Chinese men should focus more on their appearance

By Zhou Xinyu Source:Global Times Published: 2017/12/5 18:23:40

Illustration: Lu Ting/GT

While shopping with a South Korean girl recently, she told me that she felt the appearance of most Chinese men does not match with that of Chinese women.

"They don't make their hair nice, and also don't care about their clothes." However, most Chinese women, she felt, are delicately dressed; "sometimes I can't take my eyes off them," she said.

To be honest, I agree that many Chinese men don't look as good as they could. In the summer, I often see local men in the park showing off their bare big bellies or just slouching around looking lazy.

In my opinion, this has to do with the lack of aesthetic cultivation, especially one's outer beauty, among Chinese youth starting in primary school, where our uniforms are simple tracksuits, like the kind you see at a gym.

When I was in high school, everyone had to wear a tracksuit uniform, which were baggy and unsightly and of poor quality. Grade one at my school wore yellow and grade two wore red. When both grades exercised together in the schoolyard, the whole scene looked like a dish of tomato-scrambled eggs.

Compare this to high school uniforms in other Asian nations such as South Korea or Japan, where the boys wear pressed slacks, button-down shirts, ties and dress shoes, and the girls pleated skirts and pea coats.

It's no wonder, then, that by the time Chinese boys and girls enter university, most guys don't pay any attention to their looks or clothes; their hair is oily, their faces unshaven, and they throw on anything, no matter how dirty or wrinkled or mismatched.

The cultivation of aesthetics is also closely related to one's family background. Some present day Chinese parents have low standards about what their children wear, as their generation had little fashion sense and did not wear makeup or branded attire.

Which is why today you see some Chinese children wearing mismatched clothes. Some little girls dress nice, but some Chinese boys look slovenly, because their parents just don't care about how they dress.

Some Chinese women focus more on a man's personality and income, and have no demands on their appearance. So naturally Chinese men just dress how they want and don't fuss over their grooming. But I personally think it's important to maintain a good self-image when you are in a relationship, which shows that you respect the person you are seen with.

Fortunately, in 2015, the Standardization Administration of the People's Republic of China issued the very first "national standard for primary and secondary schools' uniforms." The standard specifies the size, fiber composition and content, accessories and appearance of each school's uniforms.

The rise of multiculturalism into urban Chinese cities such as Shanghai is also having a positive effect on the way young adults here dress.

Take, for instance, those young guys who work at hair salons; they are always well-groomed and dressed in the latest trends like skinny jeans, boots and leather jackets. Or all those real estate salesmen in black-and-white suits. You will also see more men going to a gym in Shanghai, now that staying fit has become popular.

It's good to see urban Chinese men finally paying more attention to their appearance.

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Global Times.

Posted in: TWOCENTS

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