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In this image taken from video, Nesrine Kenza who says she is happy to be free to wear a burkini, and two unidentified friends rest on the beach in Marseille, France, Monday Aug. 29, 2016. A high court struck down the previous ban of the wearing of so called burkini Friday, but the debate revealed raw tensions between the secular establishment and sectors of France's estimated 5 million Muslims. (AP Photo)

China's 'facekini' wearers just don't get the burkini ban


China's 'facekini' wearers just don't get the burkini ban

The controversy over France's burkini ban has people in China asking: What's the fuss about? 

That's because the facekini has been popular on beaches in eastern China for years, according to CNN. 

Many women cover their faces to limit exposure to the sun and to keep their skin as light as possible -- which is a trend in China. 

Facekinis are made of a skin-tight elastic fabric that covers the swimmer's head and neck. There are holes for the eyes, nostrils, and mouth, according to CNN. 

"It's way better than sunscreen lotion that wears off whenever I get inside the water," Wang Huimei, who lives in Qingdao, China, told CNN. "Plus, the water in this area tends to be cold, it's comfortable to wear and it keeps me warm."

Women who wear facekini sometimes wear suits that cover their torsos and arms, much like the burkini. 

Zhang Shifan, an entrepreneur in China, told CNN she's the inventor of the facekini and has been selling them since 2007. 

Shifan said she has mainly been successful selling her facekinis in China. 

Burkini sales, however, have spiked since some French lawmakers tried to ban the attire on public beaches. 

Shifan didn't know about France's efforts to ban burkinis and said she was shocked. 

"I thought it's the bikinis that could be banned," she told CNN. 

Recently, people on social media have mocked the French burkini ban, asking what authorities would do if Chinese beachgoers were to wear facekinis. 

A French court overturned the burkini ban in Nice Thursday, saying the ban was illegal because there were no proven security risks in connection with the swimwear.

According to Al Jazeera, this comes after France's highest administrative court ruled to suspend the bans in about 30 towns last week.

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