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Daily Drip

American Dance Video Challenging Beauty Standards Goes Viral in China

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dance video raising awareness of social media’s impact on body image and the danger of the social comparison trap went viral on microblogging platform Weibo on January 11. The video was initially posted to YouTube in 2019, and its popularity among Chinese netizens shows that its message is still relevant in China today.

The clip, originally posted by Arena Dance Competition, features Logan Edra, a Filipino-American artist and athlete who strives to “inspire and give back through hip hop and dance.” It seems she is excelling in her mission, as her dance moves are certainly inspiring Chinese netizens.

The hashtag ‘Dance that challenges body image anxiety’ (#拒绝身材容貌焦虑的创意舞蹈#) was trending on Weibo on January 11, accumulating more than 39 million views at the time of writing.

Chinese netizens showed their appreciation for the dance’s message in comments using the hashtag. One posted, “Don’t compare your daily life to others’ best life; you are the most beautiful when you love yourself.”

“No more body image anxiety. Every girl is unique in her own way,” wrote another.

In China, women often face pressure to look thin and pale in order to be considered beautiful. For example, the female celebrity Ma Sichun has been previously criticized for gaining weight. Similarly, ‘China’s Beyonce,’ Wang Ju, was also mocked for her size and stage presence in the show Produce 101.

Yet, people in China are pushing back against the harmful narratives.

Images from Neiwai’s “No Body is Nobody” 2021 campaign

Images from Neiwai’s ‘No Body is Nobody’ 2021 campaign, via WeChat

In March last year, Chinese netizens responded favorably to a body positivity campaign by Chinese lingerie brand Neiwai. In May 2021, author Fu Shouer famously challenged narrow Chinese beauty standards, calling them a form of emotional abuse.

The renewed success of the dance video is yet another example of how people in China today are increasingly aware of the pressure put on women to look a certain way.

Cover image: screengrab via YouTube

Kayla He
    Born and raised in China, Kayla received her BA in Communications and Public Service from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently works as a staff writer at RADII and is passionate about telling stories related to social issues women's empowerment. You can find her exploring coffee shops in Shanghai in her free time or rushing for Duffy and Friends plush toys at Shanghai Disneyland.

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