Chinese reality competition show featuring middle-aged female celebrities goes viral on social media
Photo: Screenshot of Weibo Age may possibly be a useful weapon in some industries, but for entertainers, especially women entertainers, age is usually a horrible enemy that can deny them many opportunities.
However, a new Chinese reality show seeks to change that.
The show, which is still in production, is inviting 30 Chinese female celebrities including singers and actresses whose average age is 40 years old to display their talents on stage. A promo released on Wednesday featuring a list of participants for the show has already captured the attention of a large number of netizens.
The related hashtag has been viewed more than 500 million times on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo as of Thursday afternoon. Many netizens took to social media to put forward their ideas about who else should be invited or what costumes participants could wear.
The winners of the singing and dancing competition reality show will be selected by audience vote.
Some netizens commented that they have already grown tired of mass produced reality shows featuring young entertainers and so cannot wait to see something different.
“They will still have their charm while time has given them more experience. I am looking forward to their performances on the show,” one netizens wrote on Sina Weibo.
“More and more Chinese viewers care more about acting and singing skills than youth or beauty, which can be seen in the popularity of some hot TV dramas and shows such as Nirvana in Fire,” an insider in China’s film and television industry surnamed Feng told the Global Times on Thursday.
“Many middle-aged celebrities who have shown off their brilliant skills in these TV shows have regained a large amount of fans and the recognition of the industry,” Feng noted. “That shows that the aesthetic needs of Chinese viewers have become more diversified, and they are not just chasing ‘xiaoxianrou’ [lit: fresh meat, a term used to refer to young stars under 25].”
She added that the situation in the industry has improved for middle-aged Chinese entertainers.
In 2019, middle-aged Chinese actresses Hai Qing spoke out against ageism during that year’s FIRST International Film Festival Award Ceremony, sparking huge discussion on social media, ifeng.com reported.
“We are passionate about films, but most of us have been very passive and we are kept away from excellent productions due to various limitations,” Hai, 42, said, taking aim at the age discrimination middle-aged actresses are facing.
Ageism is also a problem in Hollywood and other places, sixthtone.com said, but performers, producers, screenwriters and directors are on their way toward making a difference.
For example, actresses like Kate Winslet (45), Cate Blanchett (51) and Meryl Streep (70) still rule Hollywood; Kim Nam-joo, who is in her late 40s, wowed audiences with her excellent performance in the 2018 South Korean TV series Misty, and many Japanese actresses born in the 1960s and 1970s, like Yuki Amami and Rie Miyazawa, are still active and popular.
Maybe springtime for these graceful and brilliant celebrities has returned once again.