The way the media chooses to interpret stories like this, and the fact that we believe them, reveals so much more about ourselves than the cultures they're about. If we saw someone from a Western culture wearing a plastic bag or walking a cabbage, we would decide -- correctly -- that that person was a weirdo or an artist or a weirdo artist. When we see an Asian person do it, it must be a legitimate fashion craze or a sign of an entire culture of Freudian nightmares.
To the English-speaking media, the entire geographical area from the Bosphorus Straits to the Sea of Okhotsk are incapable of doing anything in a tongue-and-cheek fashion, and therefore must be stupid for wanting to wear masks. If every Chinese newspaper doesn't have a secret "Look What the Stupid Americans Think We're Doing" section, they are missing out on some prime material -- but shit, we'd probably misreport that, too.
Fellow sites, if we can't appeal to your vague sense of making the world a less dumb, weirdly racist place, then here's a depressing where-are-they-now. Remember "Chinese Husband Successfully Sues His Wife for Ugly Children (Because She Didn't Tell Him She Had Plastic Surgery)?"
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Spoiler: It was an ad all along!
Well, in a recent interview with the BBC, the model in the photograph discussed how the poorly-researched clickbait that spun out of the ad helped kill her career. Great job, gang! Between her and that unfairly maligned Polish Santa Claus, we have the beginnings of a support group for people whose lives were destroyed by blogspam.
Manna is way more terrified of escalators now than any of those normal people and also has a Twitter.
Also check out 5 B.S. News Stories That Fooled Your Friends and Man Vapes Semen: 5 B.S. News Stories That Went Viral.
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