seen a water polo match, you'll appreciate the chaos that goes on above the water. If you've ever played a water polo match, you'll know that is nothing compared to the Game of Thrones-level anarchy that happens underneath.
As you can see, it's wise to have as little for your opponent to grab on to as possible, as any loose/extra material would only serve as a super handy handles for your opponent to snatch.
The fellas have got it easy, of course - budgie smugglers are about as scant as an outfit can get.
But the women have to rely on design: that means extra-durable fabric, as well as a solid back in place of regular straps. Most of them will also wear a suit 2-3 times smaller than normal to make it even tougher for their opponent to get their hands under the edges.
Even then, the suits still cop a beating.
Nip-slip imminent. Image: Getty.
But the high-cut thing. What about the high-cut thing?
Well, turns out that's all about having room to move, laterally.
Water polo players (and synchronised swimmers) do something called an egg-beater kick to tread water. This involves making constant, inward circles with each of your legs - basically mimicking the appliance after which the technique is named.
Any restriction around the top of the thighs would make this motion a hell of a lot more difficult than it already is (seriously, try it next time your in a pool/the ocean/deep body of water - it's tricky as f**k).
So, no female water polo suits aren't designed by a leering, sexist dude, and no the players aren't just suckers for punishment.
Well, maybe a little.