1 Idol – 愛豆 (Ài dòu)

Anonymous 3

simplified Chinese: 愛豆; pinyin: Ài dòu


The concept of star celebrities is familiar across the globe with many countries and cultures sharing similar terms to label these people. For example, in the English language certain celebrities can be labeled as “idol”, and China had borrowed this word with their own “爱豆“ (Ài dòu). The characters for the Chinese term are not to be read literally, but instead read for their homophone quality to the original English word. Even the criteria for who is an idol is similar across both cultures since it can be said that an idol is a celebrity, but a celebrity is not always an idol. To briefly clarify the distinction between the two labels; an idol is a celebrity who is an actor, singer, and/or dancer. They are also young and conventionally attractive with an attractive personality to match. The fanbase for an “爱豆” also tends to be within the range of 20 year-olds, but it is not uncommon for high-profile idols to have fans ranging from 10 years old to over 70 years old.


Another distinction that can be made between the two labels is the rather unfortunate difference in the way the two groups are regarded by the general media and critics. If any celebrity is labeled “爱豆” they will typically face a prejudice that they only achieved their success through their good looks. Take for example the concept of idol dramas in China (偶像剧 ǒu xiàng jù). These dramas generally do not get the same type of care in script and quality control as a more conventional show because the main characters are casted from idols who already have a large fanbase. It is believed that simply because the idol is appearing in the drama alone the show will garner many viewers and be a success. And while this does have some credibility, if the show does become wildly successful critics will attribute this only to the status of the 爱豆 and ignore the hard work that the 爱豆 put in their job. Singers and dancers will also have their skills undermined by critics who say that they are “all face and no skill” or claim that they are not a genuine singer/dancer but instead an 爱豆singer/爱豆dancer and are therefore of lesser skill status when compared to standard celebrities in their field.


Despite all of that, idols are still beloved by their uncommonly loyal fanbase, and they are still able to benefit from the typical things that come with the status of being a celebrity. Some good examples of these idol celebrities are Jackson Wang, Cai Xukun, and Bai Lu.


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Idol - 愛豆 (Ài dòu) Copyright © 2023 by Anonymous 3 is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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