Some Chinese authorities want to put a stop to it, but might Japanese authorities be wise to encourage letting our guts fly free?

A long-standing hot-weather technique among older guys in China has been to roll up their shirts to just under their chests creating the illusion of wearing something like a bra. Dubbed, the “Beijing Bikini” it has recently come under fire by local governments who are calling for a ban on the practice.

Our writer Meg, who often travels to China, first encountered the Beijing Bikini back in the 2000s while visiting Shanghai. Her companion was startled by a group of men wearing what, from a distance, appeared to be sports bras.

▼ Friend: “Oh my god! Meg! Old guys in a sports bras! There’s a whole bunch of them! Are they some kind of perverts?!”

As they got closer Meg saw one of the men turn to face them. It was clear now that his “sports bra” was nothing more than his tank top rolled up to his nipples. But he held an air of satisfaction and relaxation seldom seen, and he causally flashed a smile as pure and genuine as a newborn babe.

This was a man who had achieved ultimate comfort.

While it had the unfortunate side effect of driving her friend into a panic, the Beijing Bikini was clearly an effective way at countering unforgivably hot weather.

Flash-forward to Tokyo 2019. The government has been racking its collective brain to find ways to combat its uncomfortable and deadly summer heat in time for the 2020 Olympics. Could the Beijing Bikini be the cost-effective key to accomplishing this?

Beijing did have a highly successful summer Olympics in 2008… this was beginning to make all kinds of crazy sense, so Meg assembled a team of writers to hike up their tops and hit the streets to test the Beijing Bikini’s effectiveness in Japan.

Each representing different stomach intensities and styles of tops, P.K. Sanjun, Go Hattori, and Yuichiro Wasai stepped into the steamy Tokyo jungle with their new heat-prevention fashions.

They kept their heads up high and seemed to have an air of confidence, but they lacked that pure feeling of comfort that Meg had once seen in Shanghai so many years before. Something was amiss.

After returning to the office, both Go and P.K. reported a significant cooling feeling in their midriffs. Yuichiro, however, said his belly was only somewhat cooler.

Here’s each man’s feeling on the Beijing Bikini:

Go Hattori: “My midsection was cooler, but I felt really insecure that it would affect my weak stomach. The cool feeling was only in my stomach. Anyway, it doesn’t look cool so it’s not for me personally.”

P.K. Sanjun: “There certainly is a cool feeling in my gut… but even when I’m in good shape and have abs, I still feel bad about showing people my middle-aged belly. But if everyone’s doing it over in Beijing, why not take advantage and do it there too?”

Yuichiro Wasai: “If you’re going to do this, why not just take your shirt off? The Beijing Bikini is hiding only the chest, as if that’s some special line of decency. It definitely got a little cooler, but it’s a half-baked way to preserve manners. On the other hand, just whipping off your shirt sends a clear message that you throw caution to the wind with regard to etiquette. It’s also a better way to be in terms of keeping cool, so I would just take my shirt off. I mean, if it were down to either that or a Beijing Bikini.”

So, the Beijing Bikini does appear to have some hurdles to overcome before it’s embraced by people in Japan. There is still time before the Olympics for it to catch on, though and it’s still considerably better than those umbrella hats.

Images: ©SoraNews24
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