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.
Jobs in China
Henry on The Eurasian Face
Caroline W on Big in China
Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
Brandon K. on Clueless academic takes on popular fantasy novels
China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
Books on China
The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.