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Psychologies presents Gong Li and a love test

Psychologies, September 2007
Psychologies magazine celebrates its one-year anniversary with the September issue.

Launched with a July/August double issue last year, the magazine has featured a well-known star on every cover. Last year, Danwei noted that Psychologies tries to "communicate with readers through the cover model's eyes."

Those eyes have belonged almost exclusively to Hollywood actresses. Gong Li, September's cover model, is the first Chinese national to be featured. By putting Gong alongside previous cover models like Sharon Stone, Joan Chen, and Meg Ryan, Psychologies acknowledges her international stature. Inside, there's an interview with Gong in which the magazine tries to suss out the roots of her independent spirit.

The September issue comes with a supplement that contains a couple of self-scored personality tests and a few personal confessions, all translated from French, liberally illustrated with stock photos of couples at various relationship stages.

JDM070827psychologies3s.jpg JDM070827psychologies2s.jpg
Psychologies supplement - true cover and advert.
Ads for the issue have been put up on billboards across Beijing, but the supplement that is show in the ads is slightly different from the one you receive when you purchase the magazine.

On the left is the cover of the actual supplement, "Handbook for Sexual Communication" (性·沟通手册). Subtitled "work together for better passion," it has a number of eye-catching teasers: "sex test for two people," "discover your 'sexual' temperament," and "sexual confidence increases during school."

On the right is the version that appears on billboards. All references to "sex" have been removed, from the background photo to every occurence of the character 性. The supplement is now a "Handbook for Love Communication" (情爱·沟通手册), and is subtitled "work together for better love." The teaser line only promises a "test for two people," but none of the other risque stuff. The title of the supplement has even been changed on the billboard version of the main magazine as well (sorry, no photo available).

The last red line on the cover advertises "Those questions that we don't really want to ask"; for Psychologies, there are some questions that they don't really want to advertise.

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There are currently 2 Comments for Psychologies presents Gong Li and a love test.

Comments on Psychologies presents Gong Li and a love test

I'm quite impressed with Gong Li. Her comments seem very objective and genuine. I particularly agree with what she said about character. What is important is not whether she became a movie star or kindergarten music teacher - what matters is what she does with what she has. This is true for everyone.

It's not that she considers being famous unimportant - in the interview she says that if she's given the opportunity to introduce her work to more people, she'll take it. However, she says that she doesn't have a single fundamental goal, external to herself, that could be used to measure her life. In other words, it is who she is that matters, not what she is. Her quality as a person comes from herself, not her position.

Gong Li demonstrates that there is actual value in the phrase "traditional Chinese woman". She's not a piece of property with bound feet. She's a fiercely independent woman who identifies her own stubbornness as her greatest asset. She knows her own mind, and knows that real dignity can only come from a person, not a position.

Faced with the question of what Chinese culture should be retained in the face of change, it is my opinion that Gong Li provides a good example. She is pretty, wealthy and famous, but does not depend on these things. Rather, she draws her strength from her character and her family, just as anyone does. Her special position helps to establish the value of the ordinary. I'd like to thank her for that.

Thanks also to Joel for drawing my attention to something I would never have bothered to look at normally.

Best regards

I actually quite like Psychologies for this reason (referring to the above comment) as it has much more China-focused and China-derived content than most of the other imported magazine brands (the cover girl stories are usually pulled and translated from the French edition, but the rest is written by Chinese tv psychology personalities et al).

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