I never knew this but I’m glad I found out here, rather than at poolside. In French public pools, to avoid swimming suit-like attire (cut-offs, shorts or worse), men must wear Speedos.
So Alton Towers has banned embarrassingly titchy swimming trunks at its water park. But spare a thought for France, where the opposite is true: local authorities regularly force men to ditch their Bermudas and parade in skin-tight budgie-smugglers for the greater public good.
In French public pools, from the racing lanes of Paris to the open-air lidos and water parks of the south, anything bigger than Speedos is banned and you must hoist yourself into a posing pouch as a civic requirement. French changing rooms are littered with the broken dreams of prudish males abroad who thought they could sneak in a few lengths without showing their contours.
This sounds like another attempt to shore up French industry, but it does have a certain logic in a country trying to welcome differences, but at the heart, trying to make everyone into a Frenchman.