Swimming Masks

Just when you thought it was safe to go in the water, these photos from China emerge. I don’t know if they’ll affect you the same way, but I had nightmares after viewing them.

Here’s the thing.  urban Chinese women will go to any lengths to avoid direct sunlight hitting their skin. It’s not a health thing; but rather a status thing. Lighter skin is good – a sign of wealth and leisure.  Dark skin is bad – a sign that one is probably a common laborer or a peasant.

I discovered this during my first year of teaching in Henan in 1984. In the spring, my teammate and I (who was a California girl) bought bamboo reclining chairs and would sit in the sunshine in the courtyard of our apartment. Our students would come by and beg us not to sit in the sun.

“Please don’t do this,” they would say.

“But I have to. I am from California,” my teammate would reply.

Today, when out on bikes, women don movable sleeves to keep their arms covered and ‘Darth Vader” hats to keep the sun off their faces.  Umbrellas are used more on sunny days than on rainy days.

So I guess it was inevitable that someone was going to just go all out and make a mask to completely cover a woman’s face.

Next thing you know it will be an entire body suit.

Why not?

Reuters has lots more of these photos in a slideshow.

I dare you to look at them. I dare you NOT to look at them!

Related Post:

The Ultimate Sunscreen


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6 thoughts on “Swimming Masks

  1. Jo, I would think that the full body suits that we see in Malaysia and other Muslim majority nations would be hot sellers here.

  2. I thought I’d never think this but the burqas are much more appealing than these masks. Maybe if the models had different figures, it might be more fetching. I really hope this doesn’t catch on in China, it would be like the blue people have taken over!