GOLD COAST — Chicagoans may be pale because of the long winter here, but never accuse them of having bad beach bodies.
Using site data and a poll of 14,000 men, a study by dating website MissTravel.com ranked Chicago as the third-worst city in the country for women's bikini bodies, just above Sacramento, Calif., and Anchorage, Alaska.
But ask anyone at Oak Street Beach, and they all disagree.
"Absolutely not. I thought I was in Southern California when I first arrived on the beach," said Dave Dunne, a 38-year-old visiting from Dublin. "I told my wife you have some awesome beach bodies here. You guys work out a lot."
Angela Jacob Bermudo, a spokeswoman for the dating site, said the results of the survey, which ranked Louisville, Ky., Montgomery, Ala., and Orlando as the top bikini towns, surprised her too.
"It shocked us too," Bermudo said. "We've been getting mixed responses from everybody.
Bruce Groeper, better known as "Bruce the Masseuse," has been a mainstay at the beach for the last eight summers. Massaging about 400 people every year, he knows a thing or two about bodies and bathing suits.
"There's a lot of heavy people everywhere. ... A lot of pasta goes out to New York," Groeper said. "I don't know who's the worst, but I don't think we're the third."
Ultimately though, rankings don't matter to Groeper.
"As long as someone is healthy, you should be comfortable with yourself," he said. "And mentally if you are comfortable with yourself, you're good."