Breaking the Boundaries: Interview with Yichen
As many interview and survey feedbacks mentioned that they get inspired a lot from KOLs and social media influencer, I got in touch with Yichen, a Weibo influencer, Vogue China columnist who dubbed herself as “Plus-size influencer used to be”.
She is a special one amongst other Chinese influencers who is tanned, not skinny, doesn’t have large round eyes, and more importantly she is super confident and comfortable with the way she looks and dresses.
“Let’s do something different and fun, how about a quick Q&A session?” I asked.
“How have you been?” “最近过的好吗？”
“Can’t be better.” “好得不得了。”
“Why so good?“ “怎么个好法？”
“Feeling more and more beautiful✨ hahhah.” “觉得自己越来越美丽哈哈”
“Share your secrets then.” “快分享你的美丽秘诀。”
“Just to build your own beauty standards, that’s it.” “就是建立你自己美丽的标准，没了。”
Asking Yichen whether she’s confident and how to keep the confidence within herself ect. is too boring. I wanted to listen to her talking and sharing whatever she would like to share. As a girl who doesn’t fit any of the “cute, pale, slim, tall” standard categories, for sharing an attitude of body and life under this not diverse female beauty standards society, and a counterattack to the present beauty standard, she brings herself out onto social media. She’s enjoying sunbathing in Youth’s park in Beijing right at the time of this interview taken place.
“I never ever felt slim in my life.” Yichen laughed. ” Summer 2015, I moved to Brixon in South-west London with my two fully-loaded luggages with huge clothes. Just like the most famous person in the area – David Bowie, Brixton changed me.”
“When I said I’m afraid of wearing shorts because of thick legs, with the surprised looks on the locals and the 100% certain denials with nonononono. That year for the first time ever convinced me, the 65kg self is not fat at all. “
“Till now I still can’t forget the breeze from first time wearing shorts since the age of 12. That uk 10 jean shorts subverted every summer in the past before I owned it. “
“After graduated and went back to work in Beijing, I’ve been having this tough decision between ‘shorts’ and ‘passerby’s looks’ under the heatwave of Beijing’s summer. I think I vaguely figured something out: The insecurity with my own body shape and the fugacious confidence in the past were all because ‘My judgement of myself were depending on the standards of the others'”
“I felt fat in Beijing, as girls I see on the street, celebrities on TV they all have completely different looks and shapes from me .”
“However I feel confident in London, because people with different looks and they would also appreciate the differences. Me in the past was like most of people, undoubtedly and faintly influenced by the standard in the society where are living at. “
“As the old saying goes: ‘Take a step back and everything will be alright（退一步海阔天空） ‘. But on the matter of women accepting ourselves, as a practitioner, my feeling is ‘Step forward and everything will be alright'(向前走一步才有海阔天空). ”
“A lot happened in the fashion industry since summer 2019. Wangju became the endorser for Fenty Beauty China; the worldwide influential on women’s beauty standard brand Victoria’s Secret has announced to stop their catwalk show. The diversity and change that I was expecting seems budding and happening. I think this beauty standard revolution which will benefit the crowds should be attributed to every single ordinary, different, imperfect women and their unconditional passion for themselves and their lives.”
*Wang Ju: https://radiichina.com/chinas-beyonce-is-the-new-face-of-rihannas-fenty-beauty/