Recently, a new entertainment show has been catching the attention of  many Chinese viewers both at home and abroad. “Youth With You” is a  reality show documenting the training of 109 girls. Their ultimate goal  is to become a member of the final debuting girl group. 109 enter, yet  only nine will make it into the group, which will debut as the show ends  in June.

One reason the show has gained so much  popularity is that everyone is quarantining at home and running out of  things to watchWith this show, you can participate in online  discussions and voting with other viewers. It is the perfect opportunity to be  social while practicing social distancing.

Among  these discussions, there is no shortage of controversies over who gets  to debut. Of course, many viewers root for more traditional concepts of  the “Asian girl group,” whether it’s the “cute and sweet” concept or the  more recent “girl crush” concept. The majority of trainees fit under  those categories.

The “cute and sweet” concept is defined by puppy-dog eyes, bangs and pigtails, and soft, baby-like voices.

The “girl crush” concept (originating from K-pop) is about being sexy, cool, chic, and fierce, while maintaining cute and girlish traits as well. (See Blackpink as an example.)

Yet the series also showcases trainees who don’t seem to fit into these accepted “Girl Group” concepts or appearances. Meet the girls who are breaking the mold!



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Lisa Liang