An online language school has been criticised – for employing scantily-clad glamour models to teach people Chinese.
SexyMandarin.com, whose motto is ‘Learning Mandarin in an unconventional way’, has become a runaway hit.
Would-be teachers are asked to submit a full-body photo, as well as any relevant modelling or teaching experience.
The course’s latest lesson, called Mirror, is conducted by two lingerie-wearing models who discuss their body shapes and diets.
Other lessons feature models making pillow talk in bed, sucking fruit and cleaning a black London cab with foamy sponges.
Kaoru Kikuchi, the University of Nottingham architecture graduate behind the site, said the project aimed to make Mandarin more accessible.
“If you go the textbook way with all these Chinese characters it just makes you intimidated,” said the Toyko-born model and designer.
Mick Gleissner, the Hong Kong-based filmmaker who produces the videos, said he hoped to inspire foreigners facing “the Herculean task of learning Chinese.”
“Chinese is intimidating. You look at the characters, the strange melody of sounds. And then you watch a video like this and it’s kind of ridiculous but it’s also fun,” said Gleissner, originally from Germany.
But Annie Chan, chairwoman of Hong Kong’s Association for the Advancement of Feminism, complained that the website “exoticised” Chinese women.
And Sue-Mei Thompson, executive director of Hong Kong’s Women’s Foundation, said her group was “vehemently opposed to gender stereotyping, especially anything that objectifies women as sex objects”.
by The Punjapit Alliance