If you ask somebody in the United States why they go to the beach? One of the number one reasons given will be to get a tan.  In China beachgoers are going to astonishing extents to avoid getting even the smallest amount of sun using the new beachwear item called the “Facekini”.  This item of clothing, or mask, totally covers a person’s head, only revealing their eyes, nose, and mouth.

In China the Facekini has exploded in popularity.  In only 30 days an online store that sells the Facekini reported selling 542 masks in different colors and patterns.  The owner of the online store stated that “we are already out of the pink ones… and orange is the most effective in protecting people from sea creatures.”

The Facekini is often paired with a long-sleeved shirt, reportedly cost $2 to $4.  Many people are simply making their own masks out of old clothes instead of spending the dough to buy one.  Citizens of China report that the head-cover reflects “an ancient sentiment in China, like numerous other countries: a terror of tanning.  In many cultures, including China, a tan does not suggest leisure and health, like Western advertising portrays.  It is in fact the exact opposite; a tan is seen as a connection to outdoor work and peasantry.  A person with pale skin is seen as living a pampered and successful lifestyle.

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