Posted by Joel Martinsen on Monday, March 21, 2005 at 11:41 AM
The Beijing News borrows a picture of Maggie Cheung from Cosmo for the cover of today's Entertainment insert, "50 Most Beautiful People in China". Ms. Cheung takes the top spot, with Takeshi Kaneshiro, Little S, Zhang Ziyi, and Liu Ye rounding out the top five in this exercise that is a conscious imitation of People magazine's yearly rundown.
Unlike People, this collection namechecks Kant and Hegel for its standard of beauty, allowing the participation of some famous faces not usually associated with physical attractiveness (Liu Xiang, #8, and Jaycee Chan, #42). Apart from those few unexpected inclusions, it's mostly by-the-numbers entertainment industry celebrities, with a token author (Han Han, #21) and Go player (Chang Hao, #35).
Women occupy 32 of the 50 slots, and a majority of those are round-eyed starlets. Li Bingbing (#17) soundly defeats Fan Bingbing (#40), hopefully ending that debate. Brigitte Lin, who has been retired and out of the public eye for a decade, comes in at number 50, just barely beating out Teresa Teng. Also interesting are some of the names left off the list - Karen Mok, who has won awards for style, and Hu Bing, everyone's favorite male model, are nowhere to be found.
While there doesn't currently seem to be an index page up, this search [note: no longer working] will give you results for the original articles. Check out the rest of this post for the full list with links to photo galleries so you can judge for yourself.
Names by which the celebrities are known in English have been included whenever possible. Additions or corrections can be sent to joel at danwei dot org.
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!