There are many fashion models in Hong Kong. While a majority of them
are Chinese, the better known ones are mostly Eurasians. This is not
surprising since Asians’ definition of beauty is, as Alvin blogged
earlier, very Caucasian-centric.
These Eurasian models have something in common aside from their partial
Caucasian features. They have an English last name that the Hong Kong
media and populace cannot pronounce. In order to make it easy for
everyone, the media took the liberty of shortening their last names to
just the first initial. This is why you have models with names like Maggie Q., Lisa S., Ana R. and Cara G in Hong Kong.
In addition to having a difficult time pronouncing English last
names, many Chinese also disregard the meaning of an English word or
the association of an English name when picking an English name for
themselves. During my last trip to Shanghai, the hotel reception who
checked me in had an English name of ‘Cleopatra’. The porter who
delivered my bags to my room wore a name tag that was labeled ‘Silence’
(maybe that was what he commanded from me since I could not stop
chatting him up because he was hot). The feisty receptionist at our
Beijing office goes by the name ‘Gucci’. Once I went on a blind date
with a guy from Hong Kong whose name was ‘Porsche’. I asked him if he
could live up to his name and give me a smooth and thrilling ride. He
stopped calling me after the first date.
‘Zero’, ‘Level’, ‘Seven’…. almost every noun is used as an English
name by the Chinese in Asia. So where do they get these peculiar
names? Do they just flip open an English magazine or worst, an
English dictionary and just pick a name that they like the sound of, or
a name that carries the most materialistic value? There are also those
who like to name themselves after the meaning of their family names.
For example, a girl with the family name of Xia (meaning “summer”)
would have an English name of ‘Summer’. My folks should have honored
our family name by naming me ‘Forest’. ‘Forest Lim’ sounds better than
‘Andrew Lim’, don’t you think?
But hey, people have the right to pick whatever name they want so I
should not be making fun of their names. My advice for those who have
the last name with the initial ‘S’ and the first name of ‘Phat’ is to
stay away from the modeling industry in Hong Kong. Your name, bestowed
by the local media, will be the biggest taboo of the skinny-centric
fashion industry as well as Asian society. Luckily, not many of them
will realize the true meaning of it.
No reactions to display.