Photos from a “hot mom contest” held by Weibo, China’s leading social network, have been making the rounds online. Many people were surprised at the fact that, in most cases, the ones in the pictures look more like siblings than moms and kids. The stereotype that Asian girls never age is after all true. Some even think that these photos defy the theory that kids suck the life and beauty out of women. Well…is it true?
For those who paid attention, it isn’t difficult to find out that most of the girls (yes, girls) who participated in the contest belong to China’s post-90s generation, meaning that they were born in the 1990s. They are practically kids themselves.
One of the participating “hot moms” 還當 said along a picture of herself and a toddler: “I’m a hot mom born in 1995. I’m in this contest to see whether there are moms of the same age.” The answer is yes, and there are plenty. For example, netizen 许君空欢喜 thus tagged her picture with her son: “I’m a mom born in 1996. My baby is 3 years old.” Another “hot mom” ZHAO-Ojune said: “I’m a hot mom born in 1997. Isn’t my little baby cute?”
Of course these “hot moms” look young and fabulous. Of course kids haven’t sucked the life out of them – given China’s family tradition, there is no question that it’s the grandparents who are taking care of the kids, if the kids are indeed theirs.
One couldn’t help but wonder how come “leftover women” is a problem in China when high school students are already moms. And more importantly, how is it possible? For the record, China’s legal marriage age is 20 for females and 22 for males. To delay marriage and child birth is generally encouraged as part of China’s family planning and population control policy. By Chinese law, it’s illegal to have sex with persons of age 14 or under, with or without consent.
Many Chinese netizens were asking: “Are their husbands all in jail right now for having sex with underage girls?” One netizen 誓要戒败一年的yue bitterly commented: “Arrest these kids’ dads immediately. These girls were pregnant in their early teens. It’s rape.”
Some even joked that the “hot mom contest” has become an “astray girls contest.” Like one netizen 黄健博的世界 commented: “A hot mom contest should show us moms who are energetic and have a young heart and a happy family, not stupid young girls who know nothing about contraception.”
Seeing the backlash, a few “hot moms” retracted their pictures, saying that it was for fun. Netizen Sunyr who claimed she was a hot mom born in 1996 later announced on her Weibo: “I’m only a senior high school student, not a hot mom. I don’t have a kid, nor am I married. The picture is for fun. Please don’t take it seriously.”
Which one is a bigger problem? Teenage moms or teenage girls pretending to be moms to get attention?