Crafted Public Image of An Actress
Recently, Angela Yeung Wing (or Angelababy) appeared on the cover of American Vogue along with well-known celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Bae Doona and many other acting talents from around the world. Though she is the first actress in China to obtain this honor, the domestic entertainment media seems pretty critical of her. Some said, "without any notable work in her career, she cannot represent the actresses of China"; some directly pointed out that Angelababy has no expressions in her eyes, and lack of sincerity in her answer "I want to kiss the Sailor Moon on the big screen". However, despite of the repeated complaints, we have to admit that the behaviors of Angelababy fit well with her public image - an eternal sweet and beautiful young girl.
For actors/actresses, their designed public images are the ones behind the roles they played in TV shows or films. As reality shows are increasingly popular, actors/actresses have enough chances to show their character, and hence create their own public image. For example, considerate guys who love cooking, fitness fanatics who are inspirational, and Straight-A students with impeccable test scores, these "labels" are everywhere. However, since 2019, the misbehaviors of some actors have destroyed their public image one after another. The unfaithful affairs and academic cheating have led to heated discussions, and eventually, the painstakingly-built public images became nothing but embarrassing jokes.
Compared with the "Waterloos" suffered by those actors, some of the images of actresses are just the common satirized targets of the public. The variety shows have presented a virtuous wife good at sorting and organizing at home, a sweet and flower-like girl, and a hot mother who had totally changed her appearance and stature by losing weight. Various and brilliant as it may look, the tagline with the highest frequency is always "looks like a teenage girl" or "the beauty above all". People may consider that working as an actresses in China is easy. All you need is to repeat the same facial expressions and act like forever-sweet and unsophisticated girls over a decade of the career. While others argue that it's not easy to work as an actress as you probably have to spend hours dressing up even for going to the airport. An actress once complaint tearfully on a show that she had to pretend to be forever-young even she was already over 30 years old. If she refused, there would be no role for her to play. We have yet to find a solution to this problem: Is it because of the actresses, who have indulged in the young girl characters so much; or because of the public's affection towards "baby faces", which urges those actresses to pretend young and innocent as long as they can?
China never lacks the actresses with fascinating or spiritual beauties, though they are in the publicly-believed challenged ages. Unfortunately, they can only take supporting roles at their ages. We admire the middle-aged female stars in The Good Wife, who still have booming acting careers, and accept Juliette Binoche's way of handling troubles caused by aging, "Be active and find the directors you like. Never wait or lie." We hope that Chinese actresses will find worthwhile partners and then build changeable images on the screen and sincere public image in real life.
Vista: The winds in the entertainment circle are constantly changing, and it is good to cater to the fans by giving favorable impressions. However, if the public image goes against the real image, people will see through the deceptive aura and get disappointed by the shadow someday.
Southern Weekly: "All is good" is far from enough to describe the female characters vividly and thoroughly. Some are determined, brave, and energetic with untamed passions, while some have withered like a flower. Our description will never be precise or complete until we see them.
Excerpted from HELLO Chengdu April Issue in 2019
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