It has been interesting watching the last 30 years the rise in the use of wetsuits. I remember as a child at the beach, even in the UK, it was common of children and adults to be in just speedos or costumes swimming or playing in the sea and on the beach. Nowadays it is rare on a British beach or on any beach that is not hot hot for anyone not to be wearing some kind of lycra or neoprene garment.
I think one reason for this is that the cost, comfortable and ease to buy wetsuits had radically improved to the point it is a normal beach accessory for children and adults alike. Better awareness of both skin cancer and hypothermia has also made being coverup the preferable option.
For me personally, the wetsuit makes me feel more comfortable and safer in the water as I know I am more prone to the cold and thats is really all that matters.