I came across an article last week about the ten most beautiful actresses in China and I thought it was quite interesting and reflective of the range of Chinese Beauties. No list can be completely comprehensive but I think this list provides a pretty good list of some of the most famous faces in China (although it provided some really awful pictures of these pretty actresses!).
I'm often struck by how international my readers are and I thought it would be good to share 9 of the 10 actresses named in this article to showcase some chinese actresses that may not be as internationally known (I'm not sharing about #10 Zhang Jingchu since I have no thoughts or knowledge on her haha). I think in the c-novel blogging circles - we focus more on the younger batch of actresses, such as Liu Yi Fei, Liu Shi Shi, Ady An, Ariel Lin, Yang Mi, who are currently acting in the ancient television dramas.
But, if you ask an average person in the street of China who they think will be representative of the Chinese Beauty - I frankly think it will be unlikely that they will name most of these young actresses (except for Liu Yi Fei).
Top of the list is the Empress Gong Li...
#1 Gong Li - the article calls her "the most Chinese face". I love Gong Li's face - I saw her in an ancient chinese movie when I was young and thought she looked like a perfect goddess. Someone once told me that Gong Li's features are very plain - if you look at each of them individually, they are ordinary. But, somehow, the combination of them all is extraordinary.
You can't look away from her gaze - there is an innate power in them that she seems to have cultivated over the years. She's nearing fifty, but she still has the aura of always being the most good looking woman in the room.
#2: Zhou Xun
The article calls her "Elvish face". Zhou Xun has a natural impish face and always strikes me as a chameleon who can slip into any role. I think she has wonderful intelligent eyes and I have to admit that when I wrote about Ye Liu in Little Moon, I always thought of Zhou Xun.
#3: Fan Bing Bing
The article calls her "The Unbeatable Face". Fan Bing Bing started out her career playing up her fragile china doll face, but has somehow morphed into an unstoppable Cleopatra. I think Fan Bing Bing is extremely pretty, but most of her photographs are so airbrushed that it's quite hard to distinguish what is real and what is photoshopped.
#4: Zhang Ziyi
The article calls Zhang ZiYi the "international face". I honestly do not think Zhang Ziyi looks international at all, except for the fact that she starred in possibly the most Hollywood movies. I have had an aversion to Zhang Ziyi until I watched her in The Grandmaster and thought she was just luminescent.
I don't think Zhang Ziyi is a good model and her photographs somehow appear horse-like, but watching her on screen, you can't help but agree that she's gorgeous.
#5: Li Bing Bing
The article calls Li Bing Bing, the "award-winning face". Generally, Li Bing Bing is considered a better actress than Fan Bing Bing, although Fan Bing Bing is generally more high profile because of her fashion exploits and endorsements.
After Gong Li, Li Bing Bing has my favourite face. There's something so warm about her beauty - like a blossoming flower.
#6: Tang Wei
Tang Wei, the "sophisticated beauty". She's the Lee Ang girl who broke out after starring in Lust Caution. Her face has a simplicity that some may find boring, but I can see why she has become known as a beauty for a grace that recalls a bygone era.
#7: Crystal Liu Yi Fei
Liu Yi Fei, the "ethereal beauty". Out of all the young actresses, Liu Yi Fei has the most perfect ancient beauty face. Her acting has this strange vacant quality about it - but in most roles which just require her to be so outstandingly beautiful that everyone stops functioning, it works.
#8 Zhao Wei
Zhao Wei is the "confident beauty". Zhao Wei was almost universally loved when she broke out as Little Swallow in My Fair Princess (I confess to be a huge fan of the drama). I think Zhao Wei is simply gorgeous - equally at ease in modern and ancient attire. She's a huge star for movies and also a successful director. She seems to have it all, family, career and success - including, Huang Xiaoming as the best male friend who had a crush on her since forever!
#9 Gao Yuan Yuan
Gao Yuan Yuan is the "pure beauty". I think her face has matured into a confident, dazzling modern woman, but I will always remember her as the most beautiful Zhou Zhiruo for the adaptation of the Louis Cha novel, The Heaven Sword and Dragon Saber. I have to admit that I thought of her when I wrote An Chi for The Little Moon.
And that's all folks!