China’s State News Agency Mocks ‘Sissy Pants’ Male Idols

State news agency’s editorial board says China will never become the nation it aspires to be as long as it indulges feminized masculinity.

The editorial board of state news agency Xinhua took aim at “effeminate” male celebrities on Thursday, saying “this sick culture is having an inestimably adverse impact on teenagers.”

The commentary follows wide criticism of state broadcaster China Central Television’s annual back-to-school gala — which parents were required to watch with their school-age children — for having too many commercials. The parents’ ire soon spread from the advertisements themselves to the smooth-skinned, well-groomed actors in them, with critics calling these “little fresh meats,” as such men are known, bad examples for their own children.

These “sissy pants” men are described in the commentary as those who use makeup, have slender frames, and exclaim things like “Aww, you!” or “You scared poor little me!” As to how this specific archetype became so widespread in film and television, the editorial board blames the entertainment industry’s unbridled lust for money.

“Some films, television programs, online platforms, and reality shows deliberately appeal to audiences’ vulgar tastes, profiting from these assorted ‘weirdos,’” the commentary reads, before ending on the pronouncement that as long as men are behaving in this way, China will never become the strong and prosperous country it hopes to be. “To nurture those who will shoulder the job of helping our nation reach its renaissance,” reads the article, “we must shield them from undesirable cultures.”

China has seen a shifting aesthetic among the younger generation in recent years, with tomboy heartthrobs and androgynous idols attracting fan followings from all genders and achieving unprecedented popularity. Read the full article here.


– This is original content by Sixth Tone and has been republished with permission.