BEIJING — You can always tell how hot it is in China by how high men roll up their shirts.
Over 30 degrees out? Roll ‘em up to above the navel. Closer to 40? Tops are getting tucked chest-high.
This peculiar fashion phenomenon has proven so popular among locals that it even has a nickname – the ‘Beijing Bikini’. And despite being rather unsightly, you can’t really blame them when temperatures in China are reaching record highs.
As the mercury rises in the summer, so do many Chinese men’s shirts, rolled up to expose ample bellies. Though the “Beijing bikini” has long been a familiar sight in the country, straight-laced authorities are starting to push back. https://t.co/zm9p0UbgF5
— David Paulk 波大卫 (@davidpaulk) July 4, 2019
But the belly-baring trend may soon be coming to an end, at least in the city of Jinan, population 8.7 million. Local authorities issued a notice on July 2 ordering the public to keep their shirts on while in public, calling out “shirtlessness” and “wanton exposure of body parts” as “uncivilized behaviour” that damages the image of the city.
But that’s not all – the list of banned behaviours under the notice reads a mile long. These include public bickering, jumping queues, littering, taking off shoes to air out feet and what’s being referred to as “uncivilized dog walking”.
Those who violate the new guidelines, especially in high-traffic areas like public squares and parks, could face punishment.
Many people expressed their support on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China, saying the practice of ‘bang ye’, or ‘exposing grandfathers’ was “too uncivilized”.
Others came to the defense of middle-aged men who want nothing more than to stay cool. “He is only 60 years old. He just wants to wear a vest. What is his sin?” asked one person, as reported by The Guardian.
Chinese authorities have tried to ban all sorts of “uncivilized” behaviors: They’ve tackled public spitting, slurping soup too loudly, jaywalking and cutting in line. Perhaps their most ambitious target yet: The Beijing Bikini https://t.co/vbTxH4G8Zd pic.twitter.com/IVmyxuc5Zh
— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) July 4, 2019
Jinan’s notice comes on the heels of similar guidelines issued by the province of Tianjin in March. The ‘Tianjin Civilized Behavior Promotion Regulations’, which were implemented on May 1, included bans on toplessness and screaming in public places.