“For my parents’ generation, when they were young, being fat was a way to prove that you were born well,” 21-year-old student Xie Feitong said at Zhang’s exhibition.
The national broadcaster CGTN has also linked eating disorders to the country’s growing wealth.
“As Chinese society begins to pay more attention to personal well-being and higher living standards, more and more women are beginning to talk about their obsession with weight loss and a perfect body,” it said.
Like other countries, China’s social media can play a role in promoting the ideal body.
Viral posts on the Internet—often around the challenge of showing how thin a person is—can encourage physical humiliation and bullying, and take advantage of the dominant beauty ideals of pale skin and thin bodies.
Offline, everywhere Beauty standards Endure: Earlier this month, a gallery was forced to cancel a photography exhibition that ranked the attractiveness of women after a strong protest.