Social Labels in China 2.0

by | Jan 17, 2019

Social Labels in China 2.0

A few years ago, some social labels in China became so popular, they even made their way into Chinese language textbooks. Almost everyone who studies Chinese came across one or two of them: 白领族 báilǐngzú (white collars), 啃老族 kěnlǎozú (adults still living with and depending on their parents), 蚁族 yǐ zú (“ant tribe”, college graduates who are forced to live in large groups trying to save on the rent), and so on.

But life in China is changing fast – and so are the social groups. One talented Chinese artist made an attempt to capture the new social labels in China. We called them Social Labels 2.0.

Let’s see who he’s got on the list!


1. 弱鸡吸血鬼 (Weak Chicken Vampires)

Social Labels in China

弱鸡吸血鬼 Ruò Jī Xīxuèguǐ


Description: Their faces and bodies are extremely weak; their face color reminds that of the vampires.

Cause of decease: They stay up late, or even all night. They spend too much time indoors without sunlight; no wonder their skin is so pale.

Common symptoms:

“Their face is pitiful and pale like wax; their body is weak”

“They hide by day and come out at night; among five nature elements, the sun is lacking”

“Their face looks as if they wear make-up, no need to use powder to play a role in “Twilight” movie”

“The slightest wind can make them ill”


2. 变脸女王 (Face-Changing Queens)

Social Labels in China

变脸女王 Biàn Liǎn Nǚwáng


Description: These women seem to be two completely different people before and after make-up.

Cause of decease: They stay up late on a regular basis, and experience great pressure at work. This kind of lifestyle causes dark circles under their eyes and bad skin condition.

Common symptoms:

“Going out without a make-up feels like running naked”

“With clients, she is a queen with good manners; but as soon as she comes home, she turns into the Queen of Mess”

“If mobile games weren’t so much fun, my eye cream wouldn’t run out so quickly”

“Wait for me for just 3 minutes, I need to change my face”


3. 玻璃胃一族 (Glass Stomachs)

Social Labels in China

玻璃胃一族 Bōlí Wèi Yīzú


Description: Their stomach is more fragile than glass.

Cause of decease: They work too much without regular meals as well as without knowing where the next meal comes.

Common symptoms:

“Periodical meals are fine, but three regular meals a day is something I can’t have”

“During the day they work too hard and skip lunch; in the evenings they eat and drink gluttonously with the same diligence”

“As soon as I finish writing this project, I’ll go and get myself a nice meal”

“Give me my instant noodles!”


4. 烟灰的“杠精” (Stubborn Ashtrays)

Social Labels in China

烟灰的“杠精” Yānhuī de “Gāng Jīng”


Description: Their tobacco addiction is unbeatable. You will always find them with a cigarette between their fingers.

Cause of decease: To clear their mind and get rid of stress, busy or not, they always reach out for a cigarette.

Common symptoms:

“They are wedded to their cigarette for 24 hours. No matter if it’s smog outside, they still have to smoke”

“They don’t believe in destiny with people who surround them; they only rely on their cigarettes”

“Even if their lungs are protesting against their habit, they still keep smoke “company” until the end”

“They are always surrounded by “magic mist”. No need to add Instagram filters”


5. 关节打磨师 (Joint Polishers)

Social Labels in China

关节打磨师 Guānjié Dǎmó Shī


Description: Their high-intensity workouts damage their joints.

Cause of decease: They like sport, like running. They just want to keep fit, although their joints gradually become a wreck.

Common symptoms:

“Other people are outstanding for their figure; they are outstanding for their lower backbone”

“While they’re walking really fast, they’re secretly having a knee ache”

“My waist has become slimmer and thinner! And more stiff, too…”

“I can’t help but exercise, exercise, exercise; my joints are hurting, hurting, hurting”


Have you recognized yourself or your friends in these labels?

Share our thoughts with us here or on twitter!

And make sure to check out Part II of this series 😉

[If you like this post, you can also continue learning about modern social groups in China by reading this post!]

[Do you want to know more about Chinese culture? Check out our post about Things Chinese People Would Say No To!]


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