Mad about the girl: a pop idol for China – Benjamin Joffe-Walt

From The Guardian:

She’s the star of a television talent show, but Li Yuchun is not an outstanding singer or dancer. Nor is the 21-year-old considered particularly pretty. She dresses like a tomboy and, last but not least, the title of the show, sponsored by a dairy company, is The Mongolian Cow Sour Yogurt Supergirl Concert.

Here’s how many tuned in: 400 million – more than the population of western Europe – making it the largest television audience in Chinese history and inevitably the largest domestic TV audience in the world.
China’s young women are in the midst of a “Supergirl rebellion”, in which traits such as assertiveness, confidence and creative eccentricity have made a thrilling triumph over the old, introverted ideal of pretty-girl Chinese pop. The climax to this has been a Pop Idol-style singing competition which anyone could enter and whose outcome, unlike most Chinese TV, was not scripted – fans voted for the winner.

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