LINGBO LI – Reading Journal 1

Regarding to the topic of Metrosexual in China, article written by Edward McDonald (2012) demonstrate how emerging magazines translate the idea of masculinity into commercial strategy and the understanding of this new concept in modern society compare to western.

After search on several Chinese blogs, it appears that one of the leading magazines discussed in Edward’s article called ‘Menbox’ isn’t that appealing over the last few years even it was not the case between mid-2004 and mid-2005 as cited in Edward (2012). The main feature of this magazine is to focus on the urban fashion men who still have fantasy and passions towards their lifestyles. There are four major forums including bulletin board, super star, fashion information and the taste about modern society. Unfortunately, due to more and more advertisement are implemented in this magazine, readers are antipathy of buying as it does not yield their interest.

Moreover, argument of whether this is a gay magazine or it is just a fashion magazine questioning the position of its target market. Many Chinese think this is for gays because based on traditional Chinese view gay were not that common in the history. Nowadays, the idea of gay is slowly enter into Chinese background. But there are still many people complaint about the magazine cover and the journal is not as attractive as they expected. Nevertheless, Menbox is China’s only openly gay magazine therefore it is still going strong comparable to other same kind magazines.

Link to the current event of the world lately, some games in the Olympic is almost naked for men and women. Those players with only underwear shows how fit they are and pictures on the news also depicted their appearance and attractiveness of their body.

In personal point of view even I have never read this magazine, I do not feel it is only focus on gay but also on women. Thinking of there are so many porn magazines about nude woman that are so attractive to men, why can’t there be a magazine shows men to women. Women might also be the interested target buyer who wants to spend spare time on reading this kind of magazine. Women’s body can be piece of art so as men’s. Visual arts do not have to be gender discriminate.

Compare to the western, Metrosexual has a complete different meaning in china. It refers to how sulky fashion-loving metrosexuals tend to be, whereas in western it means ‘young man with money to spend, living in or within easy reach of metropolises’. This two differentiated meaning reflects the Chinese and western culture difference and different people’s perspective towards this kind of magazine.  Some views from the internet argue this magazine is targeted for gay audiences simply because Chinese women are unlikely to be interested in buying magazines of nude photos. Yet, as global trend is also impacting on Chinese culture, another group of people argues that women are targeted because their desire of life.

Overall, since this metrosexual concept is coming from western, different expression appears in eastern culture and as a result the target audients can be different.



Edward McDonald (2012) “Translating metrosexual into Chinese: popular culture & identity labels across cultural boundaries” 


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