The Week in Women: bizarre beach attire, tobacco sexism, and a techie strip joint

LOUDI, CHINA - APRIL 22: (CHINA OUT) Models wearing face-kinis pose on the terraces of a farm on World Earth Day on April 22, 2015 in Loudi, Hunan province of China. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

It’s the summertime, the weather is fine, and we’ve got women on our mind (though not quite in the way Mungo Jerry intended). The time is ripe for soaking up some rays, enjoying the beach, and just generally kicking up our heels. So in honor of the year’s laziest season, let’s take a look back at a week in leisurely news.

The legendary “face-kini” got a makeover. For years, Chinese women have been wearing masks to the beach so they can enjoy the sun while maintaining a pale complexion. Unfortunately, the face-kini—essentially a balaclava—terrified small children. To remedy this problem, inventor Zhang Shifan redesigned the face-kini to resemble the colorful masks worn by the traditional Peking Opera. The result? Mexican wrestler meets armed robber, mixed with a touch of highbrow culture.

While we’re on the subject of leisure apparel, we should talk about Aerie, the swim/lingerie/sleepwear offshoot of American Eagle Outfitters. The brand’s sales have climbed nine percent since last year thanks to a savvy advertising campaign that uses unaltered images featuring women of all shapes and sizes. The campaign has been named “Aerie Real,” because real is beautiful! Turns out, real is pretty lucrative too.

If you’re a woman in Egypt, chances are you like to spend your time off smoking “shisha,” or water pipes, in a café. Shisha has become an increasingly common past-time among men and women alike, but a fierce debate erupted on Twitter this past week about whether women should smoke. Many men joined in the discussion, calling women who smoke immodest and immoral, while others staunchly defended the practice. Three cheers for equal-opportunity lung poison.

If you’re a tech guy in San Francisco, chances are you like to spend your time off at The Gold Club strip joint. According to a recent piece in Forbes, The Gold Club often fills up by 11:45 am on weekdays, mostly with employees of tech businesses in the SoMa district. For a $5 cover charge, visitors can feast their eyes and their bellies, thanks to a free lunch buffet and copious amounts of bare breasts. And people accuse the tech industry of being a big boys’ club? Shocking.

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