No Beta 03: Bring Donald Duck Back!
Week of 7th of February
过年好! An early happy CNY to all. Let’s get started?
Jia Ling’s silouette
Jia Ling, who used to be the world’s highest-grossing female director is also one of the most fat-shamed women in Chinese entertainment. The comedian-actress-director’s body weight has always been ridiculed and scrutinised in a way that’s incomparable to her male peers in the industry. A lot of the times, she had to resort to self-deprecative humour to respond “appropriately” to snide comments and retain popularity.
Her latest film “YOLO”, set to come out this weekend and blow away other CNY Block competitors by a mile, features herself as a lead playing a female boxer. A month ago while announcing the film on Weibo, she also revealed that she has lost over 50kg of weight for her role. “Although my appearance in public would be the best promotion for the film, I just don’t want to spoil the surprise or mislead you into thinking this is a film about dieting and losing weight. This [film] is about kind people finding themselves and loving themselves”, she wrote.
The final trailer was released recently where her thinner silouette can be seen. Other than that, she has done an excellent job at laying low and ensuring there’s no leaked photos of her “transformation”. This is obviously done to stoke up moviegoers’ anticipation for the film, but I see how this is also rightly preventing her weight loss being interpreted out of context, perhaps as her “succumbing” to fatphobic beauty standards.
#10 在暴雪时分 恋爱脑要长出来了
Amidst a Snowstorm of Love [made] me grow a Relationship Brain
This is the hit show of the week. It is another romantic drama (偶像剧) where both leads are beautiful, young and decent at acting, so I had some semi-hopes for it. Rumours and then blurry set photos were long circulating when the couple was shooting in Finland last year. Excitement was widespread since they are a visually and aesthetically pleasing pairing.
After the first 5 episodes aired last Friday, a lot of netizens said it was overwhelmingly sweet and wholesome it had a sort of cuffing season effect. It got viewers wanting to be in a relationship so bad it gave them the Relationship Brain syndrome, a term describing lovesickness to the point of acting foolish and irrational with no self-preservation.
But I’ve been watching some clips, and I find myself yet again cringing away from it. Leo Wu, the male lead, was positively termed a 爹系男友, dad-typed boyfriend, because of how “well” he takes care of his girlfriend. He always seems to be making decisions for her, taking the initiative to hail cabs and book hotels for her when she’s visiting. He asks his best friend to keep her company when he’s away (???). He is openly affectionate yes, but sometimes he’d go overboard and the PDA made his girlfriend visibly uncomfortable she’d dodge. Everything spells overcontrolling for me, but that could just be me and my personal triggers.
This hot search could be engineered by Tencent the streaming platform to promote the show. When I surveyed the plaza, the posts sounded repetitive and robotic. There were some odd ones out where they critiqued Wu for being greasy. I will be on the lookout for more responses as it airs.