The female scooter riders of Hanoi

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

These female scooter riders in Hanoi cover up to protect themselves from the sun

It’s officially summer in Vietnam — the season lasts until the end of August — when temperatures rise well above 30 deg C and the blazing sun feels even harsher. So why do local women still bundle up from head to toe? That’s because skin color is tied to their socio-economic status — the lighter their skin, the better off they are. Female motobaik (a phonetic term used to refer to scooters in Vietnam) riders in Hanoi wear gear not only to protect against pollution, but also to avoid a tan. Check out their photos in the gallery above!

This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of Smile magazine.

Photographed by

Christian Rodriguez

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