While the issue of letting people wear the “burkini” remains a hot topic for debate in France, a similar-looking swimsuit comes to mind — China’s “facekini.” Just like the burkini, the facekini has also made global headlines, but not for any race-fueled and religiously-based controversy — it just looks very creepy.
When Chinese women go to the beach, they sometimes wear the colorful, odd-looking face masks to protect their faces from the heat of the sun. The mask is most popular in the beach-side town of Qingdao, where most wearers also don the complete get-up which covers the entire body to protect them from jellyfish, insects and other irritants while at the beach.
Dubbed by international websites as the “facekini” in 2012, its popularity didn’t catch on in the West, for better or worse. Available in local swim stores near beaches, the colorful yet unsightly swimwear that make wearers look like they are robbing a bank at the beach can still be seen being worn by many today.
At first glance, the Chinese full-on costumes do resemble the popular beach outfit many Muslim women wear.
The burkini recently made headlines after the summer get-up was banned by several French towns, causing debates among legislators and the general public. Designed in Australia by Aheda Zanetti, the suit is also worn by non-Muslims to protect their skin from the sun’s heat.