“Addicted to Beauty”: Consuming and Producing
Web-based Chinese Danmei Fiction at Jinjiang

By Jin Feng

Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, vol. 21, no. 2, pp.1-41

Feng focuses on the modes and mores of online danmei fiction at a particular Chinese literature website called Jinjiang. Originally a cultural import from Japan, danmei, or BL (“Boy’s Love”), denotes a genre of popular romance that portrays idealized homoerotic relationships between physically attractive male figures, and is mostly written by women for women’s consumption. Combining literary analysis and “virtual ethnographic research” by looking at online readers’ comments and interviewing users, Feng shows that web-based danmei fiction gives Chinese women a new forum and space to find female-centered entertainment, parody and undermine mainstream cultural products, explore their gender and sexuality, and cross social and cultural boundaries that might otherwise have been impassable.