9-Year-Old Model Causes Controversy in Chinese Media

When I was 9-years-old, the only thing I remember is going to school, playing in the jungle gym at the apartments I lived in and taking ballet lessons. I could not imagine anything but a simple and carefree lifestyle.

But what if you were a 9-year-old and had the opportunity to model and walk the runway in Paris? You would be wearing some of the most extravagant clothes, all eyes would be on you and the pay/compensation would probably be generous. Is this a dream come true or would it promote controversy? Well that’s exactly what 9-year-old Xiu Qui went to find out.

Qiu was given the chance to model for Chinese designer Laurence Xu at a recent runway show in Paris. From the photos, it seems her adorable cherub-like face was paired with elegance and poise– two words that would not typically describe someone in that age group. Nonetheless, despite the bright lights and media attention, she walked down the runway with ease while wearing beautiful brocade dresses.


Photo courtesy of Refinery29/ CHINAFOTOPRESS/ GETTY IMAGES

However, it has not been all praise for Xu with his choice of a child model. In addition to a number of comments from Chinese netizens claiming their child could do better or that using a child model is inappropriate, the relationship between Qui and Xu are unclear. We don’t know whether they are friends or relatives, but ever since Qui’s appearance in Chinese media, people have been accusing Xu of nepotism (those of influence who favor friends or relatives and give them jobs).

Adding fuel to the fire, one of the dresses Qui modeled is white and this promoted the bizarre idea, especially to Western viewers, that the image simulated a young bride. Some took offense when Qui walked with Xu down the runway in the white dress. However, this is far from the truth. Traditionally, Chinese brides wear red on their wedding day and white is reserved for mourning.

Laurence Xu’s decision to use 9-year-old Xiu Qui as a model remains shrouded in mystery, but one thing is clear: Chinese media is not fond of the bold move.



All images courtesy of refinery29.com/ RICHARD BORD/GETTY IMAGES.



That Fitness Mom With The Controversial Photo? She’s Still Not Sorry

A few days ago, we showed you Maria Kang. The 32-year-old, half Malaysian Chinese and Filipina mother of three was bombarded with reactions for a picture of herself in a sports bra and short shorts, surrounded by her three young sons. A caption reading “Whats your excuse?” sparked a fire of online debates questioning whether or not the image was insulting. The online debate exploded even more once Kang decided to repost her image with a “non-apology” as seen below:

I’m sorry you took an image and resonated with it in such a negative way. I won’t go into details that I struggled with my genetics, had an eating disorder, work full time owning two businesses, have no nanny, am not naturally skinny and do not work as a personal trainer. What I WILL say is this. What you interpret is not MY fault. It’s yours. The first step in owning your life, your body and your destiny is to OWN the thoughts that come out of your own head. I didn’t create them. You created them. So if you want to continue ‘hating’ this image, get used to hating many other things for the rest of your life.”

Just about everyone felt the need to put in their two cents on the matter. In fact, even our own readers had conflicting opinions about the issue.

One reader commented, “I do think that caption is kind of aggressively presumptuous. “Excuse” has a negative connotation. I mean, I don’t feel like anyone deserves an apology for her ad, but I see where people would feel unprecedentedly challenged in the way she presents her achievement.”

Another reader saw no problem in the photo at all. He wrote, “Why are people offended by “What’s Your Excuse?” All of the negative comments revolve around how people don’t always have the same goals, or don’t WANT to look like this, etc. Well then great, why be upset if this doesn’t apply to you? Move on. People are stupid.”

Regardless of the positive or negative comments, Kang was clearly not phased. Kang made an appearance on Today and voiced her opinion that she still has nothing to be sorry about.

Kang says that she knew it would be a powerful image despite its criticism. Kang claims that the amount of people who disagree with the image is a small 20% while the rest are inspired. When asked if she would change the caption if she could go back in time, Kang replied that even another caption would spark that same debate. “It’s really, again, that dialogue that’s happening in that persons head.” she explains. While she says she’s aware of why some people were insulted by the picture, she confidently says, “I think the majority of people saw it as inspiring.”

Watch the interview below:

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