#alienadventures(China): behold my pale arms

Like many cultures around the world, in ancient China the paler you were, the more beautiful you were seen to be – as well as of a higher social class: it is only blue-collared workers who toil outdoors in the sun.  This belief lives on in the 21st century. In modern China, many women rely on a two-wheel commute, getting around on motorbikes or bicycles. This activity obviously exposes their arms to direct sunlight. In a bid to protect their arms from the sun, the women resort to some rather innovative ways to keep their hands and arms pale. For many women, a man’s shirt – worn back to front – does the trick, but necessity is the mother of invention and there are some brilliant “arm protectors” available, from full length gloves, to “arm sleeves” (tubes that sheath the arm but not the hands). My favourite were mini capes – kind of a hybrid between a shrug, a shrunken cape and full length gloves. The girl on the yellow motorbike in the title pic, looked to me like a benign version of Darth Vader.

But practical concerns needn’t dent your sense of style. Check out the pic of the woman who – in 35 degree weather – wore full length gold sateen gloves…with her sundress. Like they say, “it’s a look…”

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