China Puts an “Effeminate Ban”; Idols in Trouble?

China has always held an iron fist on its entertainment industry. After the K-pop ban came the variety show ban, and now, it has come to banning its own idols.

According to an industry insider, the state has put an “effeminate ban” on the entertainment industry, which limits “effeminate” celebrities from making appearances on TV, concerts, or other public appearances. As there is no official written description of what constitutes as an “effeminate” person, it’s become common knowledge that China’s very own “little fresh meat” idols, such as the boy bands Nine Percent and TFBOYS, are part of this “effeminate ban.” Nine Percent, which was originally confirmed to make an appearance at a mid-autumn festival performance, was suddenly pulled from the list, leading to speculation that it was either from the ban or because of member Fan Chengcheng (范丞丞), Fan Bingbing’s (范冰冰) younger brother.

Nine Percent

This ban will affect many idols and bands, including actors Li Yifeng (李易峰) and William Chan (陳偉霆), both who are known for their “little fresh meat” looks, despite being in their thirties.

Some known celebrities seem to agree with the ban, as they have once criticized China’s recent trend on promoting effeminate-looking idols. There is Nicholas Tse (謝霆鋒), who once said on the show Sing! China <中国好声音>, “Men should be more manly. Men should have the hormones of a man.” Wu Jing (吴京), star of China’s highest-grossing film Wolf Warrior <战狼>, once jokingly said he didn’t know if the K-pop band EXO was “a boy group or a girl group.”

Taiwanese singer-actress Annie Yi (伊能靜), on the other hand, did not agree with her peers. In a Weibo post, she stressed that everyone should learn to respect and accept others for who they are. She wrote, “To all the oily men who think they’re not effeminate but are actually in terminal cancer, please open your eyes and look at the world. Stop living in your own world thinking you’re the emperor.”


This article is written by Addy for

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  1. Not a fan of the effeminate look at all. Anyway, William Chan never looks effeminate to me, but agree that the TFBOYS and those EXO members do look feminine.

    1. @olivegarden I too don’t think William Chan looks deliberately feminine. He has soft, natural features. He does not purposefully add anything to boost his appearance in a feminine way.

  2. Poor Fan Chengcheng. This case with his sis…. With Fan Bingbing was going to affect his career sooner than later. So many of you here along with myself said it would. I really feel for him. I agree with one thing that the chinese government has done, and I thougt I would never see this day. I too believe too many asian idols are going about looking like women. If you look soft and girlish by nature, you can’t blame yourself. But to go around, altering your facial structure, wearing makeup and growing your hair long a nvm f wearing girly clothes is preposterous. Actuslly there are these two pretty boys that for awhile, I thought they transitioned from girl to boy, heheha. Before anyone say I’m crazy, it can happen. Two idols are married to men who have not had the final snip . If you are a man, even if you are a midget like WCL or Eric Tsang, be pround to be a man. Im sick of mrn going out of their way to look girly, especially if they are not gay. Then again the silly girlfans like them looking like that.

    1. @kmfayb …”If you are a man, even if you are a midget like WCL or Eric Tsang, be proud to be a man. Im sick of mrn going out of their way to look girly, especially if they are not gay. Then again the silly girlfans like them looking like that.”

      Very well said! Couldn’t agree more.

  3. Lol this ban is so ridiculous.

    Must be coming from those insecure and fragile masculinity men to propose such ban. Macho apperance is not equal to being manly.

    1. Going around deliberately looking like a girl is not manly or appealing either. Who said that raping and beating women is manly?. God, whew! ,why would any woman, or man think such nonsense. Why would any woman in her right mind think to want a man who goes around asserting his masculinity by beating or raping women, duh? I know Eric Tsang is not a nice man, but I never knew him to rape or beat anyone although the beating the wife to keep her in line would not surprise me ,as he and a lot of the big guns with subservient wives are very ‘traditional’, and that is not something WCL would do. I also can’t figure out why a young woman would want a man who wears more makeup than her and whose earring collection is bigger than hers. His hair is longer, and the wife or girlfriend can borrow his clothes, and no one will know the difference. I do agree with the ban on men performing looking and smelling more girly than the real, naturally biological girls

  4. And when would the government put plastic surgery idols in trouble? Everyone is trying to become plastic dolls if they should ever have the money to go do it.

    Not likely ever going to happen because 99% idols today are all plastic. So that would mean weeding each and everybody out.

    1. @davy haha,LMAO. If that happens, China will have only 2 % of natural entertainers. If Hong Kong, Taiwan Japan and Korea decide to follow, only 2% natural celebrities from each country will be entertaining us. Ooohhh the horror!.

  5. This is ridiculous if it is true. Not a fan of Kpop but see no need to ban. The entertainment is a creative industry and it cannot grow if it is too restrictive to the point of straitjacket conformity. What a pity.

  6. If this is true, then I am glad. If you are feminine naturally it’s okay. But if you alter your face to look feminine then it’s not okay. Be proud of who you are.

