‘Quirky taste’ of fashion show competitor sparks Chinese netizen discussion on ‘self-respect’
Published: Jul 19, 2021 06:36 PM
competitor Chui Chui's photo Photo: Sina Weibo

competitor Chui Chui's photo Photo: Sina Weibo

Deliberately blurred out facial features and dyed silver hair with heavy vampy lipstick; this is the style young fashionista Chui Chui sported Sunday on the fashion and lifestyle-oriented Chinese TV reality competition China Trending Now 2021, which focuses on exhibiting the tastes and creativity of China's Generation Z. By confusing viewers with her dark aesthetic, Chui Chui's design became a hot online topic that has inspired discussion about the subject of "self-respect."

Though the show promotes the concept "I decide who I am," the young designer's works may still have been too special, thereby "intimidating" the judges with her somewhat indescribable black-white-red designs that made it look like she was wearing a wedding dress covered in blood stains.

The judges weren't the only ones confused, many viewers found a photo she took for the show "odd."

In the photo, the designer wears a red cap and a black one piece dress as she sits on a roof top. The "odd" bit was that all her facial features were distorted in a way that made her appear unreal. 

Not only did the competition judges say they simply just could not "get her," some netizens added that her designs made them feel "uncomfortable," a reaction the designer herself predicted earlier in the episode. 

"What is the point of this? Blurring your face only makes the whole design looks scary, like its main purpose is to scare you, but nothing other than that. Also, a distorted face does not deliver any real information in the project because it does not match with her designs… this is why I think the concept 'trendy' is often misinterpreted and hollow, because there are always designers who use this concept in a cheap way. They just want to be cool and say, 'Look! I'm the most special person in the world, others are just potatoes," Zhang Xue, a visual designer in Chengdu, told the Global Times on Monday. 

"I could predict that they would react to my design this way… this is the style I like, and I don't think I have to change myself to cater to other people's tastes," said Chui Chui, in an interview during the show. 

The designer's style and her "cool" attitude quickly became a hot topic on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo, sparking discussion among netizens about whether one should compromise "personal tastes" to cater to mainstream preferences not only when it comes to designs, but also everyday life issues. 

A majority of netizens showed support for the designer and expressed that "being yourself" should not just be a slogan, but a way of maintaining one's self-respect. 

It seems that "being yourself" is also becoming a life attitude supported by many young people under 25. 

"Compared to my older sister who was born in 1992, I think I'm more self-centered and know how to say 'no' to things I hate and embrace things I like even if my parents hate them. My sister is much meeker than I when it comes to expressing herself," Tan Mengmeng, a Generation Z girl in Beijing, told the Global Times. 

Some other netizens said they would like to see an increased tolerance in Chinese society for different voices and that such choices are the driving force for young people to show their true selves. However, they noted that there should be a limit to tolerance in order to prevent such as social disputes and discrimination. 

"I would worry if this type of cool young people were 'encouraged' to come up with even more extreme things just because we won't judge them on what they do, sometimes their cutting-edge pursuits can be potentially dangerous," Wang, a parent, told the Global Times. 

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