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Gareth is an Australian who has lived in JiangSu, SuZhou (Heaven on Earth) for a few years - he is a keen observer of the Chinese people, Chinese culture and the changes that are occurring in China at break-neck speed. He can often be found on his a nightly 'perch' in front of his bar in the famous Bar Street in Suzhou, talking to the locals in his bad Mandarin, teaching the 'flower-selling girls' English, eating street food and smiling at the local chengguan (neighbourhood police). Gareth also has several other businesses in China around Business and English training. His experiences have been varied and interesting and his years in China have taught him to be wary of promises but excited about prospects, not a bad situation to be in!
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Perils Of China: The UnderArm Selfie    

By Garreth Humphris
3743 Views | 10 Comments | 8/29/2014 2:37:59 PM
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Well, it is an opportune time to bring out this little pearler, given the current discussion underway with the Feminism/Post-Feminism debate going on!

 

The Narcissism Index is increasing (Ni=Selfies/hr) on the Chinese internet with a number of new ways of taking photos of yourself!

 

For those of you who don't know, narcissism is the pursuit of gratification from vanity or the egotistical admiration of one's own attributes, that derives from arrogant pride. The term originated in Greek Mythology with Narcissis, who fell in love with his own image reflected in a pool of water.

 

The first phenomena I found recently on WeChat/Weibo was the 'underarm hair' selfie - apparantly as a way of showing individuality and personal power, young ladies just take photographs of the tufts of fur that grow under the shoulder that they haven't gotten around to shaving off yet!

Many of the ladies commented on the ideas that the attitude was liberating because it broke down the traditional stereotypes of hairlessness and virginal smoothness as beauty myths - but I can't help but noticing that most of the pictures still have the young ladies with pristine skin, almond-double lid eyes, barren brow and pouting lips! Obviously the transition is a work in process.

The thing is I don't really care what people do with their body - their choice to shave/not shave, tattoo/clean skin, wash/not wash is their own - but just like I don't really enjoy photographs of bikini bridges, botox lips or budgie smugglers, I'd prefer not to see too many armpits on my mobile phone!

 

The second image is one I found on an internet site here in China of some young people on the spire of a building in downtown HongKong, eating bananas no less!

The trouble I have with this type of thing is what happens if they get into difficulty and other people need to go to their aid? They are up there without safety harnesses on a building that probably sways 1-2 metres in a breeze and just seem to be enjoying the day! 

But what about the rescue guy/girl who must climb the building to recover their body if the fall onto the roof? Or the streetcleaners who must clean up the mash on the roadway? This type of activity is so self-centred that it is beyond belief for me!

These people can choose to do what they like with their life - I just wish they might consider the impact on others when they take fool-hardy risks.

 

After living in China for a decade I wonder if Chinese pop-culture has become more narcissistic. It is well known that 'Little Emporer Syndrome' is alive and well and so maybe this is just the logical outcome - or maybe I am just getting old. After all, the narcissists of my time did it on the football field or some stupid pranks with cars, guns or alcohol!

The problem with narcissists is they think they are better than others with inflated self views tend to be contrary to reality - They often live exaggerated lives and need more and more extreme activities and actions to be appeased.

In general, they are selfish and do not care about others around them - they feed on the insecurities of others and often attack them because narcissists percieve themselves as being unique and special people - whose success is assured because the are just 'unstoppable'. This doesn't sound too bad, except that they tend to consume others with little regard for them... like the guys on top of the building!

 

Are we seeing the rise of the Chinese Narcissist? I hope not!

Hopefully these trends will go the way of the Duck Face Pout, the Mullet and Planking... an internet trend that is funny a few times and then soon becomes boring!

 

But then again - I'm still getting FoodPorn daily on WeChat so I'm not so sure!

Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
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(Showing 1 to 10 of 10) 1
#2014-08-29 18:26:16 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Excellent article Gareth and one that I agree with 100%. I don't give a rat's backside what people do with their lives as long as it harms no others
However, on the subject of under-arm hair on women, personally I find it the biggest, un-sexiest turn-off of all possible turn-offs!
Western me tend to have body hair and if kept clean, there is nothing wrong with it. But hairy women are just a big no-no as far as I am concerned
As for the food-porn, well I guess anyone who has qq or weixin is still suffering from this
Every day I find myself inadvertently taking photos of my lunch and dinner because I just KNOW that someone on qq or weixin will ask me to show them a photo of my meal after sending me a photo of theirs! (rofl)

#2014-08-30 15:24:44 by anonymous11599 @anonymous11599

If you girls want to shut down the power of a rocket, on the launch pad, or in the air,
the quickest sure ways, is showing the under-arm hairs

it's self destruct buttons to the rockets

is that what they are thinking??? To ward of attacking missiles rockets???
probably it is handy in travelling in the crowded public train or bus

#2014-08-31 11:38:26 by anonymous11606 @anonymous11606

I think I am going to be sick. This is so disgusting!

Thank you feminism for this. Women are truly men now.

#2014-08-31 13:20:12 by anonymous11609 @anonymous11609

This is a diagram of what happens to Women today

http://www.gendertalk.com/img/drawings/tgism/gentdy1.gif

Just stay on your side, ok?

#2014-08-31 16:23:19 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

Gareth, I have to tell you the truth. I published this the other night when I was on my last bit of gas, and when I finished putting it up, I was so upset over one of the photos that I decided to take a day before commenting. And it wasn't the hairy pits that got to me.

I have a bit of an issue with heights, not usually overwhelming though. But the image of those clowns on the top of the building really got to me. I immediately suffered a serious bout of vertigo.

Those idiots need to be deposited in a rubber room for their own good if you ask me.

Regarding the ladies with the arm pit rugs, it has always seemed more common in China than in Canada to me. I've always put that down to "Chinese girls from the country" simply not having been socialized to shaving themselves there.

Before meeting my wife I dated one girl who had moved from rural China to Shenzhen (one of the 10 million or so to have done so), and she was quite physically attractive, albeit not very sophisticated. When we reached a point where the underarm hair was obvious, and hers was very thick, I was totally turned off. I had no choice but to ask her to please shave it off (yes I can hear the rabid feminists barking now) but she wouldn't consider it.

I moved on. Of course it is entirely up to a woman if she wishes to shave her pits or not, just as it is up to me if I wish to date her or not if she prefers the cave-girl look.

Good read once I got past the pictures. (y)

#2014-08-31 22:18:51 by evahuihan @evahuihan

Personally can't stand hairy man such as thick chest hair .arms hair is ok.

#2014-09-01 02:28:16 by anonymous11625 @anonymous11625

@John - you wrote: "I had no choice but to ask her to please shave it off (yes I can hear the rabid feminists barking now) but she wouldn't consider it."

She wouldn't consider it?!? Did she give you a reason why???

Regarding hairy women (particularly western women) I have heard lame excuses for not shaving. Here are some of them:

"I'm too tired to shave my legs."

"It's ok not to shave the mustache as long as it's dyed a light color."

"I'm Italian."

#2014-09-01 08:10:47 by samsarod @samsarod

Meh ...arm pit hair does not bother me either way. The nut-jobs dangling on that skyscraper tower do, however.

#2014-09-18 00:39:16 by anonymous11880 @anonymous11880

I personally find women with hairy underarms repulsive. Not that repulsive to see but the smell that is emitted from a woman with hairy armpits is far more pungent than with shaved armpits....in a nutshell...they stink badly....if a woman does not use deodorant it becomes far worse.

If you are a woman who is looking to meet that special someone, how do you expect to do so when your armpits look like a mans and you smell worse than a locker room?

The guys dangling from the building are crazy and are a menace.......hope the rope doesn't slip(rofl)

#2015-01-04 10:52:35 by Ezpawn @Ezpawn

Geez...he climb buildings (wannabe spidey) and we bungee jump...what the heck...
Those hairs, complete turn off...but, China will come to her senses...Maybe in 2 or 3 generations...Being very Nationalistic, they want to be different from the West, but, yet, look for Western men...Beyond me

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