Some Chinese think Shang-Chi isn’t hot enough (for them anyway)
When Marvel cast Simu Liu as Shang-Chi, the studio’s first Asian superhero, the Chinese internet reacted with a collective gasp.  The casting of the muscular Chinese-Canadian heartthrob, known for his role in the sitcom Kim’s Convenience, may be celebrated in the West, but for some Chinese, he just doesn’t look the part. “He looks like how Westerners think us Asians all look,” said one commentator on China’s Twitter-like Weibo. The message is the second-most liked response to a report about Marvel’s casting decision on July 20. “Single eyelid, small eyes, square face, check, check, and check,” said another popular post.  Many say they prefer someone along the lines of Eddie Peng, a Canadian
Why China’s falling out of love with K-beauty
Just a few years ago, South Korea’s beauty industry could do no wrong in China. Lipsticks worn by actress Jun Ji-hyun in the 2014 hit K-drama My Love From The Star sold out almost immediately thanks to Chinese fans, despite being on screen for just seconds. As part of the K-wave – along with K-pop, K-fashion and K-dramas – South Korean beauty trends set the agenda in China. Propelled by savvy marketing campaigns and viral skincare and make-up tutorials, the industry racked up $13.1 billion worth of sales worldwide in 2018, according to market research company Mintel. But today, the tide is turning. The Chinese beauty market is huge. It’s the world’s second-largest, according to Euromonitor,
China needs the confidence to embrace the freckle
For those paying attention to China’s social media, it’s hard not to notice that the accusation of “insulting China” has been increasingly common in recent years. In the latest case, a new cosmetics advertisement for the Spanish fashion house Zara featuring a Chinese model has stirred up debate on the topic of “uglifying China.” Since the ad “Beauty is Here” was released on China’s Twitter-like Weibo last week, a number of angry Chinese internet users have accused the company of defaming China by depicting model Li Jingwen’s face with little make-up and clearly visible freckles. “You spent such an effort searching for a model with freckles, just like finding a needle in the haystack. How ha
Asia is obsessed with skin whitening – but the backlash is beginning
Growing up in Canada, Holly Ngan (not her real name) loved climbing trees, riding bikes and playing outdoors. Being in the sun was never an issue for Ngan, who says she has always naturally been tanned. “I have never been called fair in my life,” she says. Her awareness of skin color changed drastically when she turned 10 and traveled to Hong Kong with her family to visit relatives over their summer holiday. One afternoon, Ngan’s cousin took her on a boat trip. It was a sweltering hot day, the small cabin and deck of the boat were heating up, and yet she noticed most of the women stayed on board instead of cooling off in the sea. “All the girls were covered up,” recalls Ngan, noting their lo
How we were fooled by a movie star lookalike
Our bad. A Chinese woman built a career on looking like China’s most highly-paid movie star – and she fooled us. When Inkstone published a story about Chinese actress Fan Bingbing yesterday, we mistakenly ran a photo of He Chengxi, a woman who looks really, really like the superstar. The photo was taken by an AFP photographer at the 71st Cannes Film Festival in France last month. Both the movie star and her lookalike attended the festival. Fan walked on the red carpet at the opening ceremony and the premiere of Chinese film Ash is Purest White, while He showed up at the screening of Solo: A Star Wars Story and Lebanese drama Capharnaüm. We only noticed when Inkstone staffer Xinyan Yu point
The app that makes you beautiful, no matter where you are
When it comes to how people like their selfies to look, different nationalities and age groups have very different preferences. Norwegian women like to keep their freckles. Chinese users want to banish their blemishes. In South America, selfie-takers want bright colors in their portraits. And everywhere, the old want to look young, while the young want to look mature. Selfies and touch-ups are now a basic demand. The pursuit for beauty is eternal Wu Xinhong, Meitu CEO That’s according to Wu Xinhong, the CEO of Meitu – a photo enhancement app that allows you to snap a selfie and apply a huge range of “improvements,” from whiter skin to tapered jaws to larger, rounder eyes. Think Snapchat filt