Fans of popular Chinese Vlogger ‘Your Highness Qiao Biluo’ were in for an unpleasant surprise when a technical glitch revealed her to be a middle aged, instead of the svelte young woman they had perceived her to be. Many of Qiao Biluo’s fans have now stopped following, heartbroken over this revelation. It is amusing that Biluo managed to coax out cash gifts worth thousands of dollars from her followers, simply because she was a ‘good looking’ host. Such are the times that we live in. If her followers were so gullible and superficial, did they deserve this karma? Also, isn’t this incident a reality check for the practice of youth worship, where a person can become a celebrity and demand money from patrons, simply because she is young?

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  •  Technical glitch revealed a Chinese vlogger to be a middle-aged woman.
  • She was using filter to appear young and ‘cute’ to her followers.
  • Many of her fans had also given her cash gifts because she was a ‘good looking host’.
  • While what the vlogger did was wrong, her fans’ behaviour hints at the culture of youth worshipping that is commonplace even today.

Fans shelled out money to a vlogger because she is a ‘good looking host’. Now that a technical glitch has revealed the reality who should bear the blame for this con? The woman in question, her youth worshipping sexist fans, or both?

According to a report by BBC, the blogger was apparently using a filter on her face during her appearances, and was known for her “sweet and healing voice.” She was “worshipped” as a “cute goddess” by her fan base, and some of them even gifted her cash. During a live streaming session, Your Highness Qiao Biluo told her fans that she won’t reveal her face and remove the filter until she receives gifts worth 100,000 yuan ($11,950). However, due to a technical glitch, the filter stopped working. Biluo only realised what had happened when she noticed people who had signed up to her VIP access room begin to exit it in bulk. Her male followers are now said to have stopped following her and withdrawn their transactions after seeing her true identity.

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I don’t know what is more disturbing here. The fact that a woman conned numerous followers into giving her money, or how men fell for such a basic trap. How foolish do you have to be to give in to the demands of a woman you have never met in your life, and simply follow on social media, and who is blatantly asking for money. She isn’t even giving them a reason to cough up money, apart from ‘I am a good-looking host’. That’s the kind of entitlement we let youth and beauty command in our society.

How foolish do you have to be to give in to the demands of a woman you have never met in your life, and simply follow on social media, and who is blatantly asking for money, her only quality being that she is young and beautiful.

There is no defence for what the vlogger did. Social media platforms need to have tighter norms for their content generators, to discourage anyone from misusing photoshop and filters to mislead their followers. However, we need to ask what made Biluo’s fans susceptible to being fooled. The answer is simple. They were charmed by the youth and beauty of a young woman. They worshipped her until they found her to be young and cute, and they didn’t bat an eyelid to stop doing so when the reality dawned on them.

Attraction and popularity are still not free from the constraint of beauty and age for women. There is a reason why women hide their age or fake being young, because they know that beyond a certain number, you become irrelevant and unattractive to society. But as more and more women are embracing their age and refuting to be sidelined from the social narrative just because they aren’t young anymore, we can only hope that the general social mind-set of youth-worshipping will see a change. Perhaps an exposed lie would help them embrace the truth.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.

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