Idiots ban “Sister Lotus”

This most unusual Chinese blogger was making a big stir with her site, which received international attention in recent weeks. Now, the all-knowing Party has suddenly banned her from appearing in the media and decreed she must “disappear.” Just see how she threatened harmony and stability:

Sitting across the table is an unlikely heroine of China’s youth, an icon of the internet age whom the Beijing authorities have just ordered “must be disappeared” from the spotlight.

She is recognised by all the waitresses in our bustling restaurant in Beijing’s university district. Fellow diners whisper and point as Sister Lotus gnaws on roast rabbit legs, muses on her baffling fame and laments her downfall.

This 28-year-old woman of average looks and with no obvious talents has somehow become a phenomenon: idolised, adored and ridiculed in equal measure for her bumptious weblog (“I am so beautiful, when men see my body they get a nosebleed,” reads a typically boastful posting) that are required reading for millions.

Only a few days ago, Sister Lotus was planning a lucrative media career on the back of her internet postings, often illustrated with saucy pictures in over-the-top poses. Now the authorities have decided that the show has gone on long enough. The Sister Lotus phenomenon is history.

“Just like that, it was all over,” she says, unusually deflated. “They blocked me. The Propaganda Department told the television stations and big newspapers to stop covering me. For some reason, they were uncomfortable.”

All the book and recording deals have been canceled and she is left with very little money. Reporters acknowledged they were told by the party she must disappear from the public eye altogether. Thank God; we’re all safe and harmonious again.

The Discussion: 17 Comments

In case people are wondering just who the hell “Sister Lotus” actually is, she’s a 28-year old woman from Shaanxi Province who tried and failed to get into China’s top universities. She then started writing about her application “struggle” on a blog. Unusually, she quickly gained cult-like status across China.

You coundn’t script this: she was a media sensation. On the 29 July 2005 even the official China Daily featured an article about her (originally from the Wash Post) celebrating the phenomenon. Now the upper echelons of the CCP have warned all media outlets to stop reporting about her and her site was blocked.

What the hell did she do wrong? She didn’t break any law. The only thing she did was become popular. Perhaps the CCP were jealous?!

In case anyone is wondering what she looks like, there’s a decent photo of here at the Beijing Review:

August 13, 2005 @ 8:03 pm | Comment

Thanks Martyn, I guess I presumed she was a household name by now….

August 13, 2005 @ 8:06 pm | Comment

IMO, I wouldn’t say she’s exactly a household name here in China but she’s been the subject of a good few articles in the press.

I think the general feeling towards her was that she was just a ‘flash in the pan’. Someone enjoying her 15 minutes of fame until she disappeared as quickly as she came. I heard that she had some book deals in the pipeline as the article mentions but I don’t think anyone really took her pouting and grandiose whinging seriously.

I’m simply amazed that the CCP could consider her so important as to officially warn the media from covering her. Orders such as this only come from the very top.

I mean, shouldn’t the CCP be cracking on with the economy or the plight of farmers or the corruption or something?

August 13, 2005 @ 8:20 pm | Comment

Don’t be absurd, Martyn. They have weightier issues, like sending a man to the moon and building the world’s biggest ferris wheel.

August 13, 2005 @ 8:23 pm | Comment

You’re absolutely right Richard. I stand corrected. What on earth was I thinking?!

August 13, 2005 @ 8:25 pm | Comment

My reaction is simply to give my characteristic eye roll. So she’s low culture. So she’s not the most beautiful woman in China. So she seems a bitt addled and narcissistic. If someone is interested in her, so be it. Low-culture “icons” (if that’s what she is or not) come and go. She doesn’t sound like she is threatening anyone…and certainly not the CCP. And it sounds to me like she would be forgotten soon anyways. What’s the big deal?

August 13, 2005 @ 8:32 pm | Comment

Sister Lotus, No…Teri Hatcher, Yes…

Richard at Peking Duck reports that Chinese blogging phenom, Sister Lotus, has had her wild fame ride come to an abrupt end:

August 14, 2005 @ 12:24 am | Comment

You America, you don’t understand China!
China need stability, low culture poor for the stability, how China can make the harmony society and Socialist Spiritual Civilization when low culture all on internet?
The harmony society come from Socialist Spiritual Civilization, Song Zuying is socialist spiritual, she can sing in harmony way for the patriotism. Why you want foolish woman on internet when Song Zuying all over?
Why you think Jiang Zemin like her so much? Good singer for stability and all around economic development.
posted by Ivan the Chinese Nationalist
……… (now imagining Song Zuying singing and dancing around in front of a coal mine, in a designer Coal-Miner outfit made of silk…..)

August 14, 2005 @ 4:04 am | Comment

“IDIOTS ban “Sister Lotus”?!?! Plato was willing to ban Homer!

August 14, 2005 @ 7:48 am | Comment

I see your point. Personally I do not like Plato or Socrates. (I am ambivalent about Aristotle – although I think his student Alexander the Great was a “Good Thing” for the world.)
I love Homer and Aeschylus. I hate Plato and Socrates.
I say Plato was an idiot for banning Homer.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:51 am | Comment

Well, he had his reasons, and they read more more sensible than the CCPs in this instance. But then, you don’t become a CCP apparatchik through good grades…
To tell the truth, I always respected Plato’s philosophy than Aristotle. Would be curious to know what makes you think Alexander was a force for good (although I’ve always been fascinated by him) outside all that ancient propaganda.

August 14, 2005 @ 11:01 am | Comment

Perhaps this is partly because the CCP is dominated by people over 50 and thus don’t like the idea of free sexual expression. They probably object to sex before marriage and homosexuality.

But there is also the fact that she was so independent. The CCP does not want a generation of young Chinese that do what they want or think for themselves – and self-expression is the fastest road to achieving that. Suppress headline-grabbing forms of self-expression and you can help limit young Chinese’s desires to change the status quo and live their own lives.

Personally I think the CCP is fighting a losing battle on that front. We all have a certain Mr Smith to thank for that.

August 14, 2005 @ 3:15 pm | Comment

Smith- not really a Chinese name, is it? If I’m going to thank anyone, I’d like to know who he is. Do you mean maybe Winston Smith?

August 14, 2005 @ 8:37 pm | Comment

Proof of the paranoia of the CCP leadership who see the emergence of ANY popular figure independant from and not controlled by the powers-that-be as a potential threat.

Sister Lotus was suddenly popular. She owed none of that popularity to the CCP and they had no control over her. God knows what she might say.

The fact that she’s an eccentric nut only emphasises how tenuous the Party must think its grip really is.

August 14, 2005 @ 9:20 pm | Comment

Perhaps her parents were counter-revolutionaries. First Lin Chi-ling, now Sister Lotus

August 15, 2005 @ 12:05 am | Comment

late monday links

Is Taiwan a renegade province, independent country or a US protectorate?… Japan renounced its sovereignty over Taiwan, but did not turn over that sovereignty to either the PRC in Beijing or the ROC in Taiwan. Neither the PRC nor the

August 15, 2005 @ 7:22 am | Comment

Sister Furong

Don’t know who Sister Furong is? Hardly surprising, she is the latest media craze in China, posting self-promoting pictures of herself on University sites that she failed to gain entry to. Needless to say the sometimes provocative poses have gai…

August 24, 2005 @ 6:52 am | Comment

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