loader
Chinese goths post selfies in protest after subway incident

Chinese goths post selfies in protest after subway incident

China's community of goths is coming together in protest online after a woman was made to remove her make-up before being allowed to enter a busy subway.

The woman, who media are not naming, posted on social media that she was stopped by subway security in the southern city of Guangzhou, and told that she needed to remove her dark make-up if she wanted to travel.

Although she was not carrying any prohibited items, she was told she would be refused entry unless she removed her make-up, to avoid "distressing" other passengers.

Since similar incidents have come to light, Weibo users have begun using the hashtag #ASelfieForTheGuangzhouMetro and sharing pictures of themselves in gothic make-up and attire.

Although subway staff have officially apologised, China's netizens are saying that it is their freedom to dress however they want, and are calling for wider acceptance of subversive styles.

On 10 March, a woman wearing dark lipstick and heavy eye make-up was stopped at the security check point of a subway station.

She described the experience on her Sina Weibo microblog. "A female security guard called her manager, and said that my make-up was 'problematic and really horrible'." She adds that she was asked to "please remove it".

"I'm hoping to use this relatively public platform to challenge the authorities: what laws grant you the right to stop me and waste my time?" she asked.

The Guangzhou subway has since apologised and says that it had carried out an investigation and found that staff handled the situation inappropriately.

It says it has suspended a member of staff linked to the incident and adds that she will receive remedial training when she returns to work.

#ASelfieForTheGuangzhouMetro

The unnamed woman's post has been shared more than 5,000 times, and media website NetEase brought to light at least two previous incidents on the same subway from 2018.

The revelation has enraged Weibo users, and has led to thousands posting pictures of themselves in solidarity.

Some 5,000 Weibo users have used the hashtag #ASelfieForTheGuangzhouMetro, and many are criticising subway staff for ordering the woman to change the way she was dressed.

Many shared pictures of themselves out in public and say that they will not be made to feel invisible.

"I'm on the bus; please hand me the makeup remover," mocks He Jianlu.

"I've had too many scary experiences on the subway, but I've never made a child feel afraid," says Chunmeng Dingzhi.

Many say that it is their own right to choose what they wear.

"If beauty ideals remain the same, then art will die out," adds Sansen Chenww. "I'm not a murderer, an arsonist, I don't smoke or spit in public, I just love gothic dress."

"It's 2019, girls have the right to decide their own hairstyle and makeup, they do not need to seek the approval of strangers," says Qin-2Y.

"What you see as fancy dress, I see as freedom," adds Jiolaa.

How did gothic culture enter China?

Gothic culture has entered the mainland largely as a Japanese import, as a result of the growing popularity of "Lolita fashion" - a style of clothing with Victorian and Edwardian influences.

E-commerce websites have seen a boom of suppliers offering the flamboyant style of dress, and while it has found popularity as a form of costume play or "cosplay", it has also seen uptake as a choice of day-to-day wear.

Japanese manga novels, and the Twilight novel franchise have also been influential in bringing gothic culture to China. While many books with dark themes are banned for being too violent or pornographic, some are seen by Chinese youths as treading the fine line of being acceptable, yet slightly subversive.

Emo a no-no

Music associated with western gothic culture has seen limited, but growing success in China.

American band Linkin Park and Canadian singer Avril Lavigne found fame in the late 2000s, and an increased number of bars and nightclubs in major cities cater to gothic themes.

Rock music, however, as a whole is largely frowned upon in the country, and few acts enjoy much success. 

China is wary of subcultures that might be seen to have an adverse effect on young children, especially if they have alleged overseas influences. It has already taken steps to ban elements of hip-hop culture, with broadcasters blurring tattoos and earrings if they are worn by male performers.

But with Chinese millennials having more spending power and opportunities to travel, there is the likelihood of broader exposure to gothic culture.

Mueller report: Trump cleared of

US President Donald Trump's campaign did not conspire with Russia during the 2016 election, a summary of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report says.

The allegation clouded the first two years of Mr Trump's presidency and his allies see the report's finding as a boost to his re-election chances.

But Attorney

Night parrot finding in Australia not

An Australian conservation group has been forced to retract published research on the discovery of an endangered bird.

In 2017, ecologist John Young claimed to have found traces of the night parrot, one of the world's rarest birds, in the state of South Australia.

His findings were published by the Australian Wildlife

Bus collision claims over 50 lives in

An accident involving two public transport buses each with over fifty passengers in Ghana’s middle belt has claimed the lives of over 50 people, local media portals have reported.

A journalist with the privately-owned Multimedia group, Anass Sabit, said the accident happened in the early hours of Friday morning in a town called

Christchurch shooting: Australias

When it emerged that the suspect behind the Christchurch mosque shootings was an Australian, it set the stage for some agonised soul-searching in his homeland.

The prime suspect for the attack, in which 50 people died, is a self-described white supremacist.

Australia's government immediately joined the

Christchurch shootings: Ardern vows

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has vowed never to say the name of the Christchurch mosque gunman.

"He sought many things from his act of terror, but one was notoriety - that is why you will never hear me mention his name," Ms Ardern said in an emotional address at New Zealand's parliament.

Last

Christchurch shootings: NZ cabinet

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has said she will announce detailed gun law reforms within days, after an attack on two mosques left 50 people dead.

Ms Ardern said her cabinet had backed gun law changes "in principle".

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a self-described white supremacist, has been charged with

Christchurch shootings: Attack suspect

The main suspect of killing 49 people in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday has appeared in court on a single murder charge.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, was brought to the dock in a white prison shirt and handcuffs. Further charges are expected to be made against him.

PM Jacinda Ardern said Mr Tarrant had

Christchurch shootings: 49 dead in New

Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incident as a terrorist attack and one of New Zealand's "darkest days".

A man in his late twenties was charged with murder and will appear in court on

Pakistans Masood Azhar: China blocks

China has blocked a bid to designate the leader of the group behind an attack which brought India and Pakistan to the brink of war a terrorist.

Masood Azhar is the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM), which carried out a suicide bombing last month killing 40 troops in Indian-administered Kashmir.

The UN security council has

Anger over disgusting food found in

One of China's most prestigious high schools has been the target of public anger after piles of expired mouldy food were found in its canteen kitchen.

Mouldy bread, rotting meat and seafood were discovered at the Chengdu No 7 Experimental High School.

One parent told the BBC of his horror and disgust, saying the food was