Beijing Opera in Bikinis? Art or Atrocity


The mixture of “Beijing opera headwear and bikinis” is actually like “drinking coffee and eating garlic at the same time.” It not only looks strange but also feels odd. Facing queries, organizers of the international bikini contest loudly explained that they were not deliberately imitating the Beijing Opera but just trying to transmit the beauty of the East and bring the Chinese culture to the world.

In fact, these “Beijing Opera bikini beauties” imitated not only the dressing but also poses and gestures of the Beijing Opera. Can we see such poses and gestures in any other catwalk show?

It is even more unreasonable to say using the “Beijing Opera bikini” to transmit the beauty of the East. The beauty of the East, as a cultural concept, indeed needs to be transmitted and be known and recognized by the world. But what we should present are the most original and classic contents. Using this weird thing to show the Beauty of the East is a shame.

Beijing Opera, as an essence of the traditional Chinese culture, is known and loved by not only many Chinese but also many foreigners. Did anybody see this kind of “sexy-version” Beijing Opera performance before? Watching this show, many foreigners may think that the Beijing Opera is really like this. So, is it carrying forward or ruining the traditional Chinese culture?

Some people defend this action by saying that the phenomenon of young people wearing bikinis to perform the Beijing opera at least means they did not forget the Beijing Opera. But actually, how many of these bikini beauties really know about and like the Beijing Opera? They are just a stage property for the organizers to attract attention and they also use the Beijing Opera as a stage property. It has absolutely nothing to do with the real Beijing Opera.

“The more it is national, the more it is global.” People all know this saying. However, many people emphasize only the words “national” and “global” and in their minds, it means, “as long as it is national, it is global.”

In my opinion, what we should not ignore are the words “the more.” Only if it is an original and pure national essence, can it be global and recognized and respected by the world. The combination of the Beijing Opera and bikini means having no self-confidence on the traditional Chinese folk art and is even a disrespect or insult to it. If you do not respect others, how can you expect others to respect you?

Furthermore, these models have already raised wide queries by showing a few “Beijing Opera bikini” poses on the stage. Then, what will happen if some people wearing bikinis participate in a real Beijing Opera contest? In my opinion, they will not receive warm applauses, but will be hit by eggs pretty badly.

In a word, we can allow a Starbucks to open a shop beside Lingyin Temple, but we cannot combine the Beijing Opera with bikinis. The organizers of the show should find the reason by themselves.