China’s internet celebrities are fake!?
Sister Lotus (芙蓉姐姐) who we reported on way back here and here in 2006 is still alive!
The Shanghaiist found her at a custom show:
The original story is that she rose to fame back in 2005 when she posted mock-provocative photos of herself on major BBSs/forums. These photos were accompanied by quotes such as “I have a physique that gives men nosebleeds.”
But I learned recently that her fame was partially manufactured and that she wasn’t just some random girl posting photos of herself online. The person who shot her photos and helped market her now runs an internet marking company that pays people to generate buzz around internet celebrities.
From a Xinhua article:
On average, it costs about 3,000 yuan ($440) to pay netizens to leave just one post on more than 3,000 online forums – and with a large enough budget, marketers can almost guarantee that their client will become an Internet sensation.
The article continues to say that now that Sister Lotus is popular but only as a target for mockery, and it’s hard for her to move beyond that. This is despite the fact that she “now has a personal assistant and is represented by Beijing Furong World International Culture and Media, an Internet marketing firm.“
So perhaps the photo above is a poor attempt at changing her image?