When the temperature sizzles, there's no better way to stay cool at the beach. In contrast to the fact that many Westerners pay for tanning, things are totally different in China.
When it comes to avoiding the sun, it seems Chinese creativity is unlimited. Why? Is the sunray harmful to health or the seawater severely polluted? The old Chinese saying "one touch of white disguises 100 kinds of ugliness" will quench your curiosity about why Chinese people prefer fair skin.
Usually, there are three ways to avoid the sun. The first is to stay indoors, the second is to wear a wide-brimmed hat, and the third is to apply some sun cream to the exposed parts.
The facekini and the inventor Zhang Shifan
If you're in China, however, there is a fourth option – the fair skin conscious beachgoers in Qingdao have come up a novel way of protecting their fair skin from the sun with facekini. What is a facekini?
The facekini, made of a stretchy fabric, is a mask designed for swimmers and beachgoers which covers the head and reveals only the eyes, nose, and mouth. The local people wear facekini in summer to protect themselves from the damaging tan inducing UV rays and jellyfish stings while at the beach. people often wear the mask in combination with various sun-protecting clothing such as sunglasses, visors, long sleeves and Batman-style capes, making them look like they're more ready to invade a country than enjoy a day at the beach.
The fashion accessory has become widely adopted by middle-aged women, and even used for other purposes (a fashion for farm work) in China. It seems that the facekini has gone global. It once appeared on the magazine CR Fashion Book.
The quirky fashion trend has amused Internet users all over the world. Take a look at their comments.
Miss CeCe, UK
The aliens have landed!
Spiderman is coming to town…
From the pictures I thought it was a large group of Mexican wrestling fans on holiday.
Are you sure this isn't just where Bank Robbers go for their holidays?
I don't see the point in going to the beach if you need to cover up completely. Why don't they go to the beach early morning or early evening when the sun isn't so intense.
If you want to prevent getting tan this much you should just stay home. I can't think of anything stupider than going to all this trouble to go to the beach only to sweat under these hot and sticky costumes in which you can't see or hear or feel anything but hot. And since they're made in China there's every possibility that if you're lucky the least they'll give you is a rash.
The tanned circles you'd get round your eyes would be quite amusing.
They must still get tanned around the eye holes making them look like pandas.
Bikers have been using face masks in America for the same reason for years, especially in the Southwest where melanoma (skin cancer) is far too common. I wish this would become popular in the USA. Looking 85 when you're 50 isn't cool.
For northern Chinese one of the standards of beauty and status is pale white skin. Dark skin is indicative of ones' status as a laborer or farmer and not one of an upper socialite.
So they end up with skin cancer of the lips and eyelids through the holes. If it is that much of a concern doesn't come out into the sun.
It does look a bit creepy, but instead of sunblock (I now use factor 50+) it's probably a lot healthier to just use this. No chemicals. This year I used a long-sleeved top to go swimming in the sea in – the equivalent of factor 50 sun cream but it can't be washed off. And the best thing is that it gives me some protection from jellyfish, too.
看上去有点恐怖，不过用起来比防晒霜健康多了，起码不含化学制品。我今年套上长袖去海边游泳 – 防晒效果可媲美SPF50的防晒霜，不过防晒霜难洗掉。袖套反而能防止我被海蜇蛰伤。
Added benefit: The face masks were initially designed to protect from sunburn but it turns out they are also quite handy at repelling insects and jellyfish and anyone of the opposite sex.
Are they just going to soak themselves in the seawater?
Chen Junpeng 1026, China
Is it that people can go skinny dipping, only wearing the facekini?
The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer.