Unwritten Rules of NPC Bikini Competitions

Posted by Summer Taylor on

I realized recently that the 2012 Jr. Nationals competition was my 14th time on stage and my 8th National Level NPC event.  I’ve been busy; who knew?  Over the 7 years that I have been an NPC Athlete, I have learned that there are quite a few unwritten rules or expectations for the stage.  Let’s analyze the NPC Bikini basics. According to npcnewsonline.com, the 2012 Bikini Competitor rules are:
  • Competitors will compete in a two-piece suit. The bottom of the suit must be v-shaped. No thongs are permitted. Competitors can compete in an off the rack suit. All swimsuits must be in good taste. Athletes will be warned about improper suits and are advised to bring two (2) suits to check in. The fronts of the suits are too low and must be constructed higher. Athletes will be scored down if the suit is not up to standard.
  • Competitors must wear high heels.
  • Competitors may wear jewelry.
On one hand, I love the freedom the rules provide.  On the other hand, there is so much open for interpretation that if you were a novice, the rules above would leave you wanting.  They’ve been weighed, they’ve been measured, and they’ve been found wanting (Hehe…my “A Knights Tale” tribute). Bikini Suits and Accessories Although the NPC rules state that you can get an “off the rack” bikini, be aware that the bottom needs to showcase your bootie in the best way possible.  I have yet to find a suit that does that just off the rack.  The style that best emphasizes the butt is the scrunch-bottom suit and thus, all stage suits are the scrunch style.  The bottoms should not be a hip-tie bottom; ties on hips are not nearly as flattering on stage as they appear in photos.  As time goes on, the suits are becoming more sparkly and crystal covered, they’re still not solidly covered like Figure suits, but the suits are definitely bringing the bling.  Expect to pay anywhere from $125.00-700.00 for a stage bikini. Accessories are typically clear or aurora borealis stoned and very eye-catching.  Necklaces are not worn, nor anklets, but bracelets, earrings, and rings are; the sparkly, the bigger; the better.  Starting 2012, they have ruled-out hair accessories like a flower in your hair; this is now considered a prop and no props are allowed.  Below in no particular order are some companies that I recommend, some even have accessories along with suits.

Shore Princess

Suits You Swimwear

C.J. Suits


Used suits

Shoes The shoes for the NPC stage are clear heels, no exceptions.  You can buy them with a little bit of bling and with or without an ankle strap, but they must be primarily clear, stiletto heeled shoes.  The typical heel height is 5 inches, but some competitors have 4 inch and others have 6 inch.  It really depends on how well you walk in heels.  How you walk on stage is CRUCIAL, more so than heel height.  There are a LOT of places to get clear heels, even your local dance store, but the place that I like the best is: Snaz 75 Hair The goal for hair is to present a healthy, youthful appearance.  If you have long hair, wear it down, smooth and flowing.  Hair should be fuller than you are used to wearing it.  It needs to appear thick and lush.  Many of the gals wear extensions to create this illusion.  Do not wear prom-type hair, no updos or tight spiral curls.  No matter your age, think YOUNG and sexy.  If you have short hair, it needs to be very youthful and wild.  Short hair should be funky and accented with bold color or platinum blond and big earrings.  No matter the hair length, you want to appear youthful, sexy, and sassy. Make-up Stage make-up and every day make-up, or even photoshoot make-up, are not the same thing.  Stage make-up with be SIGNIFICANTLY darker, sparkly and almost Cirque Du Soleil-ish.  Your stage make-up will feel a bit ridiculous when you look in the mirror.  If you’ve never done stage make-up before, or aren’t particularly skilled in make-up application, I recommend you hire a make-up artist for your first competition.  If you’d like to tackle doing your own make-up, you’ll definitely need to include the following items to your make-up kit: A DARK foundation to match your spray tan Strip lashes NOTE: Do NOT buy Sephora lashes or the super-thick, dense lashes.  The Andrea brand styles #45 or #105 work best and can be found at any drug store. Strip lashes glue Black eye liner, Extra-Intense Loreal liquid PENCIL is best Black eye shadow, make sure it is VERY BLACK and matte, not sparkly Creamy-GOLD sparkly eye shadow Practice creating the “smoky-eyed” look with the black eye shadow and eye liner.  Practice applying the false lashes.  Take photos of yourself after application to assess your work but remember it should appear bold and dramatic. As with any new NPC division, the Bikini division continues to evolve, but as of 2012, these are the basic previously unwritten rules to help the novice present an authentic NPC Bikini look. Every day can be a dress rehearsal for the stage.  ~Summer Taylor   Summer Taylor is a National level NPC Bikini competitor,fitness model and high school Biology, Anatomy and Physiology teacher. She is a Species 2011 calendar girl, a Team Bombshell Athlete and was featured in December’s issue of Ironman Magazine and NPC Magazine and Lonnie Teper has declared her a ‘rising star’ in Iron Magazine.