tan lines #2 : social landscape in China

6 Jul

[Old perceptions are] now changing in China, especially in its richest and most sophisticated city of Shanghai, where having a nice tan is increasingly seen not as a sign of peasantry but rather as a status symbol. The recent boom in tanning salons in China is starting to shake deep-rooted traditions about skin tone, though it still seems a long way from denting the multi-million dollar market in skin whitening creams.

Bronze Bodies, a newly opened tanning salon in fashionable central Shanghai, has expanded its VIP membership to about 900 people and is planning to deliver value-added services like how to coordinate hair and clothes with newly tanned skin. “I am making a fashion statement,” owner Li Rui told Reuters. “It’s not merely about tanned skin, but creating a fresh lifestyle choice for Chinese.” . . .

“People can immediately tell how wealthy you are by looking at your golden tanned skin,” said a tanning branch manager who identified herself as Jin. “It looks shiny and healthy, quite different from the dim and coarse skin of day laborers.” The appearance of tanned models on billboards around China and of bronzed actors, such as Hong Kong heart throb Louis Koom, on television and at the movies is also having an impact.

taken from here.

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