Over the beginning weeks of this semester, I have become very interested in the image of Chinese women after reading my initial article about the modeling industry. I was struck in that article by the harsh conditions that Chinese models endured such as poor living and working conditions. Women are placed at the helm of a “handler” who can decide every part of their day to day life. Also, these women have no control over their living conditions and are often subjected to rape by male models. I have begun to become interested in Chinese women in the modeling industry but more so in the larger Chinese culture.
Following that theme, I found a blog that lists the “10 Best” Chinese women. The majority of these women are in their twenties and are models, actresses, singers. The beginning of the article notes that the most beautiful Chinese women have smooth porcelain skin, single eye lid folds and are skinny. These qualifications leave a very narrow standard for women to be deemed as pretty. After looking through the list, many of these women appear as young girls not women. What I am most struck by is the poses in the pictures. I am currently taking a class titled Perspectives about Sexuality and we recently discussed how certain magazine poses geared for women help to portray women in a certain light. Many times these women are placed in poses that make them look helpless, frail yet beautiful. The majority of the women located on this top 10 list are in poses such as these. One of the comments even notes how she looks beautiful and frail. I find this extremely fascinating how the western definition of beauty and poses has infiltrated China where an entire generation of girls are being placed in this same narrowly defined category in society.