The Chinese government unintentionally sent millions of hearts aflutter when it announced that it would hold its largest military parade on October 1.
While there was excitement to celebrate the People’s Republic of China’s 70th founding anniversary, it was the anticipation to see one member of the People’s Liberation Army that nearly broke the Chinese internet.
As it turns out, the world’s largest military has a stunning guard of honor who is set to be a part of the event.
Meet 27-year-old Men Jiahui, the unofficial star of PLA’s guards of honor.
Before joining the PLA five years ago, Men was an award-winning lingerie model in China, reports MailOnline.
The 5-foot-10-inch beauty first caught public attention and admiration after joining other female soldiers at China’s Victory Day parade in Tienanmen Square in 2015. The ceremony marked the 70th anniversary of Japan’s surrender at World War II.
Images of her marching with her fellow soldiers went viral. Since then, Men has been billed as “the most beautiful soldier in China.”
This week, Men again became a trending topic on local social media platforms when Beijing made the announcement about the parade. Public attention immediately focused on the guards of honor in the People’s Liberation Army who were tasked to march during the event.
A short clip of Men performing in front of other PLA soldiers has become a viral hit on short-video platform Douyin, generating millions of views and thousands of comments showering her with praise and adoration.
In the video, a female soldier is shown introducing Men to the troops before she starts performing her catwalk. Men’s male comrades can be seen applauding her performance with much excitement.
Men, who was born in Dalian, Liaoning Province, studied at the Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology majoring in modeling.
In 2008, she won third place at the China Lingerie Model Competition in Dalian. Six years later, she decided to make a career change.
“I dreamt about being a soldier when I was a child, then I went to study arts and put [the dream] on hold,” said Men in an interview with QQ.com.
According to Men, she decided to join the army as soon as she learned that the PLA started accepting female applicants through local branches.
“After I joined the army, I found that life here was a bit tough, but the challenges were nothing compared to the tasks I was told to complete,” she was quoted as saying.
Men says being a guard of honor and a model have some similarities as well.
“Both jobs are to present yourself in front of other people and be seen,” she tells China Central Television in a separate interview.
“My life has changed a lot since, but I regret nothing.”