Found in translation episode 2
Before some ‘hipster’ cartoons like Shrek became popular, aiming to teach kids that beauty is only skin deep and a rich princess would rather give up her luster and wealth to marry rude and ugly ogre, most of people born in their 80s got a little brainwashed by Disney productions. In practice that means we learned more or less consciously that slim, long haired princess and a tall, handsome prince are socially approved ‘ideals’ of people we should seek to have a relationship with. And although you might think China is like a completely different planet, turns out they did watch exactly same animations, maybe just girls focused a bit more on Snowhite, Why?
No matter which Chinese city of province you find yourself in, every single Chinese person will tell you, without a moment of hesitation, that a perfect woman in their eyes has white face, wealth and beauty – and such lucky lady is called 白富美 BAI FU MEI (bai – white, fu – rich, mei – beauty).
Rich and beauty parts don’t need too much explanation, but why ‘white’?! Chinese people have this saying ‘yi bai zhe bai chou’ – which means ‘white skin can hide hundreds of defects’ – so be ready that if you come to China and you pride yourself in naturally, ivory white skin, you are bound to be an object of frequent admiration (another good reason to remember about daily application of sunscreen!) and unavoidable, random photo sessions in the streets.
Now, obviously every BAI FU MEI should have an appropriate partner to complete her status, and in perfect life she should never cease to find a type of a guy called ‘高富帅 GAO FU SHUAI (GAO – tall, FU – rich and SHUAI – handsome).These ‘requirements’ are not that far away from Western ones, after all. BUT !In order to let China keep its uniqueness, there are special conditions of being considered GAO FU SHUAI and of course – peculiar way they carry themselves. Chinese ‘Princes Charming’ never bothered themselves to work hard because they were born in privileged families AND they live their life most probably following the motto ‘I am gao fu shuai and I know it, I am not afraid to show it!’ – by showing off their privilege ,including all belongings as well as BAI FU MEI style girlfriends on various social media.
If Shrek lived in modern China, he would NEVER get away with his shenanigans and the excuse about onion and layers, and his buddies would never be able to throw the ‘Living la vida loca’ wedding party since Chinese Fiona would definitely choose Justin Timberlake’s doppelganger. But I believe, he might at some point find common ground with some GAO FU SHUAI , because just like Shrek, they simply know what they want and who they are, so maybe would be willing to share their knowledge how to make all ‘BAI FU MEI’ girls think ‘damn he fly when he walk on by’ ( well, just in Chinese, of course;)
My name is Gosia and I come from Poland. I set up my blog - Shanghai City Girl - out of my passion for writing,Chinese language and Shanghai itself.My goal is to explain Chinese slang and peculiar local culture, give tips about health and saving money in this overwhelming city!
Thank you for your comment.I referred to the cartoon specifically, not the book.To me personally the cartoon and Shrek himself is a hipster, because just like this subculture, he shuns mainstream societal conventions and is not influenced by ethnocentric ideals of beauty.
That's an interesting question.'Copying blogs from an external site'? Dear sorrel, I have had my own blog since November 2014 and all the episode of 'Found in translation'published here have been written solely by myself.Just like everyone else here,I have the right to publish my own pieces no matter when they were created. Since they have been approved by the moderator, seems like I am fully entitled to to do so. Have a nice day.
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