Little Fresh Meat

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Little Fresh Meat is an internet buzz word in China used to describe handsome young males. It is most commonly used for celebrities, particularly a rising star.[1][2][3]

Positive impact

Star Power and Commercial Value

The term has been widely used as a selling point by Chinese entertainment agencies in defining a star,[4] and helped the star in gaining more fans.[5]

Box office

Films featuring "little fresh meat" have done well at the box office, in return for some of these films' low production cost. This is due to the devout fanbase of the stars.[6] In particular, the media coined Lu Han's massive influence among his followers as the Lu Han effect, which helped achieve high ratings for the television drama Fighter of the Destiny in spite of poor reviews from critics.[7]

Diversification of label

The popularity of "little fresh meat" have allowed the media to create new representations of male beauty on screen, thus diversifying the type of characters portrayed by actors in television and films. Males who possess delicate and feminine features are no longer met with contempt or ridicule.[8]

Negative criticism

Astronomical high salary

Kris Wu, one of China's most popular young stars

It has been reported that high salaries demanded by some "little fresh meats" has caused a detrimental impact on film profits.[9]

Unprofessional attitude

Some of the "Little fresh meats" have often been criticized for their lack of acting skills, causing their films to receive negative reviews and online backlash.[9] Li Yifeng was panned for not mastering the Beijing dialect for his role in Mr.Six, and received criticism for winning the Best Supporting Actor award at the Hundred Flowers Awards, which sparked a "Popularity vs Talent" controversy.[10]

Other common unprofessional behaviour exhibited by "little fresh meats" include getting stand-ins to replace them in certain shots. Due to their popularity, they also tend to juggle multiple projects and don't give adequate time for each role, instead hiring stand-in look-alikes to replace them in shots that do not require close ups.[9]

Quality

  • Mr Six received critical acclaim and won the Best Actor award for leading man Feng Xiaogang but received criticism for Li Yifeng and Kris Wu's acting.[11]
  • Time Raiders, based on the popular novel Daomu Biji and featuring Chinese heartthrobs Jing Boran and Lu Han, earned 1 billion yuan at the box office but received overwhelming negative reviews from critics in China.[12]
  • The People's Liberation Army Daily criticized the unrealistic portrayals by some of these young actors in military-themed films.[5]

In the media

File:Jing Boran.jpg
Jing Boran, star of the blockbuster hit Monster Hunt

Empowerment on Women

The phenomenon has contributed to the rise of girl power. Women have always been used as an object of appreciation, but now men are also receiving the same treatment. Feminist Lü Pin said: "I think the phrase is a symbol for the possibility of diversification. In the past the mainstream was old men [dating] young women, but now matches of people of different ages are being accepted."[13]

As the term "little fresh meat" has been used by women to express their desire/hunger for young, good-looking men, a psychologist stated that it is a progress for women to recognize their sexual needs and self-gratification in the otherwise restrained society in China.[4]

Comments by entertainers

Chinese Swimmer Ning Zetao said that he wouldn't want to be called a piece of little fresh meat. "I don't like this nametag," he said.[13]

Commercial trends

The popularity of the "little fresh meat" have also saw a change in tide, where beauty and cosmetic companies in China are starting to ask young male celebrities to endorse their products instead of female celebrities.[14]

People associated with the title

Yang Yang, lead actor of popular series Love O2O

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Top 10 young-faced male celebrities in China: Forbes". China.org.cn. 15 May 2015. http://www.china.org.cn/top10/2015-05/15/content_35560467.htm. 
  2. "Little Fresh Meat". South China Morning Post. 28 January 2016. http://www.scmp.com/magazines/hk-magazine/article/2037601/little-fresh-meat. 
  3. "小鲜肉(xiǎoxiānròu)little fresh meat". Global Times. 11 August 2015. http://language.globaltimes.cn/%E5%B0%8F%E9%B2%9C%E8%82%89xiaoxianroulittle-fresh-meat/#.WNLpVTuGO00. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Why Are Women in China Obsessed with 'Little Fresh Meat'('小鲜肉' 'Xiao Xian Rou')?". Women of China. 9 October 2016. http://www.womenofchina.cn/womenofchina/html1/culture/hot_words/1610/458-1.htm. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 "PLA Daily slams 'little fresh meats' for portraying soldiers on TV". People's Daily. 26 November 2016. http://en.people.cn/n3/2016/1126/c90000-9147430.html. 
  6. "‘Fresh meat’ gets young fans rushing for the latest movies". Shanghai Daily. http://www.shanghaidaily.com/nation/Fresh-meat-gets-young-fans-rushing-for-the-latest-movies/shdaily.shtml. 
  7. "New TV drama ‘Fighter of the Destiny’ looks to take advantage of ‘the Lu Han effect’". Sina Corp. April 20, 2017. http://english.sina.com/ent/t/2017-04-20/detail-ifyepsea9665290.shtml. 
  8. "How ‘Little Fresh Meats’ Are Winning China Over". Sixth Tone. http://www.sixthtone.com/news/%E2%80%98little-fresh-meats%E2%80%99-winning-hearts-china. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 9.4 "Twilight of the pretty boys". China Daily. 21 November 2016. http://africa.chinadaily.com.cn/life/2016-11/21/content_27436757.htm. 
  10. "China's Golden Rooster & Hundred Flowers Film Festival faces 'popularity vs talent' controversy". Global Times. 25 September 2016. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1008170.shtml. 
  11. "New film focuses on former gangster's attempts to bring moral code to indifferent society". Global Times. 27 December 2015. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/960743.shtml. 
  12. "Box office bubble". Sina. 9 August 2016. http://english.sina.com/ent/mo/2016-08-09/detail-ifxutfpc4880492.shtml. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 "‘Come to my bowl’". Global Times. 6 April 2015. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/915399.shtml. 
  14. ""Young Fresh Meat" Men in China the New Face of Women’s Beauty Products". The Nanfang. 15 July 2016. https://thenanfang.com/chinese-male-celebrities-endorsing-beauty-products-women/. 
  15. "Li Yifeng: China’s tastiest piece of 'fresh meat'". Sina. 3 August 2016. http://english.sina.com/entertainment/p/2015/0803/835332.html. 
  16. "Voices cry out in terror over Chinese ‘Star Wars’ ambassador Lu Han". Sina. 4 January 2016. http://english.sina.com/entertainment/p/2016/0104/878329.html. 
  17. "The chosen Wu". Global Times. 1 March 2016. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/971230.shtml. 
  18. "4 gorgeous Little Fresh Meats who are the top Chinese Flower Boys". DramaFever. 16 November 2016. https://www.dramafever.com/news/4-gorgeous-little-fresh-meats-who-are-the-top-chinese-flower-boys/. 
  19. 19.0 19.1 "鹿晗领衔2014娱乐圈最受欢迎的十大人气小鲜肉". Sina. 5 June 2016. http://nb.sina.com.cn/fashion/bxbg/2014-06-05/070050254.html. 
  20. "How ‘Little Fresh Meats’ Are Winning China Over". Sixth Tone. 7 August 2016. http://www.sixthtone.com/news/%E2%80%98little-fresh-meats%E2%80%99-winning-hearts-china. 
  21. "How a Chinese boy band has become an international hit". Global Times. 5 April 2016. http://www.globaltimes.cn/content/977258.shtml.