Editor’s note: this article was translated and edited from Ifeng.com. In the article, a reporter interviews the agent of a famous Beijing model, specifically discussing the term “socialite girl” that has become popular since the Sanya sex party scandal—involving high-profile Chinese celebrities and models reportedly engaging in a paid sex party during a yacht show –unfolded in early April 2013. The agent provides insights into the world of these socialites and compares them with professional models, while also commenting on the negative effect they’ve had on China’s modeling industry in general.
Following the recent Sanya sex party scandal, the term “socialite girls” (外围女) has become a hotly used term on many Chinese social media spaces. The phrase describes certain amateur models in the entertainment industry who mix with celebrities and climb the slippery social slopes of fame through various means. Over the course of several days, a reporter interviewed a model agent, and found that the term has in fact been widely used in the entertainment industry for some time, with the recent Sanya scandal exposing the phenomenon to the public. Mr Wang, the agent of a famous Beijing model, explained that these socialite girls are flying the flag for models that participate in special sex groups, and are “presenting themselves as something better than they really are” in China’s fashion world.
Use sexy Weibo pictures to gain fame
The so-called socialite girls are a very special bunch indeed. Many of them have very glossy positions and professional statuses that don’t only stop at being a model. However, you’ll rarely see them at high-profile fashion shows or similar events. Instead they create their own “media worlds” online, posting sexy, revealing pictures on their Weibo and blog accounts in order to attract viewers.
Wang told the reporter that the barriers to entry into the modeling industry are currently very low, and that it’s consequently comprised of all sorts of different people: “There are many girls who claim that they are famous models just because they’ve appeared once or twice in a magazine or a newspaper. Some will even pay institutions to feature them, and then too go on to label themselves as professional models. Some even refer to themselves as “model” for their professional title, though they actually have little or nothing to do with the profession.
On the topic of the term “socialite girls” going mainstream, Wang said, “This word started being used back in 2005. With the rapid development of the internet, these girls had the chance and the platform to promote themselves to wide audiences. To be honest, these people are only really on the very sidelines of the modeling industry if anything, but are using their ‘model’ title to get work.” According to Wang’s estimations, there are currently 10,000 of these wannabe models in Beijing alone, though the actual number may be much higher. In contrast, Wang says there are probably only about 3,000 actual professional models.
Real model work a tough gig
The ridiculously high earnings of these socialite girls has left many speechless, with one participant in the Sanya sex party scandal reportedly earning 600,000 RMB over three nights for paid sex. However, according to Wang, the average professional model salary isn’t likely to rise above 20,000 RMB a month. “The pay for models doing certain jobs is usually pretty low. For example, models who advertise products on Taobao only earn around 300 or 400 RMB per time. An average show would earn them 500-800 RMB. Gigs such as standing around for three hours posing as a ‘Miss Etiquette’ will only earn models around 70 RMB,” explained Wang. “Car models earn a bit more; with relatively unknown models earning 800-1000 RMB per day. More established models might earn 1,800-2,200 RMB per day. However, models don’t work every day. It’s often the case that they have to wait half a month before they get a gig, so on average a normal model might earn 5,000-7,000 RMB a month. It’s not a lot for an expensive city like Beijing.”
Modelling is an industry that requires people to spend a lot of money on high-end cosmetics, designer clothing, as well as various fashion magazines in order to keep up with the latest trends. Wang explained that professional models spend anything between 3,000 and 10,000 RMB a month on such items, though others have said that the figure is in fact much higher. As the monthly expenditures of the average model often outweigh her income, inevitably some are led down the path of becoming a socialite girl.
Accompanying people to dinner, for leisure, and in bed are the main jobs for socialite girls, and they even have their own agents (known in the field as “business managers”). There are also socialite circles where fellow girls in the field introduce clients to each other. According to the media, “There are certain unofficial companies that provide business for such models, and can earn the models anything between 5,000 and 20,000 RMB per day. As long as they’re sweet, open, and are up for playing games, drinking and even taking drugs, the potential money to be earned is always going to be high.”
A negative effect on China’s modelling industry
The recent scandals involving these socialite girls has cast a dark shadow over China’s modeling industry, according to Wang: “Many friends and relatives of (real) models are all very worried, while the families of some men who have model girlfriends are beginning to wonder whether their partners are involved in such illicit behaviour. Families of the models are equally worried that their daughters might go astray and head down this dark path. For many, the very mention of the word ‘model’ already conjures up negative connotations associated with such scandals.”
Wang explained to the reporter that women who wish to enter China’s modeling industry should always try to keep a clear head: “You have to be very strong-willed and avoid the get-rich-quick methods. Mentality is very important in modeling as the industry is very tough. Some women starting out in the field may be uninformed and are likely to get taken advantage of by the wrong people. They must make sure they sign with a legitimate company, learn as much as they can from teachers and colleagues, and never set out to work alone.”
Source: Ifeng News
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Keywords: China’s modeling industry Sanya sex party socialite girls
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Dang the comments on this article is a cauldron of chauvinistic racism. You guys should have your own club. There's prostitutes and young girls who want to do anything to make quick money in every country, from every ethnicity, and especially in major cities where superficiality is high and morals are low. I'm sure the social media sites you guys traffic happen to be a connection hub for said type of females looking for foreign benefactors. Same as men generalizing all women to a depraved standard if they only visit porn sites. There's hard working women who don't want to sell their bodies too in every country and ethnic background. Life's hard, these girls are selling a product to people who want to buy em. It's their bodies, I don't really care. And everybody wants respect for their women and mothers to be praised for morality and intelligence and beauty. People are people. This type of industry shouldn't be surprising. Sex is always in demand and a commodity as long as people still want to procreate and make more people.
Oct 24, 2014 02:33 Report Abuse
We don't criticize prostitution, we criticize "prostitution in China". Because the Chinese people (especially Chinese women) like to advertise themselves as "traditional", moral and other BS. In reality, they will do anything for money and material things. Gold medal in hypocrisy rightfully earned! (since the Chinese love gold medals).
Apr 25, 2013 14:32 Report Abuse
okay lets work this out, their overheads are basically cheap condoms and a bit of skirt and high heels. And their income is from fat old chinese men and occasionally some old ugly lao wai, surely if you fuck for cash its prostitution? Some of these bitches add my weixin and I tell them the word prostitute and they say no no not a prostitute they are a xiao jie! wtf . wake up China!
Apr 24, 2013 12:26 Report Abuse