Thursday, February 26, 2009

Are you a Model?

No, this question was not directed to me. It was directed to my very tall and slim Russian classmate. I think it's a little interesting the way people in China are so direct about age and appearance. I know this is an old topic that I've probably written about already in my blog, but the fact that I continue writing about it, shows I haven't fully adjusted to this part of culture.

The other day in class, our new teacher, (a younger male teacher) was talking with some classmates during the break. He asked my tall classmate to stand up. And then in Chinese he said, "Wow! You're tall like a model." I feel like if a professor in the States said this, the students might feel uncomfortable. It's odd when a teacher makes a comment that implies he thinks one of the students looks like a model. It makes me instantly suspicious that the teacher is checking out the students. Of course, teachers in the states probably notice the appearance of the students, but they probably don't make comments about it to the class. I guess in China, it's perfectly acceptable to share your thoughts about one's appearance.

The next day in class, the same professor was teaching us the vocab word to talk about growing fat. They have a verb noun phrase here that means one has put on weight. Our professor used this phrase to describe his wife. Interesting. I don't even think he was kidding. Maybe I'm just super sensitive to such comments about people's appearance, ever since one of my high school classmates told me I was "thick," but I just have not adjusted to comments about people's appearance, and I pretty consistently feel annoyed when people make comments like this, professor, friend, or other.

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