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Middle-aged men in China have a bad image | Updated: 2017-11-22 13:35

A Chinese writer has recently penned an article to describe middle-aged men as greasy and dirty, generating public discussion over the past weeks on social media.

Feng Tang, a former doctor who became a writer now known for his works on youths, published an article titled "How to Avoid Becoming a Greasy, Dirty Middle-Aged Man" Oct 27 on his Sina Weibo account, China's Twitter-like social media.

The self-mocking article called out his contemporaries for being youni —greasy — and blamed them for being overweight, talking about sex in public, preaching to the younger generations and failing to maintain personal hygiene.

Feng also offered 10 pieces of advice for men in their midlife to avoid becoming one of the weisuonan, or sleazy men, he derides.

Feng's article resonated with both ordinary Weibo users and celebrities. Songwriter and music producer Gao Xiaosong posted his own advice on Weibo, suggesting middle-aged men should be honey-mouthed and not picky.

In China, middle-aged men have been labeled as wearing strings of Buddhist rosary beads on their wrists, carrying thermoses of hot water mixed with red dates and goji berries, packing a bulging paunch, and donning gold neck chains.

In August, Zhao Mingyi, 50, the drummer in the rock 'n' roll band Black Panther, was photographed taking a tea cup, and many web users marveled that "our rock star since childhood is entering his middle age".

Social observers said the flare-up reveals that rapid changes in an age of growing gender equality, consumerism and globalization have created new and various standards for middle-aged men.

They said the wide and still growing generation gaps in Chinese society formed because of a lack of mutual understanding, and it is time for different age groups to interact with each other to encourage better mutual understanding and respect.

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