KANG Yikun – Renmin University’s Website Girl Stirs Debate about Beauty, College Girls, and Idol Worship in China
BEIJING – Everyone in Chinese academia is talking about KANG Yikun. She is a stunning Renmin University student in the School of Arts and recently featured on her university’s homepage. Although only two images of her were posted initially, the entire website crashed as millions of visitors wanted to click the cute girl’s picture.
I find her sudden rise to superstardom in China interesting, because it challenges university websites policy which is generally dull and conservative, unlike many of the minds it attracts. I wonder if KANG Yikun will start a new trend and more colleges will now post not only their best but also their most attractive students to the internet. The problem: What will this do to Social China?
Pictures of pretty girls in China (they are called Měinǚ ) are traded like wild (comparable to Japanese and Korean society, albeit not yet as sophisticated; still, nothing like it exist in Europe to such an extent) and beautiful female students are often idolized. KANG Yikun is called ‘Renmin U Goddess’. China has 400 million micro-bloggers. Hence the legions of drooling fans when a cute woman shows up, for the first time, letting alone on one of China’s most elite universities’ website.
This may all be part of a greater picture which Richard Burger in his latest book ‘Sex in China‘ calls the “Sexual Revolution”. Especially college students, who lived in shared dorm rooms throughout much of their school years, have very limited sexual education and experiences with the other sex. How modern Chinese college girls are depicted on TV can be seen in ‘Tiny Times‘, a popular entertainment about four celebrity gals. Their daily routines might also give away clues about beauty, materialism, and idol worship in mainland China – it’s surreal. For some reasons, the girls in China are depicted uber-female – more petite, lighter, slender, and more doll-like than most women in the West (again, it reminds of the kawaii-culture in Japan). But that’s just my opinion. You will have your own.