In China, it’s hip to be a loser.
Much like America’s nerds and geeks co-opted the terms once used to insult them into badges of pride, China’s Diaosi – “male pubic hairs” – now proudly label themselves as losers. They disdainfully distance themselves from upper class “gaofushuai”, or the “tall-rich-handsome” who have better prospects of career success and finding a baifumei – “fair skinned-rich-beautiful” mate.
As China becomes richer, social mobility is lessening. Men stuck in lower to middle class have little hope of ever earning enough money for a nice apartment, car, or girlfriend. These men are typically between 21 and 30 years old, single, work as programmers or are students, and don’t own a car. They spend their free time playing online games instead of socializing or dating. T
hese permanently-single, online game-playing, office drones refer to themselves as diaosi, “male pubic hair”. The diaosi are different from Japan’s “herbivore men” in that they are unwillingly powerless. They lack confidence, and self acceptance. The diaosi label is a way of showing group solidarity and protesting against perceived corruption of the wealthy.
However, as China’s economy slows down and upper class spending drops off, these diaosi may become the new economic drivers as they seek to accrue high-priced status symbols in lieu of actual property or romantic partners.
Perhaps good news though – there are female versions of diaosi. Check out this hilarious comparison between baifumei and diasoi women (Spoiler Alert: supermodels take us all down).