Since her debut arrival in Moscow with her husband Xi Jinping in March, China First Lady Peng Liyuan has made waves online every time she has stepped off a plane. Now, she has China’s netizens buzzing once again after being honored in Vanity Fair’s 2013 International Best-Dressed List.
Overall, Weibo users’ responses to the news were overwhelmingly positive. A Weibo tweet by @纽约快报 about this news received over 17,000 reweets and over 5,000 likes as of August 2. In addition, big names such as Chinese business magnate Pan Shiyi (@潘石屹) and Chinese IT venture capitalist Kaifu Lee (@李开复) reposted the story with expressions of congratulations. Many expressed the feeling that Peng has superb fashion sensibility, but more importantly, stated that she has “won glory for motherland,” (wei guo zhengguang, 为国争光; a traditional Chinese phrase). Here are a few of the glowing things fans had to say about it:
@懒羊羊大帅哥的小靓妈: She’s worthy of the name.
@小山重叠叠叠叠: Her dress is beautiful.
@NL桑齐燕: She is China’s “business card”.
In addition to praising her clothing style, many Weibo users think she is able to serve as a symbol of a more “human” China. Weibo user @Minna快毕业了 commented, “It helps to improve the image of China. But opinions may be divided on the point of how beautiful she is.” Meanwhile, @wayina wrote, “She changes image of China first lady. It`s a different era now. She’s doing her duty toward the country as long as she has a positive impact.”
Peng has gained fans on Weibo for both her style and her public humanitarian work. Weibo users also held the view that for arguably the first time, China has a first lady it can truly look up to. “With a continuing strong commitment to public service, she is the first genuinely significant first lady since 1949,” user @芮亲之家 commented. As WHO goodwill ambassador for tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, Peng participated in filming a public service video and was highly praised.
However, not all netizens expressed support for Peng. User @不怕元元怕乐乐 argued, “It’s none of my business. Only when China’s environment and the people’s livelihood make the world’s best list can it be called strong.”
It’s also worth mentioning that while American media is focusing on the fact Michelle Obama was left off the list, Chinese users have meanwhile barely mentioned it, only focusing on Peng.
What do you think of Vanity Fair‘s selection of Peng? Tell us in the comments below.