The Death of the “Beijing Bikini”? Authorities Launch Crackdown on Men Exposing Their Bellies

An iconic summer look is under threat

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7:12 AM HKT, Thu July 4, 2019 1 mins read

Did you know you lose 50% of your body heat through your belly? No? That’s because it’s not true. But you could be forgiven for thinking that was the belief among a certain segment of Chinese society, as every summer inevitably leads to men rolling their shirts up and exposing their bellies in public.

Parks, alleyways, and frankly nearly any public area in China bears witness to groups of dudes with their shirts pulled up over protruding guts, a look that’s commonly known as the “Beijing bikini”. It’s such an iconic summer look that it’s even made it to international catwalks:

beijing bikini fashion

But now, this “fashion trend” is under threat — at least in one part of the country.

The city of Jinan in northeastern Shandong Province has announced that the exposing of bellies is one of its key targets in what they’re calling a “civilizing campaign”. Also subject to the crackdown are bare feet and “casual exposure”.



The moves are supposedly part of “improving the city’s overall image”, with spitting in public also among the targets. Naturally, commenters on microblogging site Weibo have weighed in with their thoughts on the matter.

“I suggest they expand this to the whole country,” says one highly-upvoted comment on People.cn‘s report of the measures. “They should include smoking as part of this,” says another popular comment.

Not everyone is impressed however. “The things they need to control they don’t bother with; the things that shouldn’t be bothered with they have to completely fucking control,” wrote one commenter on Weibo.

weibo comment beijing bikini bellies

Meanwhile, one comment that attracted hundreds of likes reads: “If their bodies are good then fine; if they’re not in shape then no way.”

Cover photo: Anagoria

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