In Asia, female idol groups are a dime a dozen. These days it seems like anyone with a pretty face can throw on a skirt, get up on stage and call themselves the next Kara Generation 48.
That’s why we’re always happy when unique acts like Chinese idol unit Alice Weiniang Group are able to make it into the spotlight. You see, in addition to having style and looks, the members of Alice Weiniang Group have something no other Asian idol girl group does: a penis.
That’s right, every member of the 200-strong idol team is male. Weiniang literally means “fake lady,” or cross-dresser, so we might better refer to them as “Alice Cross-Dresser Group.”
The group was formed in October 2009 and is based in Wuhan, the provincial capital of Hubei in central China.
The idea for an all-male cross-dressing idol group came to the founders, a group of college students in a Japanese anime club, when they were stuck having to perform a mixed-gender cosplay show at an anime convention while female members happened to be away. Several of the male members decided to play the females roles on stage and, to their surprise, the costumes were a huge hit with the crowd.
After that, they began organizing cross-dressing cosplay shows for money. While there were only about 20 members at the time of the group’s founding, their ranks have swelled to 200 over the past three years and now they even have their own choreography, make-up, stage and photography team.
Most members are college students, but there are also a few working adults in the mix. In order to be admitted to the group, you must have a feminine face and long, slender legs, so it’s natural that most the guys are in their late-teens or early-twenties.
Alice now has a sizable Chinese fanbase and are frequently asked to perform at anime, comic and game conventions and cosplay festivals. Several of the boys have made modeling debuts and one of the most popular members, 20-year-old Haoge, is said to have nearly 14,000 followers on Chinese Twitter-like service, Sina Weibo.
Despite the overwhelmingly positive reception they’ve received over the past few years, those with more conservative opinions criticize the group of being “morally corrupt” and “a danger to Chinese boys.” However, the members of Alice stand their ground, saying: “There are some people in their 20s who
still leech off their parents, and there are some who are not only financially independent, but support their parents as well. We are the latter group.”
▼ Reminder: all the people pictured below are male
▼ The popular Ms. Haoge
[ Read in Japanese ]