SISSY SO­CI­ETY

 Do girlie Chi­nese men lack mas­culin­ity?

Global Times – Metro Beijing - - FRONT PAGE -

Xiaox­i­an­rou, which lit­er­ally means “lit­tle fresh meat,” is a com­mon nick­name for young Chi­nese male idols in en­ter­tain­ment cir­cles who ap­pear more fem­i­nine than mas­cu­line. Chi­nese ne­ti­zens re­cently de­bated whether fem­i­nine-look­ing male celebri­ties should be pro­moted as

idols for the younger gen­er­a­tions of China.

The Global Times asked sev­eral for­eign­ers in Shang­hai for their opin­ions about this phe­nom­e­non. “We overem­pha­size peo­ple’s ap­pear­ance in the cur­rent so­ci­ety, which I don’t think is a good trend,” Pamela from Bel­gium said.

She rec­om­mended that it is more im­por­tant to ed­u­cate the younger gen­er­a­tion to be­come more in­tel­li­gent and kind­hearted.

“Our so­ci­etal de­vel­op­ment should be more de­pen­dent on knowl­edge rather than star-wor­ship­ping.”

Pamela un­der­stands why so many young peo­ple look up to good-look­ing and ef­fem­i­nate male idols, but she feels that we should live for the mo­ment in­stead of in an un­re­al­is­tic dream world. “If young peo­ple idol­ize them, this is not help­ful to their de­vel­op­ment,” she added.

Soun­hagya from In­dia and John from Ger­many also do not think it is healthy to pro­mote “sissy boys.” Soun­hagya thinks sissy culture mixed with a lot of makeup is more ar­ti­fi­cial.

“We’re go­ing in a wrong di­rec­tion; young peo­ple are fas­ci­nated about ev­ery­thing col­or­ful, which I think is not ben­e­fi­cial for them in the long term,” he added. Like­wise, Soun­hagya told the Global Times that “If you live in a more nat­u­ral and or­di­nary life with a proper diet, I think that’s bet­ter than the sissy culture.”

Stephen from Ire­land ac­cepted the fact that cos­met­ics can im­prove peo­ple’s looks to some ex­tent. “But you would look like Coco the Clown if you put too much on,” he laughed. “Nowa­days, it is not un­usual for men to fo­cus on their looks and clothes,” Kate replied, point­ing out that this trend will prob­a­bly dis­ap­pear soon.

Oppa sissy style

An elderly cou­ple from the UK told the Global Times that fashion and aes­thet­ics have changed over time, but that this trend will pass like all other trends do. “Ac­tu­ally, if you go back a few hun­dred years and look at what fash­ions were in then, you could say that be­ing a sissy was also quite pop­u­lar in Europe,” Ken said. “You could see men who wore pow­dered wigs, a lot of makeup and tights back then,” his wife, Caro­line added.

Al­most all of our in­ter­vie­wees men­tioned “or­di­nary” when asked which kind of style they pre­fer for men. “The or­di­nary style is the best and I don’t like sissy peo­ple who wear a lot of makeup,” John ex­pressed.

Caro­line told us that a coif­fured male is not at­trac­tive to her, ex­plain­ing that “sissy style looks too fem­i­nine to me, as I’m from the old gen­er­a­tion.” In terms of other styles, such as mus­cu­lar or ma­cho, Ken thinks mus­cle men have to work hard

to keep their bodies in shape. “Mus­cu­lar peo­ple also prob­a­bly think more about their ap­pear­ances,” he added.

Con­versely, Soun­hagya and Stephen men­tioned the ad­van­tages of a ripped body. “A lit­tle bit mus­cu­lar,” Soun­hagya said, ex­plain­ing that be­ing fit can in­crease a man’s at­trac­tive­ness. Ad­di­tion­ally, reg­u­lar phys­i­cal ex­er­cise helps main­tain flex­i­bil­ity as peo­ple get older and also im­proves their over­all health. Stephen said, “a nice shape is good.”

How­ever, Pamela told us that she doesn’t care about a man’s ap­pear­ance and would just ap­pre­ci­ate him as long as he is a kind per­son. More sig­nif­i­cantly, Pamela sug­gested that peo­ple should fo­cus on their in­sides in­stead of putting too much em­pha­sis on their ex­te­rior. She told us “You need to know the per­son first.”

Aes­thetic stan­dards

A WeChat ar­ti­cle ti­tled “What kind of mas­culin­ity should be in to­day” pub­lished by the Peo­ple’s Daily went ri­val re­cently. This ar­ti­cle pointed out that the de­vel­op­ment of aes­thetic moder­nity has broad­ened the aes­thetic field of men and male char­ac­ter in a for­merly tra­di­tional culture. Ad­di­tion­ally, a per­son should be judged by their per­sonal char­ac­ter rather than their ap­pear­ance, the ar­ti­cle said.

More sig­nif­i­cantly, as for whether fem­i­nine-look­ing celebri­ties should be pro­moted as mod­els, Peo­ple’s Daily also pointed out that those stars who have en­joyed great pop­u­lar­ity among young peo­ple should as­sume their so­cial re­spon­si­bil­i­ties to set a good ex­am­ple for their fans, show­ing a more pos­i­tive and ac­tive self-im­age.

No­tably, Kate holds a strong opin­ion on this topic that most im­por­tant is how a per­son feels about him­self and what he wants to be. “It de­pends on the per­son,” she said.

Photo: VCG

Some ne­ti­zens crit­i­cize that fem­i­ninelook­ing male celebri­ties set a neg­a­tive ex­am­ple for young­sters, while oth­ers think one’s char­ac­ter mat­ters more than the ap­pear­ance.

Kate

Pho­tos: Lu Ting/GT and VCG

Ken and Caro­line from the UK John from Ger­many Pamela from Bel­gium Soun­hagya from In­dia Stephen from Ire­land

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