by Victoria Simpson
The Facekini. Yes, just like scanty swimwear with sexy bottoms but for your face. Don’t have one?
The Facekini is a recent development from China that comes in the form of a nylon face covering that reveals only the eyes, nose and mouth and is meant to protect facial skin from the sun’s damaging rays when swimming outside and according to some, from stinging jelly fish.
The phenomenon’s inventor is 59 year-old Zhang Shifan, a former accountant from Qingdao, a coastal city in eastern China’s Shangdong province. Zhang can sit back and enjoy the ride as she is now proudly basking in the sale of more than 30, 000 of her masks since bringing them to market in 2004.
The effective facewear is available inside and outside of China and comes in a variety of solid colors as well as designs from the Peking opera.
The traditional opera designs come as a new addition, as the original mask was scaring children on the beach. Zhang commented on this in an interview documented on china.org.cn.
“In the past I really wanted to do everything I could to avoid scaring people. If I were to make a face-kini, I wouldn’t make a black one, a white one, not dark colors. But scaring people still couldn’t be avoided. So I thought ‘Why don’t I draw some Peking opera designs that Chinese people like instead?’ So little children might not be so scared when they see these designs.”
Tanned skin is a sign of enduring hard work in the fields of China, and avoiding it by protecting skin in order to remain pale is highly sought after.
Facekinis join the growing trend of UV protective clothing and swimwear available worldwide from shirts, to full body suits, to hats. Watch out, Coppertone.