Foreign Woman Removes Top At Beach in Qingdao, Causes Major Disturbance
Contrary to popular perception, women in Asia are not universally modest. Any time I visit a nightclub in Kunming, for example, I see girls dressed up in outfits that would make any Westerner blush. Granted, some of these women are hired by the club to attract men, but in general women who patronize night-spots in Chinese cities do not dress any less provocatively than their Western counterparts would. And this is in China, which is far more conservative in this way than places like Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.
Yet on the beach, most Chinese women dress as if no one has seen a swimsuit catalogue in 60 years. Most young women-in my years of experience ogling babes on beaches across the world- wear bikinis. Not in China. A bikini, to most women I know here, would attract unwanted attention from men and darken their skin, the scourge of the Asian middle class. Toplessness is out of the question- a topless woman would be about as inconspicuous as Shaquille O’Neal in rural Sichuan.
And so it isn’t terribly surprising that a European woman- the harlot!- caused a minor incident in Qingdao by removing her top on the beach. In homage to Chris*, here is a rough translation** of the whole amusing article:
At 2pm on August 12th, a foreign woman (on the left of the photo) at the Number 1 Seaside Bathing Beach sunbathed half-nude, behavior immediately triggering a commotion at the beach. Some residents dubbed the woman’s behavior ‘out of line’, yet many beach-goers still approached the woman for a photograph.
“There’s a foreign woman sunbathing topless at the beach!”. At 2 pm, a city resident surnamed Chu telegrammed this newspaper at 96663 with the news. Shortly thereafter, this reporter arrived at the Number 1 bathing beach, which due to the sizzling weather, was crammed with both local and visiting beach-goers. Under the guidance of a local, this reporter located the half-naked woman.
This reporter then saw a blonde, topless woman taking photos with other beach-goers, and although she was within view of a number of people, she remained unfazed.
Shortly thereafter, this reporter approached the woman to talk, and after basic conversation the reporter understood that the woman came from Bulgaria, had been in Qingdao four days, and thought Qingdao was a very beautiful city. She seemed indifferent to her toplessness, believing that to be topless was her right.
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“With so many people around, this kind of behavior is quite unbecoming!”, said a septuagenerian man who couldn’t help but shake his head after seeing the woman. “This may be normal overseas, but here it’s indecent.” A number of residents whom this reporter interviewed expressed bewilderment with the forwardness of the woman’s behavior.
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Shortly thereafter, this reporter went to the beach management office, where he was told by a person responsible that although the beach had encountered topless guests in the past, they had never found one daring to go topless in front of so many people. “There’s nothing we can do about it!”. This reporter was told that in the past several days many residents and guests alike have complained about this matter, but because no clear law exists prohibiting this sort of behavior, beach employees simply could not intervene.
I find this story amusing because a) the Bulgarian woman continued sunbathing topless despite what appears to have been an enormous amount of attention on top of the persistent questioning of the reporter, b) that the supposed ‘moral outrage’ involved didn’t prevent beach-goers from crowding around the woman and taking her photo, and c) that rather than compel the woman to put her top back on, the beach officials were preventing from doing so due to the absence of a clear legal statute regarding these matters. See, China is a nation that respects the rule of law!
*Chris, it should be noted, translates items of actual societal value. I’ll stick to the more lurid side with mine.
** Translators, or friends with better Chinese than mine- please feel free to correct this translation of mine. But only if you have way too much free time.