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Chinese boys train to be ‘real men’ to fight the BTS idol effect, but the make-up could be here to stay

为了对抗BTS(防弹少年团)的偶像效应,中国男孩被训练成“真男人”,但化妆形象可能会一直存在

-Anxious about their boys becoming ‘sissy pants’ men who wear make-up and earrings, some Chinese parents are taking a hard-line approach
-But looking like a K-pop star or Jackson Yee will not make a young man unpopular with Chinese women, while not every male wants to look like a tough guy

——一些中国父母担心自己的孩子会变成“伪娘”,喜欢化妆、戴耳环,因此采取了强硬的态度
——但看起来像韩国流行歌手或易烊千玺并不会让一个年轻人不受中国女性的欢迎,同时并不是每个男性都想看起来像个硬汉



Pop stars like Chinese singer Jackson Yee are influenced by K-pop idols from South Korea such as BTS, but China’s state-run media condemns the young idols, calling them “sissy pants” and “young fresh meat”.

(像中国歌手易烊千玺这样的流行歌手深受韩国偶像的影响,比如BTS,但中国官方媒体谴责这些年轻偶像,称他们是“伪娘”和“小鲜肉”。)



“If you are promoting these effeminate figures, it’s a calamity for our country,” Tang said.

唐说:“如果你宣传这些伪娘的形象,这对我们国家来说是一场灾难?!?br />


K-pop idols BTS are extremely popular in China.

(韩国流行偶像BTS在中国非常受欢迎。)

In a nation where men dominate political and business leadership and campaigns for gender equality have gained little traction, the debate over what is “effeminate” has become a popular pastime among older conservative residents, and mostly among men.

在一个男性主导政治和商业领导层、推动性别平等的运动几乎没有取得任何进展的国家,关于什么是 “伪娘”的辩论已经成为老年保守派居民的一种流行消遣,而且主要是男性居民。

China’s boy bands and celebrities are influenced by K-pop idols from South Korea like BTS. People such as Jackson Yee – with their delicate beauty, dyed hair and haute couture wardrobes – have a massive following among women in the country. But China’s state-run media condemns the young idols, calling them “sissy pants” and “young fresh meat”. The backlash deepened after a back-to-school TV programme featured the boy band F4. Angry parents attacked the Education Ministry’s decision to hold up the cosmetics-wearing young men as role models; state media warned that a “sick” and “decadent” culture threatened the future of the nation.

中国的男子组合和名人都受到韩国偶像的影响,比如BTS。像易烊千玺这样拥有精致美貌、染过头发和高级定制服装的人,在中国有大批女性拥趸。但中国官方媒体谴责这些年轻偶像,称他们是“伪娘”和“小鲜肉”。在一个“开学第一天”的电视节目中出现了男子组合F4后,这种反对情绪进一步加剧。愤怒的家长们抨击了教育部决定将这些抹着化妆品的年轻男性作为榜样;官方媒体警告称,一种“病态”和“颓废”的文化威胁着国家的未来。

This year, a Chinese videostreaming website even started blurring earrings worn by men.

今年,一家中国视频流媒体网站甚至开始马赛克男性佩戴的耳环。

“The gender stereotyping is not just about gender identity itself,” said an author and researcher on Chinese masculinity. “It’s about the reproduction of the nation and how to properly cultivate the next generation.”

“性别刻板印象不仅仅是性别认同本身,”一位研究中国男子气概的作家和研究员说?!罢饣构睾豕业姆毖?,关乎如何正确培养下一代?!?br />
Dr Song Geng of the University of Hong Kong said the fear partly reflects deep-seated insecurity about Chinese power, after historical humiliations such as the opium wars and domination of Chinese rulers by foreign imperial powers. “They’re worrying that if Chinese men are so effeminate … then we will become a weak country in future and we cannot compete with our rivals,” he said. “There’s anxiety about the virility of the nation being harmed by those effeminate male images.”

香港大学的宋庚博士表示,这种担忧在一定程度上反映出,在经历了鸦片战争和外国帝国主义列强对中国统治者的支配等历史屈辱之后,人们对中国实力的深层次不安全感。他说:“他们担心,如果中国男人如此伪娘……那么我们未来将变成一个弱国,我们无法与竞争对手竞争?!彼担骸叭嗣堑P?,这些女性化的男性形象会损害这个国家的男子气概?!?br />


On the morning of the shirtless run, the boys arrive clad in down jackets, but one by one the layers come off. Each boy dons a headband with the words “Real Man”. Their track suits and shirts display slogans in English such as “Power Leader” and “Anything is Possible”.