  7. Whoever made this decision is either a closeted gay or extremely conservative & close-minded.

    Effeminate men wouldn’t be a trending style if there wasn’t popular demand for it. I say this even though I’m not a fan of ‘effeminate’ men makeup-wearing men myself.

    I also don’t see how it’s harming the general population.

    Also, William Chan is NOT an effeminate guy. I find him in the category of Ron Ng and maybe Huang Xiao Ming. They’re stylish men, but not girly. Although if you consider stylish as a general ‘effeminate’ thing to do, then I have no words.

    1. @coralie Not surprised, as Mainland China bans alot of things that most ordinary people in their right minds would not ban. I mean, this is the same country that has officially banned cartoon character Peppa Pig (because the Chinese government claims it “promotes a slacker lifestyle”) and also banned everyone’s favorite bear Winnie the Pooh (because people were using Pooh bear in memes to mock China’s leader Xi Jinping due to the president’s supposed physical resemblance to the bear — anything that makes Xi look bad is considered “subversive”)….and those are just 2 recent examples (amongst many)….I don’t see how Peppa or Pooh are harming the general population either, but it obviously doesn’t matter what we or the general population think, since the CCP (aka Chinese government) will censor whatever it wants to, regardless if it makes any sense or not, which is of course unfortunate…

      1. @llwy12 I don’t care for chinese government officials in the least. I abhor their policies and the way they dictate their citizens. I hate their hypocrisy, their cold ruthlessness and penchant for offing their people, hence my worry for Fan Bingbing. I can write a few books about these real life vampires, and I’m sure you can too. However, it is mind boggling as to why these entertainers go out of their way to present themselves to the public looking like women. So many small teen aged boys look up to, and sadly worship these men. They have so much influence on the really young generation. The young boys will think it is the norm and pretty cool to look like their idol, resulting in many of them even getting plastic surgery to achieve the girly look. These guys will scream bloody hell and want to sue if rumors surface that they are gays. Then if they are not, why are they dressing and going out of their way to look like women. The effeminate concert ban is the only thing thing that I am not against in China.

      2. @kmfayb There is a demand so there is a supply. The agencies as producers and fans as the customers. Idols are heavily manufactured products they sell to the masses. And since it works, well, they keep doing it.

        Boy idol groups are targeting girls while girls group are targeting boys fans. If those idol wannabe don’t want to follow the rule of their agency (like no dating, no controversy, must have clean cut image) they can get lost. There are thousands replacement waiting.

        Few years ago, few people in Western countries had heard of K-pop. Then came Gangnam style and now idols is billion dollar business.

  8. There are a few things here, that is beyond the whole dressing like girls for the fans. 1 – the most beautiful woman has a lot of boyish feature in them, and vice versus. That’s why a blend of this make one attractive. You see them as wearing makeup, the artist see it as a way to enhance the attractive feature (bigger eyes, higher nose bridge, etc). Girls can use makeup to look better and not man, and we keep going on how we want equality, wouldn’t this ban basically make man less equal?

    2 – the effect of plastic on our hormones: apparently even the BPA free stuffs are now appeared to be just as harmful as normal plastic stuffs. And with our long exposure to plastic, and the unknown (but now surface) microplastic, we are now leaning toward effeminate. Men start to have effeminate traits, not sure about the effect on women (but it seems to be less fertile).

    3. Why is it wrong for man/boy to dress girly? If it looks good, it should be fine, no? After all, it is just a dress, a facade. Why are we worried about one’s appearance instead of whether that person is a good person or not? Whether that person has done right by the society? Gay men can’t show they are good people?

    I do understand if you argue the ban is to stop kids from worrying about their appearance and felt forced to be girly to have a big fandom, however, The other side of the coin is a lot worse if you were to put such ban in place. What happen to strike for the balance? And there are a lot more reasons why we like effeminate (environmental factors)

  9. I don’t think William Chan look effeminate at all. He didn’t even look girly in that curly braided fringe in ‘Legend of Zu’.

    1. @kidd I agree that William Chan does not look girly in any way. He has a soft face that women appreciate, and I guess some men too. We all know that Chinese men tend to be petite as opposed to their Western counterparts. Asian men are slenderly built, and the entertainers, even more so. They have to prevent that sort of image to the public, and that is the case with artists all over the world. Society demands that waif like look from both men and women in the entertainment business. Some might blabber on about men have their right, and gay men this and that. Gay men do dress like women and some of them wear perfumes that are catered to women. That has become their signature look and no one bats an eyelash at it anymore. Well, unless these men are gay, which they say they aren’t, then it boggles the mind why they want to look like women, Even some of them getting facial surgery o look like women. Is it hilarious and sad at the same time, to go to a boy band concert, and not know if they are male or female. No matter how soft and gentle a man’s face is, one should be able to identify him as a man. Sometimes the only way you recognize the idols as men is by their Adams Apple. If that is how they can be recognized as men, then “Houston, we have a problem. Then again, some women loooooove them like that. If a young woman brought home a man looking more girly than her, and wearing make up and girly clothes, any parents in their right mind would ask their daughter if she is gay.

