A new standard for male beauty
The aim of Chinese Idol Producer, which wrapped up last Friday, is to find the final line-up for a new nine-member boy band.
It quickly became a hot topic of discussion following its Jan 19 debut on iQiyi, with tens of millions of fans feverishly voting for their favorite idols, despite accusations that the show is a just copy of South Korean TV program Produce 101.
Take a look at Idol Producer’s top nine contestants and see if you can spot some common traits. They are all young, sporting flawless skin and big, bright eyes, with makeup carefully applied to enhance the beauty of their doll-like faces.
But it’s not just their appearance that’s helped the boys win the hearts of fans, it’s their personalities as well.
Take 16-year-old Justin, the show’s youngest contestant, for example. Thought of as hopelessly cute and mild-mannered, the baby-faced performer’s puppy dog eyes and smooth cheeks have won him a host of self-proclaimed "mom" and "sister" fans.
There’s another kind of love, too - a girlfriend’s affection for her puppy dog boyfriend, or xiao nai gou in Chinese.
A xiao nai gou is loyal and considerate, making an ideal companion for his girlfriend, who is usually several years older.
Take Cai Xukun, the most popular of the contestants, for example. He has been praised for his good manners, both toward the judges’ panel and to his fans through his frequently shows of gratitude.
Though still young, these boys have mastered various tricks to flirt with the fans who love them.
Shows like Idol Producer seem to reflect an aesthetic shift in China’s popular culture toward effeminate men, or "flower boys".
This could be the result of centuries of male-dominated image making. But now, more young girls are free to publicly express their love for beautiful men and judge a man’s charisma from his appearance.
A kind reminder, In everyday life, one needs not dress up like an idol, but he might take care to keep neat and tidy.