Life’s a beach – until your swimsuit causes a commotion.
A woman is demanding change in South Carolina after being detained by police for wearing a thong bikini on Myrtle Beach, and she hopes to revise current law on barely-there swimwear.
Acrobat Sam Panda was handcuffed by authorities on the beach two weeks ago amid a dispute about the teeny bikini, as seen in a 20-minute video posted to Facebook that has since gone viral with over 1.6 million views.
In the footage, the performer and police clashed over the bikini ordinance, which the officers said Panda was violating. Police proceeded to lead the performer and her friend off the beach, later reading the ordinance from a binder: [It] “shall be unlawful for any person to appear in the nude at any public beach.”
In Horry County and Myrtle Beach, thong bathing suits are considered indecent exposure and prohibited in public. Police confirmed the incident to Fox 8, claiming they were called to Myrtle Beach over a report of two women “dancing and soliciting videos on the beach” while wearing thong bikinis, with one in a see-through top.When officers arrived, “one of the women attempted to walk away from officers and was detained,” Fox 8 reported. In the now-viral video, police said they arrested Panda for “how she was acting.”After being led off the beach, Panda was ultimately released without arrest.
Now, the acrobat is forming a legal team to fight the thong bikini ban, WPDE reported on Monday.
Per the ordinance, municipal code for Myrtle Beach states that any person’s intentional public exposure of specified anatomical parts in a state of dress or undress – including buttocks – is unlawful.
According to Panda, the ordinance is unfair, discriminatory and vague for beachgoers.
“These types of laws, I think they’re archaic, I think they’re dehumanizing,” she told WPDE. “I think they basically make people into objects by saying your body is something that other people can look at and say ‘This is right,’ or ‘This is wrong.'”Acknowledging that in a “perfect world” the law could be thrown out entirely, Panda hopes that legislators can make the ordinance more “quantifiable” for the good of the public and police.
“We need to be able to say, ‘OK, if we’re going to wear thongs, the strap on the thong needs to be an inch or two inches all the way around,’” she explained. “Something that’s measurable, something that’s easily defined, something that people can go ‘OK, I know this is what I’m allowed to wear and this is what I’m not allowed to wear.'”
Watch the video below: