Woman & Beauty

Young women in China abandon traditional beauty standards to ‘imitate’ Western habits like wearing yoga pants, eating ‘white people’s food’

Young women in China abandon traditional beauty standards to ‘imitate’ Western habits like wearing yoga pants, eating ‘white people’s food’

The phrase “white women aesthetic” recently emerged as a buzzword on the Xiaohongshu social media platform, accompanied by the slogan – “Question white women, understand white women, become white women” which is gaining currency online.

The lifestyle switch is characterised by Lululemon yoga pants, Stanley thermos and “white people’s food” which is considered to be healthy.

Yoga pants and yoghurt have emerged as a central component of the new lifestyle phenomenon. Photo: QQ.com

Women are being drawn to a range of products, from tank tops and yoga pants to backpacks and thermos, indicating a shift towards a more relaxed and comfortable way of life.

Central to the food component of the trend is the yoghurt bowl.

This involves filtering Greek yoghurt overnight to create a dry and thick yoghurt cube, then combining it with nuts, cereals and low-sugar fruits like blueberries, creating a dish rich in protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and fats.

The “white women aesthetic” first gained popularity on Western social media.

Influencers in the US frequently share their daily routines on TikTok, showcasing their lives in tidy, luminous houses where they often start their day drinking water from a Stanley thermos, dress in popular influencer-branded outfits, make lattes on pricey kitchen countertops and prepare bowls of yoghurt and oatmeal.

Fitness blogger Da Mengli was among the first influencers in China to popularise yoghurt bowls on Douyin, inspiring others like Juanzi to follow suit.

Da Mengli often wears tank tops to show off her muscles in her home, which has under-floor heating, while Juanzi’s similar style tops expose non-toned shoulders and her cold, unheated home in southern China.

While in Da Mengli’s videos she is seen standing up while eating in a Western-style marble kitchen, Juanzi can be seen in plastic slippers while doing the same.

However, one online observer pointed out some problems with the new aesthetic.

However, some online observers say different living conditions and dietary habits in China can make adapting to the “white women aesthetic” difficult. Photo: Shutterstock

“In a shared apartment, it’s impossible to replicate the feel of a suburban villa. A worker with a monthly salary of 8,000 yuan (US$1,120) can’t wake up at 6am for skincare and exercise.

“This is especially the case when they need to catch the early subway. Also, eating oatmeal yoghurt bowls every meal would upset a Chinese stomach.”

A third person said: “So many people don’t really know what lifestyle they truly enjoy, they just follow trends blindly.”