Some say she's a shameless fame-seeker; others say she's a daring youth doing what she believes in — just without any clothes on. The 19-year-old Su Zizi is China's latest Internet sensation, who rose to fame (or infamy?) her hard luck story of making her way through school as a nude model. Now, however, she's rebranding herself, leveraging her Internet fame to make a play as a fine artist.
An art major sophomore at the prestigious Renmin University in Beijing, Su rose to fame after various media covered her self-organized exhibition of her nude photographs at the university late last year.
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The audacity of her photographs, together with her hard childhood upbringing guaranteed her controversial status in China, where nude art is still considered indecency under the disguise of art by many people. However, Su Zizi is never shy from controversies. Instead, she's quite out-spoken online. On her blog and weibo [the Chinese counterpart of twitter], she had posts criticizing the Chinese education system, gender inequality in the society, and of course media's misrepresentation of her.
But in a recent interview with a Chinese media outlet, which she said would be the last interview concerning her personal controversies, she expressed her willingness to cut off from her past as a nude model. She wanted people to know her as Su Zizi, the artist.
"I became nude model in order to make a living. Back then, I didn't choose carefully before going into this industry. It was an immature decision," Su Zizi wrote on her blog, "that [nude photo shoot] was a horrible place to be. I don't want to see any other young girls going through that again."
Su Zizi's rise-to-fame has always been speculated by some to be a publicity stunt. Many of her peers online criticized her for ruining Chinese young generation's reputation by achieving fame with no respect to traditional moral standards.
These days, Su Zizi, as she mentioned in her blog post, has been working on her own artworks. That includes an experimental art movie adapted from Vladimir Nabokov's book "Lolita". And no surprise, nudity is expected.
But what about the person herself? According to , the nude model/ online sensation from China, she regretted her "road to fame", and didn't want other young girls to follow her path. Instead she's rebranding herself as a young artist.