For my research paper, I am looking at the Chinese Modeling Industry and how the modeling industry has transformed because of outside influences. Most importantly, I am interested in looking at how models are treated in China. Often, models speak out about the inadequate living situation, untenable working conditions and poor relations with other models.
Since my project topic is contemporary, I am using social media to look at the modeling industry. The most notable Chinese model is a young woman named Liu Wen. She has become an international model and a national icon for the younger Chinese generation. Wen’s instragram account is one of the primary sources I will be using. On her account, she posts pictures of herself in certain shoots, promotional items she has received and the glamorous places she has visited. Wen’s account provides a very positive and idealistic image of modeling and to the viewer, makes modeling seem very appealing. For Wen’s personal benefit, her instagram does not reflect any bad aspect of the industry but as a historian, I need to see that bad side of the modeling world. Wen’s instagram appearance is so positive that it’s hard find any pitfall in the modeling world.
I am glad to use social media as a part of my research project but am finding that social media is providing me a very skewed and one sided picture of the Chinese modeling world.
Liu Wen featured on the cover of Vogue
source: instagram account of liuwenlw