“Chocolate Girl” wears a beautiful dress by…?

luo-jing-mina-bird-cage

She is Lou Jing, the Shanghaiese contestent on the Chinese version of the X-Factor. It is hard to believe that she’s a teenager who’s never stood professionally in front of a camera before. Her glance has practically murdered the camera. 

The dress – beautifully layered and embellished, the dress is sexy yet the teenager’s innocence and dignity is not lost. White for peace;  a little wing is sewed on the chest that signifies “soar”.  The khaki tone of the dress has avoided the boring notion and made the wearer stands out from the dark background. Magnificent dress. By the way, who’s designed this dress?

The photoshoot is everything a showbiz newcomer can ask for; the make up is impeccable, the dress is brilliant, the photographer has done her proud. Just fantastic.

Who is this photographer and who’s designed the set? How old is this girl? I tried to get a profile of Lou Jing. No mention of her age nor her education background. All I know is that she’s “half black and half chinese, born out of an extra-marital affair”. Do I really need to know that?

On the X Factor show, the host introduced her to the audience, “Lou Jing’s presence darkens our eyes and but brightens our heart. Her chocolate skin’s representative of her sunny personality.”

Lou Jing then went on to rap about herself – “Hi everyone my name is Lou Jing, I enjoy singing at my free time and maybe also dance a little. When I’ve got nothing better to do, I enjoy a bit of eating. My aim in life is to stay happy, no matter what other people say”.

She seems such a cheerful young woman. Prancy and contend as a teenager. Just like you and me, she’s no difference. The TV hosts kept on drawing attention to her skin, calling her the “chocolate skin lady”. While the comment seems unintentional and non malicious, it highlights the question awareness of racism in China. Unintentionally, all these hosts have fallen into the racist bag if the show’s broadcast anywere outside China.

No, we don’t care about her dress, her make up, her struggle to fame, what matters to her if she wins this… Apparently the television channel that produces the programme initally wanted to reject her on the show. After considering the national controversy that Lou Jing may cause plus the headliners that she will grab for the show, the bosses reverted the decision and allowed her to come on. In the end, Lou Jing did grab a lot of headlines for the show. Anywhere outside China, it won’t be the colour of her skin that makes headlines – it will be the comment of these hosts that do it. Can you imagine Simon Cowell calling Alexandra Burke or Leona Lewis the “Chocolate girl”? JLS the “chocolate boys”? 

Even the decision to allow her on the show wasn’t about her talent. But the colour of her skin. China, especially Shanghai has come a long way since her colonial days. When a sign outside a posh restaurant once read “Chinese and dogs unwelcome”. The Chinese has welcomed a girl of different ethnicity on the TV screen. Good call for marching your way into racial diversity. Except that the motive behind is somehow perverted and manipulative. Except the “netizens” – people who live their life on the internet, who don’t know if their best friend’s a male or a female – gave the poor girl so much abuse.

In an interview, Lou Jing responded to some rather politcally incorrect questions, such as, “I remember you once said that your biggest dream is to become a host, but while you are pursuing your dream, the color of your skin might bring you some unnecessary trouble, why is that?”

To which Lou Jing answered, “Because some of the netizens think I do not meet the aesthetic needs of the Chinese public. And being a host is the most direct way to present images to the public. It is possible some people will like me and some people don’t, for those who do not like me, I need to spend more effort than other hosts to gain their recognition.”

While some may say how politically incorrect that question was, nonetheless Lou Jing has started the race debate in China. The much needed national education that everyone in China needs.

(I can’t help but to think though,  “girl, stand up for yourself!”. There’s something Lou Jing needs to learn from Leona Lewis.  Tell the interviewer to fuck off. Tell them to learn social decency before he/she comes back and asks relevant and sensible questions.)

If China thinks that an “international event” such as the Olympics and carefully crafted sportsmen uniform; modern landmark such as the CCTV headquarters and demonstration of China’s advance armament are enough to project China’s success on the international stage and to convince everyone that “we’re as good as everybody else”. Maybe it’s not just about the hardware. Her people’s mindset needs adjusting too.

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