What Women Don’t Want
Greasy Guy油腻男If he's toting a clunky gold neckchain, prayer beads, and a hotwater flask filled with red dates and goji berries—be careful, this man might be youni (“greasy”). If he favors wearing long johns around the house under a bulging gut, though, it's probably already too late.
The weisuonan (猥琐男 “sleazy man”) has been around for decades, blissfully unaware of his own creepiness. Perhaps the recent rise of the less alarming man's counterpart—the overly primped “little fresh meat”—prompted the need to rename this familiar figure.
Aging writer Feng Tang, who popularized the plight of the youni in a 2017 essay, “How to Avoid Becoming a Greasy, Dirty MiddleAged Man,” offered a number of pointers to avoid greasiness: “Never talk down to the younger generation”; “Never stop buying.” Unfortunately, these have been mocked as being precisely the things a weisuonan would do, such as humble-bragging and trying to appear “down” with millennials.
Age is no barrier to being a greaseball—overly confident young actors like Yang Yang and Yang Shuo are regularly accused of greasiness—nor is gender: Gossipy older women who obsess about yoga, cosmetics, and the need for a better apartment also belong in the grease bucket.
Phoenix Man凤凰男Surveys on dating sites consistently suggest one of the least popular stereotypes is the self-made or “phoenix” man. Referring to the idea of “a phoenix that soars out of a chicken coop,” this is an ordinary man who grew up in the countryside, but worked tirelessly to get a good gaokao result and perhaps eventually a high-level executive position in the city. So why is the destiny-changing phoenix man not respected for his hard work and enterprising nature?
The answer lies in his rural roots—which make him particularly unpopular with middleclass urban “peacock girls” (孔雀女). The idea, depicted in TV shows like Double sided adhesive tape and New marriage age, is that the “phoenix” will have exhausted his entire family's finances in his quest for upward mobility; in turn, the family will have pinned all their hopes on his success, and expect him to provide for them. The phoenix man will therefore prioritize the needs of his extended family over his partner, who will be expected to comply with the family's customs, culture, controlling ways, and demands for money. Urban parents may find their rural in-laws irritating and unsophisticated, or fear that their daughter will end up acting as her new family's unpaid servant.
In addition, phoenix men are accused of having a range of insecurities, such as being controlling over their wives' social life and friends, fear of failure, and being miserly about money due to having grown up poor.