Meet Shamate, China’s Most Hated Subculture

by Kevin Tang on December 18, 2013

China’s young rural poor favor shamate fashion, a gawky blend of goth, glam and anime. Their urban peers can’t stop ridiculing them.

Oppa Shamate style.

Oppa Shamate style.

A Shamate “family portrait.”

A Shamate "family portrait."

Examples of Shamate make-up.

Examples of Shamate make-up.

Shamate is a Chinese transliteration of the word ‘smart'. Online, it's also the name of a vibrant QQ video chatroom subculture of blue-collared kids who dress in exaggerated goth, glam, anime, and visual kei fashion. To each other, they're family. To the rest of China, they're failed arrivistes in the wealthier cities.

Chinese and English media profiles paint them mostly as dropouts from schools in the countryside, moving away from their families to work low-skill jobs at big city factories, street-side vendors and hair salons. They take elaborate selfies of their vampire makeups, live in cramped basements, speak in farmland accents, and listen to bad dance music. Like Juggalos, they meet their 'family' online. Like Juggalos, everyone else is simultaneously fascinated and repulsed by them.

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Originally Posted By BuzzFeed - Tech

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