She wanted to be the new kid on the block.
A 13-year-old Chinese girl is drawing comparisons to the cross-dressing Disney character “Mulan” after reportedly lying about her sex to join a boy band.
“I’m sorry to everyone who put their trust in me,” wrote Fu Jiayuan in a mea culpa on Chinese microblogging platform Weibo, claiming her masquerade was due to her being “young and ignorant,” the BBC reported.
Per the statement, Fu had pretended to be a guy so she become a member of YGN Youth Club’s boot camp, a challenging program that trains preteen boys, aged 11 to 13, the requisite dance and vocal skills to become rich and famous pop stars. A study, entitled the “White paper on idol industry and fan economy in 2019,” projected that China’s idol economy would attain $15 billion by 2020.
The aspiring diva was never an official member of the band, only the boot camp, but she did appear in training videos, which depict her rocking a short haircut a la “Shakespeare in Love,” according to the Daily Mail. Fu’s cover was blown after sharp-eyed Weibo users pointed out that she was, in fact, a girl.
YGN Youth Club has since claimed that Fu managed to slip under their radar because auditions were held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our staff were negligent in the work process,” the pop star purveyor wrote in a statement. “In the future, we will adhere strictly to the company’s rules and regulations.”
In light of her charade, the heartbroken singer has since vowed to never “show up in the entertainment industry or on any video platforms in the future,” per the statement.
Nonetheless, some Weibo users have since lauded Fu for her moxie. In fact, many analogized her to Mulan, the Chinese folk heroine who famously masqueraded as a man to stop the Hun invasion of China when her was father too infirm to fight. She was popularized in the 1998 Disney flick of the same name.
“The look of idol groups is so androgynous these days, so it’s hard to tell,” said one newfound fan. “Just let her join.”
In fact, China has increasingly clamped down on the entertainment industry for promoting “effeminate” styles and “vulgar influencers” in its programs.