Male models are supporting China’s livestream lingerie industry — by wearing bras.
Chinese livestream fashion companies are swapping out female lingerie models for male models because China has banned women from modelling undergarments online, the New York Post reported.
Companies that feature women in scantily clad looks have a history of being shut down for violating China’s law against spreading obscene material online and companies don’t want to lose out on potential revenue.
Several companies’ livestream videos feature men wearing an assortment of looks including push-up bras, tight-fitting corsets and lace-trimmed nightgowns.
“Personally, we don’t really have a choice. The designs can’t be modelled by our female colleagues, so we will use our male colleagues to model it,” Mr. Xu, the owner of a livestream business told Jiupai News.
China’s livestream shopping scene is estimated to be worth more than $700 billion in 2023, according to Statista.
According to McKinsey, the industry contributes 10% of the country’s e-commerce revenue.
Last December, Xu’s company revealed a male model adorned in a sexy silky robe.
The video caption read: “The light and luxurious boudoir of the wife and adults,” was posted on Douyin, China’s version of TikTok.
The video got more than 2,000 likes and a flood of commenters shared their opinion on the decision.
One commenter said they wanted the model to strip off more than the robe, “Why don’t you finish taking off,” while another supportive person wrote, “the guy wears it better than the girl”.
Another argued the companies’ new loophole takes opportunities away from women.
“If it’s a female model, the live stream would be banned every other minute, it’s not like this hasn’t happened before, this is still depriving a group of women of their job opportunities,” they said.
Xu doesn’t understand the fuss about the male models allegedly taking female jobs.
“Many directors of these live streams are women, are they also stealing men’s jobs?” Xu told Jiupai News.
It’s unknown how long the loophole will continue to work as China is also cracking down on “effeminate” depictions of men in the media.
This article originally appeared in the New York Post and was reproduced with permission