Qingdao beach- Sunday afternoon, sunshine, golden sand, blue water and lots of people in swim suits. But wait, something is different here. Between all the people dressed in bathing suits some people stick out of the mass. Women whose whole bodies are covered by their bathing suit; even their face is covered by some kind of ski mask made out of swim suit fabrics. If you see it the first time it looks like a joke and one may think of this trend where young people sometimes wear colourful whole body suites at parties to catch someone’s eye. But it is not at all a joke; these women wear it on purpose to protect their skin from the strong sunshine.
It is widely known that the Chinese definition of beauty includes pail and fair skin and not only this; it is as well a sign for great wealth. Farmers and people who are working on the street, who usually belong to the lower class are really tanned because they are exposed to sunshine the whole day. Consequently having a pail skin is an indication that one isn’t dependent on working on the field or street. These are relevant reasons for a lot of Chinese, especially women, to do everything to stay “white”. Nevertheless the women don’t want to renounce to go to the beach or to go outside and that’s why this mania leads to an extensive use of whitening lotions and of course strong sunscreen with a high UV-protection. Furthermore, they wear sun protection gloves which cover their arms and many women don’t even go outside without opening their parasol.
With the use of the masks the Chinese beauty craze came to the next level. Some may think this trend is just exaggerated, some other may be scared by the people wearing this masks and again some others may love this new trend and would like to buy such a mask. With every new trend there are lovers and haters, but one might really think: Where will this mania for pale skin lead to if people are now already covering every single piece of skin to stay white?
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