٠ Balaclavas hit the beach ٠

51_4d022f9fecf00af1ffeb62af90344dda© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

51_a4870e632ab6d052f18260c5d9cefd8e© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

In China, it’s the height of the tourist season for Qingdao’s famed beaches. But while many of the town’s visitors want to enjoy the sand and water, they’re not so wild about sunbathing. So they often resort to a local tradition: the face-kini, a sort of light cloth version of a ski mask.

[…]

The beachgoers aren’t showing their support for the balaclava-wearing Russian band Pussy Riot. And , they’re not fans of the film Kick-Ass. Instead, the newspaper says, the head-cover reflects “an ancient sentiment in China, like numerous other countries: a terror of tanning.”

In many cultures, a tan doesn’t imply health and leisure, as it often does in Western advertising. Instead, it’s seen as a connection to outdoor work, and the peasantry. Preserving one’s pale skin, the thinking goes, implies that you lead a pampered, successful life.

51_aadccf86b6167e8ce5c09d5f2946a8b0© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

51_b6815ab3cb124a8b380a5a97c8fa8e44© Peng & Chen , from the series Face-kini

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