Fun in the sun, but still lily-white

Updated: 2014-06-19 11:42

(Shanghai Star)

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“There’s a small white sand beach in the park near my home. Eve ry time I take my 2-year-old daughter there, I bring a large umbrella with me,” says Wu.

“I don’t want my daughter to get too tanned either. Girls with a fair complexion are better looking.”

Zhou Xiaohong, 32, is even more extreme.

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She says she won’t lie down on a beach, even when there is no sun because her grandmother told her that even moonlight can a ect her fair complexion.

“I saw some women wearing big straw hats and oversized cloaks and others dressed up like caddies on the golf course. I know it’s clumsy but it’s understandable. If I go into the water, I’ll cover myself from head to toe, too.”

While these women’s main concern is their complexion, there are some who take even more extreme measures like the “face-kini”.

This is a nylon balaclava that covers the head and neck, with holes for the eyes, nose and mouth.

This unusual headgear first became prevalent on beaches in Qingdao, Shandong province in recent years, and users claim it works better than sunscreen lotion.

Not all Shanghai women fear the sun.

Wang Jianing, a 26-year-old Shanghai native who had lived in England for three years, says her experience overseas inspired her passion for the beach and she often spends her holidays on island resorts such as Phuket and Koh Samui.

However, the Chinese attitude of sunbathing is different from that of Westerners, says Wang, who sports a healthily tanned skin tone. “

We envy Caucasians because their complexion is still pleasant after sunbathing, so they don’t need to hide from the sun,” she says.

“Please don’t make fun of us if you see us spending more time smearing sunscreen lotion than swimming.

“Our Asian skin takes a much longer time to recover from too much sun.”




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