In modern Chinese society, the phrase “little fresh meat“ has become a popular buzzword, used to describe young and handsome men. In a recent commentary, PLA Daily slammed several "little fresh meats" for their performance in a military-themed TV show. The actors scarcely resemble hardened Chinese soldiers, even if they are dressed in uniforms, the paper stressed.
According to the article, the buzzword may not be in use much longer, as it has attracted quite a bit of controversy. Chinese director Feng Xiaogang once commented that the phrase is disgusting in its wide use, since it demeans the masculine characteristics of the men it describes. Therefore, he strongly opposes artists describing themselves with the term.
Nevertheless, many actors today are proud of being called "little fresh meats," as they view the term as a positive assessment of their physical appearances. In many instances, the description also acts as a selling point for them to win more fans. In addition to actors, producers are also putting special emphasis on these young, handsome stars, though some powerful industry leaders take offense at the phenomenon.
In recent years, several military-themed TV shows have been criticized, especially when they are characterized as realistic portrayals of military life. Critics say that producers often present an inaccurate version of military life, rather than describing real life in the army. Some argue that when profit becomes the only goal, art has lost its value.
The buzzword could easily be dismissed as nothing more than a linguistic trend, but it nevertheless guides the public’s aesthetic orientation. Every piece of art has an impact on the viewer’s inner world. A military-themed show should be high-spirited and enthusiastic, the commentary explained.
Soldiers are not born with military spirit. Instead, it is carved into them through fighting and battles. One cannot be a qualified soldier without responsibility and bravery. In this regard, the article argues, "little fresh meats" will never be able to act like real soldiers, and the entertainment industry should stop encouraging them to do so.