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Sister Phoenix suffers from Web hype

By Zhang Jin (www.chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2010-02-11 16:05
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About two weeks before the start of this year's Spring Festival, a young woman found quick fame. Luo Yufeng, 24, attracted attention after posting a high-profile advertisement for a boyfriend through various TV programs.

Advertising for love is not new these days, since more Chinese people are open about expressing their feelings. What helped Luo, dubbed Sister Phoenix by netizens, stand out from the crowd of love-seekers was her requirements for her Prince Charming.

"He must be a post-graduate of economics from Tsinghua or Peking University, with a height of 1.76m to 1.83 m. He must have never been a father, and any ex-girlfriends must not have had abortions. He has to be a native of eastern coastal China. He should not be an employee of State companies, but it's OK if he works for PetroChina, Sinopec or top banks..."

Luo also claimed she was sought after by a number of elite singles. Among them were executives from top global incorporations such as Standard Chartered Bank, Citi Bank, HSBC and China Life Insurance. "I rejected all of them, because they are too old and have lost their sexual appeal," she declared.

In a remark that startled some, Luo called herself the brightest human being in the past three centuries, and added that she would remain the smartest person for the next 300 years.

Luo's self-confidence, in contrast to her height of 1.46m, plain looks and a monthly income of a bit more than 1,000 yuan ($146), swiftly turned her into an object for mockery on the Web, with many people describing her as barefaced, bigheaded and shameless.

The boos, however, were probably what Luo -- or to be precise, the promoters behind Luo -- longed for. Apparently, Sister Phoenix was created in an attempt to copy the success of Sister Lotus, or furong jiejie, a self-proclaimed dance expert, with her ugly signature pose of an "S-figure", in which she bent her knees and thrust out her chest provocatively.

The daunting confidence of Sister Lotus, a bad dancer by any standard, jetted her to big fame and brought her some fortune, as she was later invited to shoot some TV ads and perform on various occasions. In her case, becoming a joke was not a bad thing.

But unfortunately, more than five years have passed since Sister Lotus made her appearance.

In those five years, netizens have become fed up with self-promotions featuring well-designed daring remarks, sex talk, lies and attacks on established figures.

Ever since a Shanghai girl used US President Barack Obama's meeting with local youths to promote herself last year, Chinese Web users also are becoming disgusted at intentional media hype for aspiring, but untalented artists.

That might explain why rumors were ripe just a few days after Luo's appearance on TV that a team of Web promoters designed the show for Sister Phoenix. It does not matter whether the show was set up; it does matter that people think she was setting up the show. Sister Lotus' days are over.

Sister Phoenix is simply a victim of some not-so-bright Web promoters and the media, which are eager to find headlines during the dry season before Spring Festival.

I do hope this phoenix get her nirvana, since the year of tiger is around the corner.