Shelagh Fogarty challenges caller 'shocked' at girls wearing bikinis on a street

10 June 2021, 16:38

By Tim Dodd

Girls wearing bikinis on the pavement at the seaside is "shocking" but wearing them on the beach is "totally different", this caller argues, condemning them for their choices.

The conversation comes as an Ofsted report has shown that sexual harassment has become "normalised" for children in schools and colleges.

Margaret from Greenwich began by telling Shelagh about her day at the beach.

"I was visiting in Exmouth last week, lovely hot day, obviously a seaside town. There were a group girls, and the girls, two of them, took their jackets off and they carried on walking along the seafront - not on the beach - on the pavement, in their Love Island bikinis."

"So?" Shelagh quickly replied.

"I just found that quite shocking really, I thought why do they think that's okay to walk along the pavement in a bikini?", Margaret said.

Again Shelagh interjected: "At a seaside resort, in a bikini?"

Margaret continued: "Well they weren't on the beach! There were absolutely loads of people. This was the pavement, walking from the town. And I just thought well okay, you are going to the beach, but can you wait until you get to the beach?

"It was bum cheeks everywhere!"

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Margaret explained she was on the way to a fishing trip and a man who was walking past said "I wouldn't like to be their parents."

Shelagh then challenged Margaret on her views: "If they rocked up at school in a bikini I could understand your concerns, but they were in Exmouth, on a sunny day, in a bikini, and I'm afraid we cannot justify suggesting that if they were molested by somebody that they'd somehow attracted it to themselves because they were in a bikini."

As the call continued, it became clear that the pavement was a sticking point for Margaret:

"Not on the pavement. They haven't got to the beach. It's like walking down a shopping centre [in a bikini]."

Shelagh ended the call by saying: "I don't think we're going to agree on this Margaret."