Fashion trends may come and go but not with the “Pretty is Power” trend. Dressing up for success is evident in Chinese millennials because of the importance that they put on what they wear every day. While having sartorial look matters in one’s workplace, looking presentable is more than the ideal standard for Chinese women in modern times.
Appearance economy or yán zhí jīng jì (颜值经济) is apparent in Chinese millennials because of how one’s appearance can relate to one’s income. Many Chinese millennials spend ample time grooming themselves for work because dressing up well can increase one’s self-confidence. This big factor boosts them to appear more competent, trustworthy, and productive with positive impressions to their colleagues and customers.
“Pretty is justice or power” or yán zhí jí zhèng yì (颜值即正义) is a phrase commonly used by Chinese millennials for this appearance economy phenomenon. It is mostly used as a hashtag in Weibo posts of flourishing lifestyles, stylish formal outfits, dainty bags and accessories, and high-end makeup by netizens and influencers. Many designer brands and retailers use the phrase “pretty is justice” on their products and services to attract Chinese working millennials.
Many modern office dramas manifest the “pretty is justice” with their sophisticated and stylish outfits. Many of the characters have thriving corporate careers like Find Yourself’s He Fanxing and Ye Luming and Love is Sweet’s Jiang Jun and Yuan Shuai. He Fanxing and Jiang Jun radiate their career-oriented lifestyles with their classy feminine corporate outfits that bring out their strong yet tender personalities. Their well-groomed appearances have led them to excel both in their careers and love lives. From their outfits, they were able to showcase their remarkable personalities and competencies in their fields because of the confidence in their appearance and themselves.
He Fanxing has held her position as a director of administration at a design company. With her sophisticated and mature style, a young intern heartthrob named Yuan Song who has taken an interest in her as his excellent and attractive boss. The two eventually became lovers. The second lead Ye Luming has always been praised for being an attractive bachelor with his looks and expensive style with many women who fawn over him. Luming has also developed feelings for Fanxing as well, after their frequent encounters in their careers. She fits his standards as a CEO of an advertising agency because of her confident self and well-polished professional look. Despite Luming’s busy schedule, he always tried his best to win her heart by looking good and being a gentleman. This leads to their short but sweet relationship.
Jiang Jun has climbed up from her position from a securities analyst to a vice president at a highly competitive investment firm. At first, she didn’t pay attention to her appearance because of how demanding her work can be. Her well-groomed and respectable colleagues motivated her to start dressing up like Vice President Qiao Na who always pay attention and comments on her outfits and makeup. Yuan Shuai, the handsome Executive Director, has also inspired her to look her best at work because of his put-together looks and attractive appearance. Jiang Jun’s self-confidence and hard work have led her to win clients against their competitors with the help and guidance of Yuan Shuai. As Jiang Jun and Yuan Shuai’s relationship developed into a passionate and heartwarming relationship, their careers in the investment industry continue to take off.
These characters invested in themselves to look and feel good, which made a positive impact on their flourishing personal lives, relationships, and well-established careers. The “Pretty is Justice” trend highlights self-love and self-care by putting an effort into their appearances. With the help of the trend, they achieved happiness and contentment because they strived to continually improve themselves and their lives.