13-year-old girl who pretended to be a boy to get into a Chinese pop group is being compared to Mulan

girl lied

Social media users have compared a girl who lied about her gender to enter into China’s boy band industry to the Chinese legendary folk heroine, Mulan.

Gender outed: Fu Jiayuan, 13, pretended to be a boy so she could become a member of the training program for the group YGN Youth Club, according to BBC. The company only trains pre-teen boys aged between 11 and 13 to molds them into future idols.

  • While Fu is not an actual member of the group, as she was only part of the boot camp, her training videos can still be viewed on social media. It was unclear if this was the reason why her cover was blown after an eagle-eyed fan noticed she was actually a girl.
  • The idol industry in China is expected to be worth around $15 billion by 2020, according to a study published in 2019 titled “White paper on idol industry and fan economy.”

The aftermath: Fu was eventually forced to admit her true gender after being outed by a fan. In her explanation, the teen said she entered the company because she was “young and ignorant.”

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  • I’m sorry to everyone who put their trust in me,” Fu said. “I promise I will not show up in the entertainment industry or on any video platforms in the future.”
  • Fu also said the incident has affected her “school life and family.” She has urged fans to delete their posts, Daily Mail reported.
  • YGN Youth Club released a statement explaining that the issue was probably due to their screening process, which had been held online due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our staff were negligent in the work process…In the future, we will adhere strictly to the company’s rules and regulations,” the company added.
  • Fans of YGN Youth Club said the issue was “not a big deal” for them. Some even compared Fu to Mulan, a folk heroine who pretended to be a man so she could take her father’s place in the Chinese military.
  • One Weibo user also defended Fu on social media, saying, “The look of idol groups is so androgynous these days, so it’s hard to tell. Just let her join.”

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