Remember the bad old days of slathering on baby oil in the hopes of getting an even tan? In China, women on beaches are going to incredible lengths to keep their skin protected against the sun, including donning a 'face-kini.'
According to an article in the BBC, beach-goers in their middle age are sporting caps with eyes cut out, like an homage to Spiderman or his burglarizing, balaclava-wearing cousin.
And if you're thinking that face-kinis are vaguely freakish, you're mistaken. Quite the opposite—they are styling, if the CR Fashion Book is anything to go by. The New York-style magazine published a photo shoot of women in face-kinis, complete with "chic swimsuits and fancy jewellery."
And in China, women are talking about face-kinis all over social media networks. Part of the cultural appeal, of course, comes from the coveted bone-white skin, which has long been synonymous with prosperity.
"Since ancient times, a classic beauty in the eyes of the Chinese has white skin," said one Weibo user. "Girls raised in wealthy families could afford to stay indoors and away from hard labour, and their rosy white skin was a sign of their good fortune."
In attempt to keep the effects of the sun at bay, the Chinese have a range of products available, from whitening creams, to specialized UV-blocking umbrellas, sleeves, and capes.
But the Western influence is never far. Tanning salons are apparently making their way to the metropolises...