The Christian girl accused of burning the Koran, helped into an armoured car with her whole head hidden underneath a white sheet. The Pakistani imam accused of fabricating evidence against her, led into court with his faced bandaged – for anonymity, not because of injury. To the West, an Egyptian newscaster appears front-of-camera wearing hijab. To the East, Chinese fashion favours the face-kini, a new item of beachwear combining ski-mask with balaclava in a High Street iteration of S&M. Nothing spurious about the ostensible reasons: respectively, to prevent reprisals against the accused and their families; religious observance; high status accorded to pearl white skin. But, these aside, this age of self-presentation also reveals a strange allure in covering up.