AFP — Beijing
G-strings have emerged as one of the ultimate symbols of “cool” among China’s increasingly sophisticated youngsters, a survey shows.
“G-strings are cool,” public relations company Hill and Knowlton said in a statement. “They empower sexual freedom and choice.”
The finding is one of the results of the company’s 2003 Global Cool Hunt Survey of the mood and mentality of 18-to-35-year-olds based on interviews and media monitoring around the world, including China.
Several other surveys have demonstrated nearly unanimously that a sexual revolution is taking place in China among the young.
A recent poll of 500 randomly selected single people in Shanghai, the country’s most cosmopolitan city, showed 30 percent had already had sex, while seven percent were living with their partners.
By contrast, a 1997 survey showed that 40 percent of Shanghai couples of different age groups said they had not even hugged or kissed their spouses-to-be before marriage.
The Hill and Knowlton survey also suggested that extreme sports is growing in popularity among young urban Chinese.
In many parts of Beijing, teenagers gather for rock-climbing and skate-boarding, while mountain-biking is a rising trend in the environs of the capital.
“X-sports are extremely cool, providing alternative healthy and adventurous lifestyle choices,” the company said.
Looks in Chinese cities are also changing, with short hair for girls only marking the cautious end on the boldness scale.
“Tattoos and piercings are the ultimate cool, as they radically defy tradition and exemplify rule of the body,” the company said.
In case you had forgotten:
In 1990 the company mentioned above, Hill and Knowlton, were hired by the government of Kuwait for millions of dollars. In return they provided a story that was to have a major effect on the course of the first Gulf War. It was reported in the first days of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, that Iraqi troops had stormed a hospital and tore sick babies from incubators, leaving them to die on the floor.
The story left a deep impression on public support for the US led invasion, and President Bush referred to it in no less than five speeches. But it was a complete lie, designed to boost public support for the US led invasion.
It had first emerged in testimony before US Congressional Human Rights Caucus, from a 15-year-old Kuwaiti girl. Sobbing, she described what she had seen with her own eyes in a hospital in Kuwait City. Her written testimony was passed out in a media kit to ensure maximum impact. (1)
However Hill & Knowlton failed to acknowledge that the girl in question was a member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family. Her father, in fact, was Saud Nasir al-Sabah, Kuwait’s Ambassador to the US. Moreover, Hill and Knowlton also failed to reveal that the company’s own vice-president Lauri Fitz-Pegado had coached the girl in what even the Kuwaitis’ own investigators later confirmed was false testimony.
More than ten years later the effects of those lies are still being felt, as witness the current situation in Iraq. So perhaps we should question the real motives behind the company’s current campaign.
For thousands for years the traditional family unit has been the bedrock of Chinese society. Could Hill & Knowlton’s latest campaign be the opening move in an attempt to undermine and destroy it? Only time will tell but like a G-string, it may be no more than a decorative cover for something altogether different.
(1) How PR Sold the War in the Gulf