China’s Popular Beach Trend: The Facekini

If you’re traveling to China this summer and want to fit in at the beach, you may be less than thrilled to learn the popular fashion trend will not allow you to get a tan. Dubbed the “facekini,” these masks cover the person’s entire face, head and neck, with holes cut out for the eyes, nose and mouth.

In northeast China’s seaside town of Qingdao, women especially find these masks appealing for beachwear. Unlike most Westerners who enjoy getting bronze in the summer, Chinese women view white skin as a sign of beauty. In fact, the Chinese have an expression that roughly translates to “white skin covers up a hundred uglinesses.” Because of this, these women will do whatever it takes to stay fair.

“[I wear this because] I fear getting tanned,” said Wang Xiuzhi (王秀芝), a “facekini woman” on Qingdao’s No. 1 Bathing Beach, as reported by Xinhua. “I come here to swim often and [the mask] does work.”

According to CNNGo, the facekini has other benefits, like preventing jellyfish stings, repelling mosquitoes and warding off sharks.

While many people from outside China are just finding out about the facekini, the truth is it has been popular in Qingdao for the last five years.

Would you wear a facekini to the beach?

[Image via AFP / Getty Images]