In 2004, Chinese inventor Zhang Shifan created the ‘facekini’ in order to protect beachgoers’ skin from the sun.
However, in sad news, the mask recently had to undergo a design change because it was scaring children – and just one look at these things kind of explains why!
The original masks drew comparisons to Spider-Man and Mexican wrestlers, terrifying kids everywhere – which is slightly strange because kids usually love superheroes and Rey Mysterio! Then again, imagine being confronted with one of these monstrosities in the street…
Speaking to Reuters, Shifan said:
In the past, I really wanted to do everything I could to avoid scaring people.
She sort of failed on that front, didn’t she?
In addition to being designed for sun protection, the facekini was also inspired by Chinese women’s desire to preserve their pale skin – pale complexions are seen as being delicate and feminine in China. The mask also reportedly works against jellyfish stings. Useful.
Shifan, who owns a swimwear store, is now redesigning the popular beach item in the style of traditional Peking Opera, a form of Chinese opera known for its colorful face-painting, so that “little children might not be so scared”.
Shifan has already sold 30,000 facekinis in the past year alone and she’ll be hoping that the new versions prove just as popular!