Navigating Body Shame around the World as a Chinese Woman

What’s wearing Chinese women down? A pitch for the feature story: to unveil how young Chinese young women suffer from body shame

Body image of the author
A body image of the author, young Chinese woman standing in front of campus 27/05/2017
  • Elevator pitch

This feature story depicts how Chinese young women are demoralizing themselves because of body shaming, with a shallow approach to Chinese Feminism.

  • Rationale for this subject

The modern Chinese beauty standard relates to being young, pale and skinny, compared to be tan and muscular in Australia. The feminine beauty ideal varies in countries, so does body shaming.

Living abroad, young Chinese women tend to be less confident among the crowd. A lot of my girlfriends suffer from body shaming experiences that leads to self-inferiority.

I’m one of the “inferior girl’s league”. On account of my skinny body, I’ve received loads of judgements in my life, some of which are sexual harassments:

“I believe your boyfriend would not want to have sex with you”

“Have you ever considered giving birth to a child? I don’t think you can.”

My personal story proves that anyone could be a victim of body shaming even if you’ve somewhat met standards.

Body shame is a feminist issue, however, the development of Chinese feminism is under suppression, because it’s considered to be Western infiltration in China. The voices of Chinese women are missing in the world. How much more successful would feminist movements be if 1.418 billion Chinese women weren’t neglected?

The story aims to boost the volume of Chinese women’s voices.

  • Target audience

  1. Chinese women between 20 to 34, looking for self-value and building social status
  2. Feminists who are concerned with Chinese feminism
  • Platform

Medium: loads of Chinese feminism stories are published here

Screen Shot 2019-04-11 at 7.20.13 pm
Medium’s target audience/source: screen shot of Medium’s mission page at 2019-04-11
  •  Story angles

  1. Start with a body shame story on Chinese woman
  2. Confusion: different beauty standards for Chinese women living abroad
  3. How body shaming wears Chinese women down
  4. Ice and fire: the suppression and revival of Chinese feminism
  5. Can Chinese young women control their body in future?
  • Talent information

I’ll pursue the sources from interviews and online reports. For better depicts the story angle in global perspective, I locate my interviewees in Chinese young women living in various districts.

  1. For the personal story:

Sally Luo, former editor of vogue, pursuing a fashion career

Karen Sowaiying, feminism activist in HK

  1. For boarder story via projects and researches:

Ms. Q, feminist research student of CUHK, activist

Profile of Qianyi 2019-04-11 at 6.12.08 PM
Ms.Q, dressing protest against clothing discrimination in Guangzhou, where a girl is forbidden to board subway due to Gothic look

Caroline Lyu, Chinese photographer based in Paris, working on body projects

  1. For the professional analysis:

Dr. Astrida Neimanis, feminist scholars in campus

Profile of Dr Astrida Neimanis
Profile of Dr Astrida Neimanis


  • Potential interview questions

Body Cognitive:
  1. In terms of feminine beauty ideal, what’s the difference between that of China and the country you live in?
  2. Have you ever criticized your body? Why?
Body Shame and Chinese Feminism:
  1. Has someone body shamed you? How does it affect you? Have you overcome it?
  2. Do you come across impressive stories in your project?
  3. How do you think of the relationship between body shame and Chinese feminism?
  4. What do you feel about the development of Chinese feminism?
  5. Why the world should pay attention to Chinese Feminism?
  • Multimedia Choice

Since the topic relates to traumatic personal stories, audio instead of video will be use.


Leta Hong’s Interview in ABC

The silence

Metoo in China

Stigmatised Feminism

Similar Report of Black Women

Chinese Woman Condition

About Leslie Li 5 Articles
Freelance Journalist based in Uni Sydney |Photographer · Literature Lover · Guitar Player · Music Addict · Gluttonous Cook · Society Observer · Life Critic | Play with me: Twitter@sheetworm / Instagram@pinkchiiga


  1. Chinese feminist is a good story idea, but I am confusing with the headline ”what’s wearing Chinese women down”. The author introduces the background of this feature story and why she would like to pick this subject. I want to see what kind of news story on Chinese woman you write for this feature story in your angle which you do not mention. I think the feature story should focus on your news information and your center character which use figurative expression and techniques of fiction writing to represent the emotions. In your angle, it is good to have your analysis and argument, such as your confusion and your question with body shame in Chinese Feminism issue. Also, it is comprehensive that there are three interviewees you involve in different areas and the questions you will ask. You seem to put in the suitable platform but I want to know the reason. You have good hyperlinks and you may include some nice photographs for Chinese feminism issue in the beginning.

    • Hi Li,
      Thank you for your comment. I have changed the title and improve the script a little bit tonight, so I don’t know why you are presented with the old version. I believe that I have included some sources to show what kind of feature story I’m going to write in the bottom, nevertheless, my story angles and interview questions should have formed your ideas of what story I’m pursuing.
      What’s more, the second point of my angle is exactly what you suggested. The image of user analysis has depicted its match to my target audience, which I tried to keep every point in my pitch sharp and clean since there’s strict 500 words word count.
      Last but not least, my story focus on body shaming in Chinese young women, some of the personal stories are traumatic so I’m going to use audio instead of pictures or video. Chinese feminism issue is an expansion point, a “shallow approach” in the body shame story.

Leave a Reply