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Yesterday I came across the following pictorial at People's Daily: http://pic.people.com.cn/GB/1098/5575529.html (one of the pictures below). It is a story about a girl walking nude somewhere in Northern Europe. The story supposedly originated on a Chinese forum (namely this: http://www.lsxl.cn/htm_data/62/0703/156646.html ) which also has all the uncensored pics. Actually it was a foreign Chinese forum that broke it first (namely http://www.huaren.us/dispbbs.asp ... D=296488&page=1 ), but anyway, the girl is said to have posed nude for a charitable cause.|
According to the story on the forum (which has been copied onto other forums and blogs like fire on grass) the girl is supposedly a former top student at Bei Da named Zhang Ying. The reporter investigated this, and found that the photographs of her don't really match. He also asked Bei Da's journalism department, but they refused to cooperate when they learned about the story. So the reporter instead asked Zhangs old highschool teacher Gao in Tianjin, and he was positive it wasn't Zhang on the pictures. Some of her former class mates also testify to this.
Teacher Gao confimed that Zhang Ying is currently an exchange student abroad, however not in Northern Europe but in Canada. She graduated from Bei Da in 2002, and so has been in the wild since then. For all I know, it could be Zhang Ying, given that Chinese girls change as soon as they "breathe democratic air" (this is how a forumite put it). But someone should have Zhangs contact information; they know she's in Canada, yet no one seems to be in touch with her or know her whereabouts; this is weird.
Now, let's break this down a bit. First of all, everybody on these forums seem to accept what has been stated about the girl, that it is a girl named Zhang Ying from Tianjin, an elite student at Bei Da, doing nude pics for charity. In none of the forums I have seen, not even the US one, is there any questioning or doubts about what is displayed. Well, except that some think that this cannot be a Chinese girl, since Chinese girls are not like this (according to them). Some of them even think that it is a Japanese AV star. The overwhelming attitude on these forums is that whoever she is, she is a disgrace to China and the Chinese (I would say the opposite, but whatever).
1. This is not Northern Europe. There is an ice cream logo on some of the pictures: Algida. This is a Unilever logo that exists in Italy, Greece, Turkey, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland. The first three of these countries are excluded, based on the surrounding people, who are too white, big and fat. So it is somewhere in Central Europe, probably in Hungary or Slovakia, probably not Poland.
2. The pictures are taken in summertime. Thus the pictures are not very recent.
3. The girl is experienced. She is not ashamed, afraid or anything about being in front of the camera; in fact she enjoys it, despite all the people around. She is thus a model. A good model, based on her natural appearance and charming facial expressions.
4. Compare with this girl: http://hosted.met-art.com/Full_met-art_vel_16_446/?pa=540530
They are the same. But here she is named Agnes, and is claimed to come from Mongolia (whatever, it is a Han Chinese girl if you ask me). It could still be Zhang Ying, given that these model names are all fake anyway.
Or maybe it is not Zhang Ying. Perhaps it was just a name somebody put up for fun. Or? Where did that name come from? And where do the pictures come from? The pics look like test shoots before taking real modelling pictures, so someone may have leaked the pics from Met-Art (an online art magazine specializing in female nudes), and then also the name.
On the other hand, if this is not Zhang Ying, then we have a weird example of how quickly a rumor can spread on blogs and forums, and this is particularly a Chinese problem; rumors don't tend to spread that fast in the West, given that people don't just copy stuff without questioning the source (at least not to the same extent).
So, after a lenghty outline, three questions remain:
1. Is it Zhang Ying or not?
2. How will Chinese bloggers and forumites deal with rumors in the future? Is it an educational thing that will go away as a new generation learns to question things? Just think about how such rumors can affect people if it is something more serious.
3. Why are Chinee forumites so upset about what this girl is doing? Why do they think that she represents her country rather than herself? Why would she care about what Chinese in China thinks if she is in the West, where such photos are commonplace? And to make it worse: these forumites sit there on their forums and QQ:s and trade secret pictures of school girls undressing or KTV xiaojies doing nasty stuff, yet they have the nerve to complain about professional photography?? It doesn't make sense.