Tears, nudity, thieving and self-deception; for all the fleshy drama in their workplace, you would think Ilisia Shuke and Rachael Morrice were co-stars in a soap opera.
Shuke, 22, and Morrice, 19, work at Bondi Beach’s Bikini Island, a small and triangular shop that trades tiny, triangular sample pieces of cloths, swatches. They are shop assistants – bikini fitters, if you want – but their job also needs them to be counselors, confidantes, stylists and even security guards. From a counter with a view over Australia’s most sought after beach, they match swimsuits and a body that might sound easy, but is not.
“This is a pretty small thing that you’re wearing,” Shuke says. “Everything’s out there for the world to see.”
Where as Morrice said: “I find women are really afraid to jump above a size 12. If you tell them, ‘You’re a 14,’ they won’t do it. But some of the best bodies I’ve ever seen are a size 14. I’ve also had women who have just had kids shed a few tears in here.”
Sydney morning herald