We’ve almost hit the halfway mark of July. Slowly but surely, Tokyo is getting hotter and more humid. Add to this mix the rain from the oncoming typhoon and you’ve got this sticky mess that makes you just want to stay indoors all day and watch old movies on TV.
The crazy thing that I’ve noticed here in Japan though, is that many, many women go to great lengths to avoid getting tan during these summer months.
Now, I understand that being fair-skinned is considered attractive in Japan. But when it’s hot out, nothing’s gonna stop me from wearing my favorite shorts and a tank top.
Meanwhile, you’ll see women wearing arm guards (sort of like leg warmers, but for arms), long-sleeved shirts, and leggings under shorts (this is also because people don’t like to show their bare skin). They also carry parasols everywhere. Sometimes, you’ll see women with parasols on cloudy days. I’m pretty sure that these women will have much nicer skin than me in years to come, when I’m a wrinkly old mess of a grandma. But I can’t even imagine being so covered up when it’s scorching and humid outside.
Although I’m definitely not the only Japanese woman who doesn’t mind getting tan, it’s hard to walk through the streets of Tokyo without noticing how covered up everyone else is. I’ve been living in Japan for so long that I’m starting to wonder if there’s something wrong with me. But…yeah. You won’t catch me in arm guards any time soon.
Still, I wonder. Is this something that’s seen in other countries too?