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Courtesy @persephone_sirens

China's goths react to woman being forced to remove her make-up on subway

Weibo users have come together to post a selfie in support of a woman who was discriminated against for wearing gothic make-up

Self-identifying Goths in China united yesterday after news emerged that a woman was prevented from boarding her local subway until she removed her gothic make-up. The woman who shared her story using a pseudonym, took to popular Chinese social media platform Weibo to share the prejudice she encountered. As reported by Sina News, the woman explained “a female security guard called her manager and said that my make-up was ‘problematic’ and ‘really horrible’. Before telling me to remove it if I wanted to get on the subway. As a Chinese citizen, I’m hoping to use this relatively public platform to challenge the authorities: What laws grant you the right to stop me and waste my time?”

What she may have not been expecting however was the response and support of thousands of Weibo users  - goths, allies, and make-up lovers alike - who took to social media with a selfie, accompanied by the hashtag: #ASelfieForTheGuangzhouMetro. Ranging from radical goth looks, created with dark eyeshadow and deep lips, to surrealist, otherworldly faces, using glitter, stickers, and paint, the selfies showed the many personalities and faces of gothic artistry.

“I’m sorry people of Guangzhou, sometimes I go out like this,” posted Weibo user Haruko Ekov. Another Weibo user Jiolaa added: “What you see as fancy dress, I see as freedom”. In reaction to the movement, Guangzhou subway, where the incident occurred, has issued a formal apology and has even suspended the offending security officer, according to China Daily.

The incident is a testament to the unifying power of social media and highlights the importance make-up as a means of creative expression that should not be policed.