Although I can’t lay claim to great Mandarin skills, I still enjoy a good flick of old television every now and then. Apart from all the adverts about beauty products, toothpaste, and milk, I have stumbled across some TV programmes with have given me hours of entertainment during my lonely nights as an expat here in China.
We’ve all heard of them before – the crazy dating shows where some poor guy or gal gets up on stage in front of a whole group of guys and gals to try and make their case as a suitable partner. It’s all incredibly materialistic really, as more often than not the partners are chosen for their family backgrounds, education, income, assets, and so on.
You do get the occasional character on sometimes, and I was surprised to see a Robert Smith-alike male contender on the show the other week.Dressed up like a true emo, he had makeup and died black hair (yes I know Chinese people all have black hair, but his just couldn’t get any blacker, and if you asked how much blacker it could get the answer would be none more black). Despite his morbid appearance, he turned out to be an interesting character with a deep love for romantic poetry and 19th century British literature. His self-introduction video consisted of him sitting in coffee shops and writing lyrics and verse, and it seemed he had a true uniqueness about him in front of all the heavily made up colourful contestants opposite him.
It wasn’t to be however, as he was dismissed as being too“unmanly”, with many doubts being raised as to whether or not he could properly raise a family or if he simply had what it takes to be a success in today’s China. Predictably, he left the stage alone and I felt both sad and triumphant for him, as he was clearly too much of a real person with ideas for anyone else on the show, though due to his unorthodox personality he was likely to suffer socially in the future.
Still, he gave me hope for the young people of China and whenever I’m in a big city I often see all kinds of interestingly dressed people who seem to belong to similar sub-groups that we’d see back home. Let’s just hope that people like him will get a chance to express themselves more in society here, as there’s nothing worse than mindless comformity.
Tags:Expat Rants & Advice Arts & Entertainment
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