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What do you think about Chinese guys?

By lexalee ( Updated: 2014-08-08 16:18

A recent hot discussion on Chinese social media has been about the sorry physical appearance of Chinese men compared to women, who take more pains to look fashionable and attractive. It's one thing when foreigners make such unflattering remarks - they get accused of being biased and racist - but when Chinese women ask “Why are Chinese Men So Ugly?” the guys should pay attention, especially if they're not rich and want to get married. To be fair, when you read such stuff, you might make the mistake of thinking all Chinese women look better than all Chinese men, and of course that's not so.

Guys who are younger generally care more about how they look, no matter where they're from. In high school and college, self-identity and confidence are rather fragile, hormones are surging, the opposite sex suddenly becomes more interesting, and looking cool to impress takes on monumental priority. Those who aren't good students still want to look fashionable, though they may not quite know what looks good and what doesn't. I'd say the male students I saw in China were no less interested in fashion than the girls. The guys certainly liked getting their hair cut, dyed, and curled in weird ways. But their highest aspirations seemed to be dressing in Nike and Adidas t-shirts and shoes, or their knockoffs. That was enough for them. Modest, compared to Chinese girls in heavy makeup, lace dresses, chiffon skirts, skinny jeans, huge purses with chains, and stiletto heels.

After graduating, Chinese guys get conservative. They wear black or gray clothes. They like black leather jackets. Are they cultivating the image of what they think is the successful Chinese male? On campus I'd see groups of administrators and police officials dressed in similar black outfits, smoking together and carrying male handbags that Americans think look like women's purses. They don't exercise, they smoke and drink, their waistlines increase with age, whatever physique they had succumbs to gravity. And if they spit in public, scratch themselves, and go around with their bellies exposed, ugh. Then they must make up for it by earning more money to attract women, I guess.

Before marriage, they may spruce up more to attract female attention, but once they hook a wife, why bother? If they always wear black, why not wear the same clothes for a week? Maybe no one will notice. When it's cold in the winter, isn't it enough to take a shower once or twice a week? Maybe no one will smell. I remember the college broadcasting a public notice over loudspeakers reminding people to preserve their personal hygiene by taking more showers. That's one I'll always remember.

According to CNN, the 3 most fashionable countries, in order, are Italy, Sweden, and France. There's no breakdown of gender, but Italian men know how to look good. Their fabrics and tailoring are tops. The word "metrosexual" makes me think mostly of fashionable European men. The US, home to Levi's, Tommy Hilfiger, Marc Jacobs, Ralph Lauren, Brooks Brothers, and other names Chinese guys adore, came in at 8th, but I will tell you Americans love to go au casuelcasual and I've never seen men of any other country so fond of looking like slobs when not working. And by the way, the women are not far behind. Briefs, thongs, bra straps, rolls of fat hanging out, adipose tissue jiggling in spandex, flipflops in church, curlers and shower caps in public. Lovely.

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