Home / Lifestyle / X-Ray

Abreast of controversy

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2015-12-07 07:31

Proper and improper

While most people seemed to side with the mother, the photo-taker had her share of support.

There are many people in China who believe, from the bottom of their hearts, that it's not a nice thing to breast-feed while others can catch glimpses of your private part.

What may strike people in other countries as a storm in a teacup presents a perfect example of the muddy waters form any issues of ethics here. What one person sees as touchingly beautiful, another may call ugly or "ungainly", as the Chinese description for improper body exposure translates.

The absence of sophistication is the result of groundswells in human migration, demographic shifts and changing attitudes toward privacy.

Thirty years ago, most Chinese would make impromptu calls on a friend, without making an appointment first. Few had telephones back then.

Nowadays, this would be deemed rude.

In rural areas and old neighborhoods in urban areas, men would strip to their waists when the summer heat became unbearable.

Now this is strongly discouraged by local governments, who see it as uncivilized. While such a sight can be artistically appealing, it would invariably be scrubbed from government promotional images.

The difficulty of distinguishing between proper and improper exposure is very real for many Chinese.

The elderly may have very specific ideas that won't change, no matter what.

The young are susceptible to outside influences. What they see as uncouth one day may become vogue the next, after a pop idol does it on TV.

The recent news that South Korean broadcasters banned nine dance moves came as a shock.

These "hot dances", though not showing private parts, are clearly simulations of sex acts, yet they are readily available on the Chinese tube. Even pop star Madonna would blush at some of these gyrations.

Most people do not take courses to learn how to distinguish artistic nudity (such as bare-chested modern dancers and performance-art pieces), natural nakedness, (such as kids skinny-dipping in summer) and sexually explicit or suggestive exposure.

The rule of thumb is arousal.

Of course, people may become numb if the exposure is constant and regular, as with the South Korean dance movements.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349