China’s Hottest Boy Band Is Actually Made Up Of All Girls

The "handsome youths" of Acrush routinely get love letters from female fans.

Boy bands are big news in China, and one of the hottest is Acrush, which has been touring the country for the past year and has nearly 900,000 followers on Weibo. (Compare that to Katy Perry who has about a million.)

Acrush has the boy band formula down—there’s shy one, the smart one, the cocky one. The only thing is they’re not boys—they’re androgynous women.

Members Lu Keran, An Junxi, Peng Xichen, Min Junqian and Lin Fan are forbidden from discussing their sexuality publicly, but that hasn’t stopped fans from fantasizing.

Some female admirers have dubbed Acrush members “husbands,” and lead singer Lu told Quartz she gets love letters from women all the time.

“Of course I won’t like fans back,” she says demurely.

The “A” in Acrush stands for stands for Adonis, the Greek paragon of male beauty. But the five young singers—all in their early 20s except Lin, who is 18—avoid using words like “boy” or “girl” to describe themselves. Instead they favor meishaonian, a Chinese term translating roughly to “handsome youths.”

Their agent, Zhou Xiaobai, says the band is about “advocating freedom, not bounded by frames.”
 

 
Acrush isn’t the first all-girl “boy band” to emerge from Asia: In Taiwan, where butch lesbians often self-identify as tomboys (and femmes go by “wives”), Misster, a pop quintet of five tomboys hit the pop charts in 2011 with “Super Lover.”
 

 

As with anyone garnering attention on social media, Acrush has its share of haters: About 15% of their Weibo followers are anti-fans, only there to harass them about their boyish looks.

Lu is used to it, though: She’s been dressing like a tomboy since she was a kid, when she was called “little boy.” She’s even been stopped using the women’s restroom.

As part of a governmental effort to popularize soccer, Acrush and other pop groups have been bundled into the “Fantasy Football Confederation.” (The band’s formal name is actually FCC-Acrush). All FCC bands had to learn to play soccer and incorporate the sport into their stage show.

Lu admits she never played before joining Acrush, but says she enjoys the training, “even if we get injuries sometimes.”

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