‘Plus-size’ boy band in China seeks to inspire fans

BEIJING – Collected in a exercise home, 5 generously proportioned younger men in dishevelled black sweaters are patting their bellies and waggling their arms. Bearded with double chins, they shout “Hoo-Ha!” in time to upbeat African drums.

The choreography is for the new music “Good Stomach,” by Make Pandas. DING, Cass, Husky, Otter and Mr. 17 weigh an average of 100 kilograms (220 kilos) and proudly get in touch with them selves “the 1st additionally-sized boy band in China.”

That is a radical departure from the business common witnessed in South Korean tremendous groups these types of as BTS, whose lanky younger members are at times referred to in China as “little clean meat.”

Nonetheless, it looks to be doing the job for Develop Pandas, who rose to fame soon after making it about midway by “Youth with You,” an idol expertise competitors hosted by iQiyi, a person of the most significant video clip platforms in China.

On the present, mentors and viewers voters decide nine finalists, both men and women or team associates, to arrive collectively to sort a new band.

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“The 5 of us may not have the regular look and condition of a boy band but we hope to use the time period ‘plus-sized band’ to split the aesthetic stereotypes,” Cass reported in an job interview.

The five, two of whom previously sang in bars, are also unconventional for their comparatively advanced ages in an business that worships youth and endurance. Most of their fellow contestants on “Youth with You” commenced South Korean-fashion education whilst in their teens.

Although Deliver Pandas psyched audiences and sparked dialogue about how a pop idol really should seem, some taunting also appeared online.

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