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pseudo-girl, or "weiniang" in Chinese
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The word "weiniang" or "pseudo-girl" has entered Chinese from the Japanese word "Nisemusume," and refers to handsome boys who have a female appearance through their fashion style. The Japanese word is popularly used in comics and dramas.


But the boys are not necessarily homosexuals.


The "he" that dresses like a "she" and constantly blurs the lines of division between male and female has ignited a fierce debate in China.


Liu Zhu, 19, from Sichuan Province, has risen to stardom overnight since he participated in "Happy Boys," China's all-male talent show equivalent to "American Idol," but he wasn't there for his vocal ability, but instead his cross-dressing performance in the competition.


Auditioning for the show, Liu dressed, acted and spoke so femininely that the judges questioned his gender several times. Local media and netizens have hence nicknamed Liu a "nisemusume" or "pseudo girl."


His name returns more than 19 million hits on the leading Chinese search engine Baidu, while his blog has received 3 million hits.


In a previous talent show this year, Xu Long, a boy known as "Tongtong," also became famous because of his cross-dressing.


Thanks to them and the sensation they have created, there is a buzzword in China: "weiniang" or "pseudo-girl."

(China.org.cn November 28, 2010)

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