在赤膊跑步的早晨,男孩们穿着羽绒服来了,但是又一层一层的脱掉了。每个男孩都戴着写着“真男人”的头巾。他们的运动服和衬衫上用英文写着“力量领袖”和“一切皆有可能”。

“I think it’s a good opportunity for him to gradually cultivate a macho character,” said the mother who suggested her boy could skip the run, who gave her surname as Chen. She described her son as shy and introverted and said participating in outdoor camps boosts his confidence.

“我认为这是他逐渐培养男子汉气概的好机会,”这位母亲说。她说她的儿子害羞内向,参加户外露营能增强他的自信。

“If you are a male, you are supposed to have those male traits. If you are a girl, you tend to be softer,” she added. “But I don’t think the entertainment industry has shown good role models for society because the celebrities they put on the big screen exhibit a more feminine side of men. That’s the problem.”

“如果你是男性,你应该有那些男性特征。如果你是女孩,你会更温柔?!彼钩涞??!暗也蝗衔槔秩ξ缁崾髁⒘肆己玫陌裱?,因为他们在大银幕上塑造的名人展现了男人更女性化的一面。这就是问题所在?!?br />
What’s wrong with having a much more diverse image of men? It’s common these days for men to care about their appearancePopular Chinese live-streamer Li Chao

男性形象多样化有什么错?如今,男士们很关心自己的外表,这在中国直播节目中很常见

Li Chao, 21, lives in an plush outer-Beijing apartment with two assistants and a brown toy poodle named Coffee. He is the kind of man many conservatives despise. His hair is artfully mussed and he wears a subtle rose shade on his eyelids, a natural lipstick and pale foundation. He makes US$30,000 a month live-streaming himself applying make-up, an extraordinary sum for a young man without a degree.

21岁的李超(音译)和两名助手以及一只名叫科菲的棕色玩具贵宾犬住在北京市郊的一套豪华公寓里。他就是许多保守派人士所鄙视的那种人。他的头发被巧妙地弄乱了,他的眼睑上涂着淡淡的玫瑰色,涂着天然的口红和苍白的粉底。他给自己化妆,每月能挣3万美元,这对一个没有学位的年轻人来说是一笔不小的数目。

At school, troubled by pimples, it bothered him that boys were not supposed to care about their appearance. He got himself some concealer and started asking girls how to apply make-up.

在学校里,他被青春痘困扰着,男孩不应该在意自己的外表,这让他很烦恼。他给自己买了一些遮瑕膏,开始问女孩们如何化妆。

“I felt delighted because every day I would wear make-up, and I felt really fresh and really great,” he said. “It put me in a good mood.”

他说:“我感到很高兴,因为每天我都会化妆,我感到非常清新,非常棒。这让我心情很好?!?br />
His father was horrified. “He would get angry, and he would question me. He said you should not do girlie things. You should not look like a girl,” Li said. “He’d say: ‘Stop wearing that. Stop it. You should go outside and play sports.’ I’ll never change him.”

他的父亲吓坏了?!八嵘?,会质问我。他说你不应该做女孩子的事。你不应该看起来像个女孩,”李说?!八崴担骸鹪俅┠歉隽?。停手吧。你应该出去做运动?!矣涝恫换岣谋渌??!?br />


“China’s real crisis of masculinity isn’t ‘sissy pants’. It’s a generation of men anxious and insecure about their declining social status and their desperation to cling to power,” Zheng wrote on the Shanghai-based website Sixth Tone.

“中国真正的男子气概?;辉谟凇蹦铩?。这一代人对自己日益下降的社会地位感到焦虑和不安,他们渴望抓住权力不放手,”郑在上海网站Sixth Tone上写道。

“We must all learn to accept the fact that a delicate face does not mean a weak heart; slender shoulders do not reveal a fragile soul; and a ‘betrayal’ of outdated masculine stereotypes is not a betrayal of the nation.”

“我们都必须学会接受这样一个事实:一张精致的脸并不意味着一颗脆弱的心;修长的肩膀并不显露脆弱的灵魂;对过时的男性刻板印象的‘背叛’并不是对国家的背叛?!?br />