A Chinese subway station sparked furor online after refusing to let a goth woman board a train because her makeup was allegedly too scary.
According to the woman, security officers prevented her from entering a subway station in Guangzhou for wearing a long black dress, dark red lipstick and purple eyeshadow, the BBC reports.
Despite not having an official dress code, Guangzhou Metro reportedly barred at least two other women from taking the subway because of their outfits.
In a post on Weibo, the woman wrote that the authorities told her to remove the makeup before entering the station as her attire was “problematic, too scary.”
Her post earned an outpouring of support among netizens, including many Chinese goths who launched a selfie campaign to advocate for tolerance towards minority cultures.
Goths began posting pictures of them on Weibo wearing heavy eyeliner, dark lipstick and black outfits along with the hashtag #selfieforGuangzhousubway.
“If girls can learn to be pilots and explore the sky and the ocean,” one goth netizen wrote. “Why can’t they wear weird dresses, put on messy makeup, and take whatever transport they want?”
“Girls have the right to choose our own hair, clothing, and makeup,” another chimed in. “We don’t need the permission of strangers.”
Guangzhou Metro has since apologized on the social media site, announcing that the security officer who “act inappropriately” had been suspended.
The goth style has gained a following among young Chinese people in recent years despite China’s crackdown on subcultures that may appear to be rebellious, critical of the authorities or a potential threat to the Communist Party’s ideology.
Anime cosplayers and followers of other subcultures have also posted pictures of themselves taking subway rides to express their support to the goth selfie campaign.