Shen Mei: Chinese Ideals of Beauty

Following Zara’s new makeup campaign in February this year featuring Chinese model Li Jingwen, along with Vogue’s photography of the London-based Chinese model Gao Qizhen last week, debate has exploded regarding beauty standards in Chinese social media.

Whilst Chinese ideals of beauty have always been very different from the West’s (give or take fads for orientalism), the rise of internet communities and the globalization of the fashion and beauty industries have meant that these two sets of ideals are increasingly coming face-to-face, and the cultural clash made all the more poignant and visible. 

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Chinese Culture & Avatar: The Legend of Korra: Part 1

As Avatar: The Legend of Korra Book: Change, has just started airing on Nikelodeon, I wanted to write about the Chinese elements in the series. The whole of the beautifully drawn and conceived Avartar series, including The Last Airbender, which a whole generation of fans grew up with, is steeped in Chinese culture. Whilst Aang’s journey through a Wuxia inspired landscape clearly drew influences from traditional Chinese and other Asian cultures, I want to focus on Korra, as the cross-over between East and West, ancient and the modern, has achieved some very interesting results.

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