Wendy Liu: Plain Jane to Plain Popular

From City Weekend:

Beginning early this year on the Qinghua and Beijing University BBS, a girl named ‘Frjj’ () began to upload her photos. Accompanying each photo was a brief diary entry. At first read they proclaimed, “I’m pure and noble (this is how my classmates describe me, which isn’t my fault).’ Harmless enough. However, they began to take a much more self-aggrandizing angle when this seemingly average looking university student turned to comments like, “My life is now so annoying. All the time I am the focus on the street. Why do the eyes of the men fall hot upon me? I have no place to hide.”

As her popularity grows, Sister Furong goes on to let her audience know that she is also a dance expert. “I have a pair of beautiful hands which go harmoniously with my outstandingly slim body (1.66cm or maybe taller). My skin is as smooth as a baby and all of these talents have helped me to become a good dancer. I understand life in my dance; I am looking for my lover in my dance.” Sizzle and bristle does the BBS that other chat rooms co-subscribe and soon a debate begins to rage.

Is she funny simply because she doesn’t know she is? According to Lotus Flower herself, the original idea was to set up a BBS posting to expose her natural beauty and grace… and ahem, to find a good lover. Posting, websites, comments, water cooler chats and taxicab confessions criticize and laugh about her apparent and complete lack of modesty. What difference does it make to Sister Furong? She’s famous! Her site is checked for new photo postings daily and the inertia of her original fan base has snowballed into a viral publicity scheme that even the likes of Dan Brown’s publisher would envy.

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