Temper goes trending and casts a net upon all that is throwing tantrums in the world of China Fashion and Urban Culture. This makes for a collection dipping its toe into the deep indigo-dyed pool that is the ocean of Middle Kingdom fashionable slash cultural astonishment.
1. Slammed, Dunked
How very… “urban culture”?
Millions of mainland Chinese netizens have slam-dunked a famous Chinese basketball player for an outburst in which he said, “I have slept with more girls than you” to another player in a little courtside repartee on January 17.
They disapproved of his boasting, penning and publishing entire essays online criticizing super player (take that as you will) slash online celebrity Zhang Tianyi (张天意| Zhāng Tiānyì in Chinese). One example was “张天意，你真的火了，但在国内估计很难找到工作了” (“Zhang Tianyi, you may be blowing up [on (and off?) the court], but you’d have a hard time finding a job in China”), with the author questioning the guy’s, for instance, intellectual capabilities.
Following the online meltdown over his remark, with the majority of netizens deeming his words to have been super sexist, Zhang posted a video on Douyin (China’s TikTok) in which he stated: “I apologize. I had no intention of disrespecting women when I said what I said and I’m not proud of saying it.”
The multiple crackdowns on the domestic entertainment, sports included, industry in recent years show that the Chinese want their cultural icons, and these include athletes, to have high moral standing. This conventional notion is based on the assumption that ordinary people can easily be misled. The cultural elite is expected to provide a moral role model for the masses.
Given this high sense of morality China likes for its country’s superstars to convey, and in spite of Zhang’s Douyin apology, the question is… Will there be penalty shots?
2. Traveling to Windy Places
Chinese actress Liu Yifei’s (刘亦菲| Liú Yìfēi) newest (contemporary) drama, Meet Yourself, is one of 2023’s most anticipated Chinese shows. Following the passing of her best friend, a female protagonist, portrayed by Liu, finds herself unable to continue her life in the big city. She decides to go to a quiet village where she meets a group of people who, like her, have exchanged the urban rush for the rural hush.
The series’ Chinese title, 去有风的地方 (qù yǒufēng de dìfang) deserves a little explanation here. Literally translated as “going to windy places”, this “windy place” in Chinese slang represents somewhere, anywhere the heart can be free. This sentiment ties in nicely with the young Chinese desire for more laid-back lifestyles, including an emphasis on wellness–and outdoorsy pursuits.
As of publishing, hashtag “去有风的地方” had over 2 billion views and 5 million discussions on Weibo, China’s Twitter.
Jing Daily, the leading digital publication on luxury consumer trends in China, offers its own take on the series’ phenomenal success, explaining that perhaps “it’s no surprise then that this generation in China yearns for the peace of rural life. Faced with increasing pressures from the big-city rat race, many are fleeing in search of tranquility, relaxation and health.” Get more Jing Daily insights on the topic right here.
3. In Vogue: CCTV?!
State broadcaster China Central Television’s (CCTV) annual Spring Festival Gala (春晚| chūnwǎn), on January 21 this year, has over the years grown into a hotspot for bourgeoning fashion fads. Yep, one apparently can see everything through CCTV.
Entering the airwaves in 1983, the gala has become a yearly CCTV affair to remember, welcoming the Chinese New Year. Its huge viewership—i.e., this year’s live(-streamed) show recorded roughly 655 million viewers–has turned it into a coveted platform for brand sponsorships, as industries seek to cash in on the occasion.
The gala’s celeb styles, too, have become trending topics online, with thousands of people rushing to the shopping Walhalla that is e-commerce giant Alibaba’s Taobao to get a piece of the up-to-the-minute pie. This year’s must-have item? A pink V-neck sweater embellished with a pair of bows–as seen on comedian Jin Jing (金靖| Jīn Jìng).
Taobao sellers rushed to the occasion, offering similar sweaters in their stores. But they didn’t stop there—‘cause why would you, now? Under the hashtag “春晚同款衣服” (chūnwǎn tóngkuǎn yīfu or literally “same clothes as the Spring Festival gala”), eager beavers can spot several wardrobe items based on the gala’s real broadcasted deal.
A related snippet on Chinese state-run online magazine Sixth Tone further added that on Chinese Pinterest slash e-commerce platform 小红书 (xiǎohóngshū or “Little Red Book”), many users said they had “meticulously examined the gala’s hair and makeup to predict budding beauty trends.” Some posted DIY tutorials for the “bunny eye” makeup they’d spotted on one of the hosts, saying it would “become popular in this Year of the Rabbit.”
Last, but not least… A little fun fact:
January 26 marked Day 5 of the Chinese New Year celebrations– which traditionally last 16 days, from New Year’s Eve (on January 21 this year) to the Lantern Festival (on February 6 this year). Anyway, about Day 5:
This is called 破五 (pò wǔ or “break five”). Taboos and activities forbidden on Chinese New Year, e.g., leaving your house on Day 3 can bring bad luck, can once again get underway on this day. Plus, Chinese people will welcome the God of Wealth (财神爷| cái shén yé) into their homes.
They will keep their doors or windows open as a welcoming gesture towards the god, set off firecrackers in a bid to get his attention–ensuring his favor and good fortune for themselves and their families over the upcoming 12 months.
The man also inspires contemporary art:
FEATURED IMAGE: COLLAGE OF RELATED TRENDS AND HASHTAGS FOR THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT ON LITTLE RED BOOK AND DOUYIN. GOD OF WEALTH ART COME COURTESY OF xxxx
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