"I choose to dress this way because it gives me freedom. I don't have to worry about strange men looking at my figure, desiring me in a sexual way or people commenting on the way I look and judging my looks or talking about my clothes," one woman said.
According to a 2017 Pew study, France has the highest percentage of Muslims of any country in Europe, in large part due to an influx of migrants over the past several years.
The religiosity of these Muslim migrants has clashed with France's strong adherence to laïcité before, causing France to ban the face veil despite complaints that the move violated religious freedom.
French law also bans hijabs, Jewish skullcaps and large Chrsitian crosses in public schools, as well as the wearing of hijab or other religiously-affiliated clothing on school trips, effectively banning any headscarf-wearing moms from chaperoning their child's school trips.
The revived burkini dispute also comes amidst new religious freedom worries in France, over the country's new Universal National Service for teens, a civil service program that will be made mandatory over the next seven years for all French youth age 15-16.
Participants in the program will wear French military uniforms and sing the French anthem daily. They will not be allowed to wear religious symbols, nor will they be released to attend religious services. The meals served at the program will not accommodate for religious dietary needs.
The program is intended to give young people "causes to defend" and "battles to fight in the social, environmental and cultural domains," according to French President Emmanuel Macron, who proposed the revival of a required service program in the country.
Marc Guidoni, a veteran trainer for the Values of the Republic and Secularism Plan, told the French Catholic newspaper La Vie this week that he was concerned that the program discriminated against young religious believers, and that it went beyond the bounds of secularism required or allowed by French law.
"With the exception of freedom of conscience, the rest of the constitutional framework relating to secularism does not seem to be respected," Guidoni told La Vie.
"The citizen is free to express his opinions - including religious ones - as long as this does not disturb the functioning of public order."