Women in china that wear the facekini, a cloth that covers the face during swimming are wondering why the French government is making so much fuss about the Burkini, a garment worn by Muslim women that covers the body and head but doesn’t cover the face. The “facekini” has been popular attire on beaches in eastern China for several years, especially in the city of Qingdao, a seaside city of 9 million.
The skin-tight elasticated fabric masks cover a swimmer’s entire head and neck. Holes are cut for eyes, nostrils, mouth and, in some cases, pony tails. Most facekinis cover up the rest of the torso as well.
“I’ve been using a facekini for nearly ten years,” says Wang Huimei, 58, a Qingdao local who goes to the beach almost everyday in summer.
“It’s way better than sunscreen lotion that wears off whenever I get inside the water. Plus, the water in this area tends to be cold, it’s comfortable to wear and it keeps me warm.”
Wang says she hadn’t heard about France’s efforts to ban Muslim women from covering up their bodies on beaches.
“I can’t really make sense of it,” she said. “I thought it’s the bikinis that could be banned.”
Zhang, who invented the facekini and has sold about 20,000 Facekinis this summer says she hasn’t had much success selling the garment outside China.
“We’ve tried promoting our products overseas after the pictures of our products went viral, but it didn’t turn out well. We’ve only had small orders from Australia, Hong Kong and Taiwan in the past few years.”
Some Internet users have found the designs of Facekinis amusing and creative; while others have found them shocking.
“Ask French police to arrest them!” one user of Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, commented on the photos.
Source/photo credit : CNN Asia