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Aping a Beauty

May 13, 2009

“If Marilyn Monroe is the most famous blonde, who is the most famous brunette?”

This is an interesting question I found on Yahoo Answers. Most repliers agree that Audrey Hepburn is the most famous brunette. And I think so too.

Agree or not, Audrey Hepburn & Marilyn Monroe, they each represent two typical kinds of female beauty: classical grace and modern sexuality. They are probably the most famous celebrities around the world. No wonder that there are lots of mimics of both of the two. Here I list a few pictures in which you can see how many versions of “Hepburn” and “Monroe” there are.

You can view more similar images in this Chinese blog post.

These are good mimics indeed. But not all people are buying them. Some laughed at these “copycats”. In Chinese, there is an idiom (chengyu) that describes this: Miss East aping the frown of Miss West. or Aping a beauty.

Aping a Beauty

Xi Shi is one of the Four Great Beauties in Chinese history. Her name literally means Miss West since she lives in the west of village. Her beauty is exceptional that other girls dream to be as beautiful as she is.

Once, Xi Shi had a pain in her bosom, so she had a frown on her face when she went out. An ugly (well, to be nice, not so beautiful) girl who lived nearby saw her and thought she looked very beautiful that way. Therefore when she went home, she also put her hands on her bosom and had a frown on her face.


from ChineseSavvy.com

When a rich man in the neighbourhood saw her, he shut his doors and windows tightly and stayed indoors. When a poor man saw her, he took his wife and children and gave her a wide berth.

She only knew Xi Shi’s frown looked beautiful but she did not know the reason for its beauty.

Since she lived in the east of village, people called this as “Dong Shi (Miss East) aping the frown of Xi Shi (Miss West).”

Be Yourself

Honestly, it is human nature that one want to be prettier or more beautiful. You cannot blame that. However, blindly following others without considering one’s own situation is not very smart. And most occasions, that only makes you look silly and people will label you as “copycat” or “Miss East (Dong Shi)”

So, be yourself, be your nature, don’t ape a beauty.

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  1. May 14th, 2009 at 17:58 | #1

    Funny story!

    But I agree: we should be ourselves and try to not be influenced by the medias or so-called “standards” of beauty.

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