If you were on the internet 9 years ago, you may have heard about the Facekini, a revolutionary product that protected one's face from tanning while swimming. Almost a decade later, the Facekini is even more popular, exploding onto the beaches of Qingdao, China and protecting from more than just the sun.
The original Facekini, which retails for $2-4, according to Business Insider, is still going strong, but more and more women are making their own Facekinis out of used underwear and lingerie. They use the facewear not just to protect from tanning (which is a sign of being of a lower socioeconomic status), but also to protect from jellyfish and insect bites, which can be common when swimming in the ocean. And there's one more reason that the Facekini is becoming more and more popular: It protects the identity of the women swimming.
Business Insider reports that the majority of the women doing the swimming on Qingdao's beaches are middle-aged retirees who would prefer to remain anonymous.
Most "face-kini" women are middle-aged retired Qingdaoese who swim in the city's oceans frequently. Many of the women say that they wear the masks because they are uncomfortable donning bathing suits in public. The masks shield their identity so that they can swim without fear of ridicule.
And one more thing: According to some, the Facekinis may actually ward off sharks, especially if the masks are bright orange, which is believed to be a color sharks fear. Is that why life vests are orange? Not just for high visibility? Oh man, there goes a whole different level of panic.
It's unlikely that the Facekini will catch on in North America, but if you're trying to avoid a tan, you may want to make your own.
image via Imgur