While I'm in the Cheesecake Chinese Pop Culture Mode

Bear with me here. Previously in the cheesecake series, we had Global Times' latest attempt to see how China measures up with dominant Western powers. Now the photographer Han Jun Wei, 韓軍,偉 has a series of composed photos illustrating the difficult choices the stylish young Chinese women of today face in deciding on a life partner. Or even deciding whom to date.

An opening tableau, introducing all characters from the series, includes only one woman, who is stylish and stylized beyond the point of caricature, a kind of Chinese Barbie. But the male types illustrated there and in subsequent photos in the series are highly recognizable. I think I've seen the guy on the right, with the undershirt and the hand full of meat skewers, at least once per day in China. Since this is mildly racy, I'll tactfully put it after the jump.


More pictures and fuller explanation from Little Red Book, Buzz and the City, and Han Jun Wei's site. Larger theme, which I've mentioned maybe a billion times before: one more way of suggesting how vividly, and often comically, the sorts and conditions and personalities of today's billion-plus Chinese public vary. Impossible to ignore when you're in the country, sometimes hard to remember if you're not there. Worth bearing in mind when you hear the next news report about the ever-gathering power of the supposedly monolithic new Chinese superstate. It's full of people (more or less) like this.

Presented by

James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.


How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.


Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.


The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.


Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.


Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses


Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Global

From This Author

Just In