Katy Perry has about a million followers on Weibo, the Chinese social network. Close behind is FFC-Acrush, a boy band that has toured the country and has millions of fans. One twist, though. This boy band is made up of five women in their early 20s. From Quartz.
Acrush fills an unusual niche in China’s homegrown boy or girl bands scene, where girl bands have been shaped by the influence of J-pop, which can involve knee socks, pony tails and other symbols of girlish cuteness. The letter “A” in the name stands for Adonis, a god in Greek mythology known as the epitome of male beauty, says the group’s agent Zhou Xiaobai in a phone interview with Quartz.
“A group advocating freedom, not bounded by frames” is Acrush’s distinguishing concept, Zhou says.
In China, women dressing up like men has become a more common sight and more accepted by society in recent years. That’s in part thanks to pop idol Li Yuchun, dubbed the mother of the unisex look in China. After Li won the nationwide talent show “Super Girl” in 2005, more boyish girls popped up on TV, but none of them became superstars like Li.
China’s talent agents have been talking about forming an androgynous band for years ever since Li’s success, Zhou says, but few women wanted to take the risk. Zhou’s search for unisex stars across the country began last March. In September, the 28-year-old agent narrowed down the target to 10 candidates. After two months’ training, Lu Keran, An Junxi, Peng Xichen, Min Junqian and Lin Fan emerged as the five members of Acrush. The youngest is 18-year-old Lin from southwestern Sichuan province.
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