Ahh, China. The land that gave us gunpowder, silk and If You Are The One (and The Story of China on SBS On Demand).
China has always been at the forefront of invention and innovation and now - as the world’s most populous country - it’s not surprising that China is the place where new trends take off, no matter how outrageous they might be.
So let’s take a look at what’s hot in China right now!
You’ve probably heard of this one, where a woman holds a blank piece of paper up to her belly and if the paper completely covers her waist, she’s deemed attractive. If she’s not, well, I guess she just crawls into a hole and waits to die because paper never lies.
Seriously, though, this is one of the more dangerous beauty trends that started in China which already puts obscenely high beauty standards on its young women. Thankfully, sensible people have found some humour in it.
2. How does your garden grow?
If the answer is “out of your scalp”, you’d feel right at home in China where the fashion trend of “sprout clips” is spreading faster than weeds. No one quite knows where or why this fad started but street vendors who sell these little flowered accessories reckon they’re selling two hundred every few hours, and they can’t keep up with the demand.
3. The belly button challenge
Are you lithe of limb and taut of tummy? So much so that you can reach around your back and touch your belly button? If so, congratulations: you’re a regulation hottie.
The only theory I have as to how this ever became a thing is that there was some poor chick doing her daily yoga routine and the wind changed and she got stuck… so she decided there was nothing to do but make lemonade: convince people that her predicament was “so hot right now”.
(It’s not, though. It’s dumb.)
4. The facekini
You gotta hand it to China: they may not know that beauty ain’t defined by A4 paper and forearm flexibility, but they certainly know how to Slip! Slop! Slap! And since it’s important that your accessories match your outfit, these “facekini’s” come in a wide range of colours in order to suit your togs. No one colour is more sun-safe than any other, apparently, but the word on the street is that if you want to scare off sea creatures, an orange facekini is your best bet.
6. Painted pets
I mean, look: I’m the first to stick my dog in an elf suit at Xmas and take a photo of him under the tree. But (apart from being seriously dangerous considering the toxicity of the paint) I just feel like the dog is going to get a complex. He’s an adorable puppy, isn’t that enough? Does he really have to be a terrifying tiger? You be you, adorable puppy. You be you.
7. Crawl yourself slim
Apparently “crawling” as a form of exercise goes back to ancient times, though it’s only recently become a craze throughout China. Proponents say it does wonders for their legs, neck and spine and claim it reduces muscular tension and increases flexibility.
7. English dudes on trains
TubeCrush.net was set up as a place for Londoners to post sneaky shots of cute blokes travelling about the underground. (Let’s put aside the fact that if it was a website about hot London ladies it would no doubt be pulled down over outcries of being sexist and objectifying…)
Anyway, turns out the site is a huge hit in China where the most popular pics are shared more than 100,000 times on social networking sites like Weibo. Apparently the Chinese are drawn to the traditional ideas of English men as genteel, polite and well-mannered.
We're thinking this is probably illegal or at the very least a violation of privacy.
8. The iPhone 6 challenge aka I have literally no words
Ok I give up. I have no idea why this is a thing. Was someone in China sitting on the loo with their iPhone in their lap and thought “hey, my legs look hot when they’re hidden behind my phone"?
Regardless of how it began, this - like the A4 paper debacle, the weird arm-bendy thing and countless other “challenges” before it - is being judged the new indicator of whether you’re hot/skinny/beautiful. Because having your iPhone 6 completely cover your knees is obviously a totes legit way of determining attractiveness.
Maybe I’m just bitter… I tried all three challenges and failed miserably.
I think China and I need to go and reconcile over a plate of delicious dumplings.
Watch the final episode of The Story of China right here: