19 January 2019
Chinese TV star Jing Boran has something attached to his ears that the Beijing authorities do not want you to see. At least that is what it seems like.
Fans of a popular TV show in China discovered that the earlobes of the young star were blurred in the most recent episode of the reality show. It is unknown whether Chinese authorities have issued a specific directive that prohibits earring-wearing men from being seen on television, or that the Chinese streaming service itself has decided to do so.
In the most recent episode of the reality show ‘I, Actor’, which can be seen on the Netflix-like streaming service iQiyi, the face of Boran is carefully digitally edited, so that his earrings are not visible anymore. Boran is not the only actor who has no ear lobes. On Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, many pictures of male celebs with faded ears are now circulating in a likewise manner.
Various worldwide media are convinced that Chinese authorities are in this manner trying to reduce Western influence on the population.
In the past year, masculinity has become the subject of a heated debate in China. Authorities believe that male artists in the country are too feminine and thus propagate homosexuality.
Ms Grace Leung, a professor at the University of Journalism and Communication at Hong Kong, says the decision to blur earrings may have been influenced by the government’s desire to minimize the Western impact on Chinese pop culture.
“This fits with the policy to purify Chinese pop culture from Western influences and to stimulate the desired image of masculinity,” says Ms Leung. “China is a patriarchal society in which there is a clear hierarchical difference between men and women. Seeing men wearing earrings is from that perspective a decline in the social status of men. ”
Already we wonder how Gilette’s new ad would be shown in China.