Chinese beach wear is something that has always baffled me, from the tight little briefs that the men seem to think make them look masculine to the frilly little girls bikini’s that have been seemingly hit by the “Honey I blew up the kid” treatment and enlarged to women sizes. Then there’s the outfits some girls wear seemingly forgetting their at the beach, delicate lace dresses and high heels, don’t they know that sand doesn’t go with either!
But long since I was last at a Chinese beach and while back in my own beach fashionable, beach loving country Australia, something on the news caught my attention, a new wave of fashion taking over China’s beaches.
Now while most Australian’s seemed amused and confused by what’s been dubbed the “Facekini”, I on the other hand completely understand the logic of wearing a Lycra balaclava to the beach…
Now the apparently obvious reason for these fashions is to keep the precious skin of the Chinese shining white with not even a hint of brown glow. In China brown is ugly, it’s ‘low class’. White as porcelain skin on the other hand is beautiful and the preferred skin tone.
In fact white skin is so preferred that it’s seemingly impossible to find any skin care product in China that doesn’t have whitening agents giving you a glowing ghostly white face that Casper would be proud of.
And while a white body unaffected by the suns rays might be the reason for some to don this stylish skin care, I have a couple of other explanations that make even more sense!
1. Looking like a Panda is awesome!
Now while these women below may look like Leopard’s what they’re actually trying to look like is a Panda. Panda is the beloved national animal of China so it makes sense that everyone would want to don the Panda eyes, clearly! I mean what else did think they would look like when that take off the mask only to have a completely white face besides the dark tanned circles around their eyes!
2. It protects your face from floating nasties!
Have you ever been to a beach in China? Well they’re disgusting! With litter all over the beach, floating nasties in the water, blue green algae outbreaks, industrial waste floating about and washing up on shore or just downright muddy water that has gushed out of the Yangtze river.
Not even the relatively nice beaches of Qingdao are free of gross things you don’t want anywhere near your face. One summer I was there during a blue green algae outbreak. Not only was the beach still open despite the algae’s toxicity, people were also swimming in the water including me, and it was disgusting! I would wear a “Facekini” if it meant I wouldn’t get algae en-tangled in my hair!
But that is not the worst of the floating nasties, oh no! There are a lot of UFO’s (Unidentified Floating Objects) in the waves of China’s beaches. But it’s the ones that are identifiable that are the most scary.
Imagine my horror when a wave sent a sanitary napkin wrapper my way when swimming at a beach in Xiamen but even worse there were condom wrappers floating too! I didn’t even want to think about where its contents had ended up!
So despite the fascinating strangeness of this new beach fashion trend and despite the fact that you probably though it’s a crazy and preposterous thing to wear to the beach, I bet your changing your mind now! If not for the fashionable Panda look but to avoid touching the contents of the rubbish tip that is China’s sea!What do you think of this new beach fashion craze sweeping across China?
See more pics of this stylish beach fashion on CNN Go.