Tibetan girls used to feel proud of their ruddy cheeks which was a mark of good health and a lively and energetic lifestyle.
But today they are turning to cosmetics to give themselves a fair complexion.
Qoizhoin, 18, who lives in Lhasa, capital of Tibet Autonomous Region in southwest China, looks as pretty and beautiful as any girl living south of the Yangtze River, where the young women are famed for fair complexions. Only the Lhasa accent indicates that Qoizhoin is Tibetan.
"I don't want the scorching sun to burn my skin and make it darkish," Qoizhoin says. She uses ultraviolet-blocking cream twicea day and has regular skin care at a beauty parlor.
A survey carried out by the Lhasa City Statistics Bureau shows that young Tibetan girls spent an average 800 yuan (nearly 100 US dollars) on cosmetics and skin care products annually in the last two years.
Zheng Yanhong, a young lady from east China's Zhejiang province, has sold cosmetics in Lhasa for six straight years. She noted thatonly foreign visitors and people from eastern areas of China bought cosmetics at her shop in the past. But now, more and more Tibetans, especially pretty young women, shop in her store.
"That's good for my business," said Zheng.
The fact that Tibetan people pay more attention to their appearance is also a good news to sellers of caps and hats too.
Nyizhoin, a young lady, not only uses ultraviolet-blocking cream, but also puts on a hat before she goes to work.
Pointing to her peaked cap, she says she feels safer using bothcosmetics and cap.
(Xinhua News Agency December 5, 2002)