      1. @kmfayb

        I disagree with you concept of gay men. Gay men come in all shape and sizes just like straight men. Some like to be flamboyant while some fit the description of manly man to a T. I was very surprised when I found out one actor is gay. He looks so straight and manly. But, he has been in a steady relationship with a man for 2 decades.
        Same with straight men. Some really don’t have attraction to member of the same sex, but, they like ‘feminine’ things.

      2. @kidd I could not agree with your comment more. However you miss my point. What I was saying is a lot of these idols go around looking like girls , deliberatelyI might add. When questions arise about their sexuality, they are ready to sue any and everyone. Why go out of your way to look like a woman if you are not gay or transgendered, especially knowing how most chinese feel about homosexuals and transgenders. I can see why the girly look can be considered a negative influence on the youth, as they copy everything their idols do. Trust me, not all gays are girly either. Some have a more manly demeanor than the straight guys. I also know a lot of men who have beards and they are so manly., but the beards are just an insurance policy. Then there are men who choose not to hide behind a beard, and have a male partner, and no one will believe these manly men are gay.

      3. It leaves a lot to be desired seeing these men on variety and game shows, promos, interviews and concerts and not knowing if these males are men or women. I am not talking about wearing a unisex pair of shoes, pants or top. I am also not talking about men having a petite body and a natural soft facial structure. I am talking about idols wearing heavy makeup, dress to the nines in feminine attire and even surgically altering their facial structure for a more girly looking face. That is so misleading to the millions of young boys who idolize these men. They follow everything their idols do, and will think this direction is the norm. I Iike and respect your comment.

      4. @kmfayb I agree with Kidd, there are so many actors that is HAF (hot as f) and had smouldering chemistry with their female Co-star, and he’s gay! The actor who acted as Gaston in the new beauty and the beast is a good example of that (watch the alienist and you know what I’m talking about). How people express themselves should not be restricted. You want people to act as man, dress as man. Are you saying straight man can’t love womanly fragrances? When the womanly fragrances, boil down to its core is just nicely smell stuffs! It likes saying straight boys can’t in love with flower and gardening!

        Again, the problem you are trying to address is self-esteem, we need to educate people that you should love the natural features you were born with, instead of feel pressured to look like a girl or a man because society said so! A ban will not educate anything but making people discriminate against people who has a taste beyond the norms!

    2. @kidd Willian Chan doesn’t look effeminate. Maybe in series with thick make up and all, maybe yes. Outside he is mor bad dresser than effeminate. And even if he is so what?!

  10. why should there be a ban? everyone’s free to express the way the like. what i don’t agree if to follow the foot steps of others. i don’t mind effeminate bbs but just don’t copy, be original

    1. @m0m0

      I totally agree with you and cannot put it in better words. Everyone should be free to express themselves and be who they are provided it does not bring harm to others and it’s what they truly feel/want (not mandated by people in authority).

  11. Next, a ban on masculine looking women? Maybe a ban on plastic surgery for unnatural looks? If Jpop adopts the same ban, gone are the jpop groups. Entire kpop can close shop.

    Whatever the sexuality, etc, idols are about image. Before camera, everything is an act, an image. A male idol may wear make up etc, but when on vacation, may not be that way. China is communists but when did they follow the path of ISIS? I am no fan of effiminate looks or less than masculine looks but to regulate that is insane.

  12. Cripes almighty the Chinese government is freaking ridiculous. Do they not have better things to worry about over there? Is no one starving? This is what the old farts in power are wasting their time on?? I love Annie Yi’s quote…she really nailed it. It sounds like a bunch of ugly old men just being jealous and acting out cuz they are corrupt with power. So sick.

    1. @dalebaines did you hear about the latest thing China has done? Social credit rating: gonna discriminating whoever doesn’t follow the government. There was already one case of a reporter got bad credit, not allowed to walk on the Main Street, Other people won’t talk to him, etc, he literally being isolated, and is now fearing for his daughter as she might not be able to get into a decent school because of his credit. The future is gloom for Chinese 🙁

      1. @littlefish That is just…depressing. Seriously what is wrong with the government there? There are so many ways they can and need to improve their country, THAT is not one of them.

  13. Omg one of the most stupid things Ive ever read. Men come in all shapes and sizes, why must they all fit the same mould?

    Having more muscle or sporting a beard does not make you more of a man. I wish people like Nicholas Tse will give over. I know he loves his goatie but he is just another effeminate man hiding behind his goatie. He was born beautiful and should own it.

  14. While some idols are cute instead of macho/manly, being not be able to differentiate between male and female is ridiculous and way too exaggerating. As cute as they’re, I never seen a pictures of idol that can make me mistake their gender.

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