Here’s a helpful tip if you’re ever on a beach in China and see someone wearing what appears to be a ski mask: don’t be alarmed. Most likely, that person is not an off-duty bank robber enjoying some R&R. Rather, they’re probably just wearing a “facekini.”
While you can see facekinis on beaches all over China, they’re particularly popular in the city of Qingdao, where they were first invented by Zhang Shifan in 2004. Most facekinis are made from either lycra or rubber. They can be store-bought or homemade, and most of them have holes for the eyes, nose, and mouth. In other words, a ski mask for the beach.
Typically, Chinese beachgoers prefer to enjoy the beach without the risks that come with sunbathing, but that only explains some of the facekini’s popularity. Some folks wear them to protect against jellyfish stings, sharp rocks, and harsh winds. Others enjoy the anonymity they provide while wearing a swimsuit out in public. Whatever the reason, plenty of facekini fanatics use the garment to show off their fashion sense.
You can check out some facekini fashion below. Maybe you’ll even be inspired for your next trip to the beach. Or your next casino heist, whichever comes first.
h/t: Dangerous Minds