There was an immediate online backlash to China’s annual back-to-school gala in September. The show featured members of new boy band F4, who were seen by some in the country as being overly effeminate and sparked outrage that Chinese men had become “sissy.” Online, parents voiced their concerns that these effeminate men made poor male role models for their children and media platforms debated the topic at length.
For brands, these effeminate men, also referred to in China as “Little Fresh Meat” as they are young and handsome, can help generate sales, particularly in the male skin-care and cosmetic industry. Chinese pop star and actor, Lu Han, has worked as a brand ambassador for L’Occitane in China and Yves Saint Laurent featured Chinese rapper Huang Zitao in its “makeup makes me free” advertising campaign, which was gender neutral.
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