4 min read

Gua Sha Is More Than Just Another TikTok Trend

Gua Sha Is More Than Just Another TikTok Trend

Too busy to get your daily dose of RADII? We got you every Tuesday with a summary of all the freshest takes on China’s youth culture in the last week.

  • Asian communities have been under attack in many Western nations during the pandemic, yet the traditional Chinese practice of gua sha has been simultaneously embraced.
  • The music video playfully contrasts work and fun or reality and fantasy, while the lyrics highlight Masiwei’s status as a rapper and his success story.
  • The Covid-19 pandemic has only exacerbated sleeping disorders in China, causing more than 300 million Chinese people to suffer from chronic sleeping problems.
  • While some in China criticize the film’s themes of individuality and feminism, others exhibit envy for the Nordic system’s social tolerance.

Intrigued? Keep scrolling, my friend.

Attention America: Gua Sha is so Much More Than a Skincare Routine

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, gua sha (刮痧), a traditional Chinese practice that involves using a tool to scrape one’s body, has gained popularity as an at-home skincare technique in America.

Gua sha has been practiced in China since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and is known to relieve muscle pain and improve blood circulation. Incredibly, more than 600 years later, the practice found its way to the West.

On TikTok, a before-and-after video of gua sha has been viewed more than 11.8 million times. Meanwhile, influencers have started to share their gua sha routines on YouTube.

Moreover, Western beauty stores and celebrities have jumped on the trend and started endorsing gua sha or selling its tools. For example, American dancer and actress Maddie Ziegler includes it as one of her beauty secrets in a video with Vogue and Australian model Miranda Kerr’s skincare brand Kora Organics sells a rose quartz tool for 58 USD.

So what is gua sha, and why do people do it? We spoke to Chinese medicine practitioners Chen and Sandra Lanshin Chiu, respectively based in China and the US, about the history, effectiveness, and cultural debates surrounding it.

Meet Alex, a Feminist Influencer Challenging the Status Quo

In China, many are self-conscious when it comes to speaking up about sex and consent owing to the country’s overall sex-shy culture. Similarly, period shame causes many to tiptoe around the topic of menstruation, let alone openly discuss it online. But not Alex Chang.

Known as @Alex绝对是个妞儿 on Weibo, where she has more than 1 million followers, the feminist influencer frequently uses her social media platforms to raise awareness of women’s issues in China. For example, she has made videos related to reproductive freedom, sexual harassment, and women’s professional development.

Recently, she released a new series titled International Menstrual Report, which covers global news related to gender equality and female representation.

“Although there are things that we can’t talk about, I still believe we can talk about lots of other topics,” writes Chang on Weibo. “We can see small changes are happening in other countries and different industries.”

While RADII recently gave Chang’s series a shoutout, here’s properly introducing our readers to the vocal women’s rights activist and content creator who is pushing for greater gender equality in China.

  • Your feedback could prove valuable in the game’s trials, which are open to applications from adult gamers in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Germany until March 28.
  • On March 16, the Asian American Feminist Collective (AAFC) held a vigil to mourn the eight lives lost in the tragic Atlanta spa shooting one year ago.
  • With a jaw-dropping tax evasion figure, the scandal involving the “Ashes of Love” star has sparked uproar on social media.
  • Vaping is once again under the scrutiny of Chinese regulators who hope stricter restrictions will curb the surge of underage vapers in the country.
  • On March 16, Masiwei, a member of one of China’s most influential rap groups, Higher Brothers, dropped his new single “SNTS” (an acronym for ‘Streets Need This Shit’).

Are you a gifted meme maker? Or a storyteller crazy about Chinese youth culture? Take a look below, because we’re currently hiring for the following positions:

Find us on our main site, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Youtube, and WeChat (@radiichina)