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She couldn’t contain her contempt, and now she’s a star.
A reporter at China’s 13th National People’s Congress attracted worldwide attention Tuesday for her dramatic eye roll while a colleague was asking a long, repetitive question.
— Bill Birtles (@billbirtles) March 13, 2018
As the reporter in red droned on in circles about state-owned businesses and foreign investments, Liang Xiangyi (in blue) finally snapped. Her eyes rolled up and her eyebrows came down, forming a mask of pure disgust that quickly became iconic on the Chinese internet.
Liang, a business reporter for Shanghai-based channel Yicai, reportedly told her coworkers that “the person next to me was being an idiot.”
The other woman, American reporter Zhang Huijun of AMTV, is being called “the question-asking bitch” on Chinese social media as people take sides in the battle of “red vs. blue.” Due to the controversy, Liang has even had her name censored on Weibo, the Chinese equivalent of Twitter.
As of now "Liang Xiangyi" (name of the eye-rolling Chinese reporter in blue suit) has overtaken "constitutional amendments" and "constitutions" to become the No.1 most censored Weibo word.https://t.co/YgTUSp5iEy pic.twitter.com/hTZAroS9iF
— KurikoC (@kuriko_c) March 13, 2018
Meanwhile, the eye-rolling scene is inspiring tons of fan art and videos:
— 变态辣椒 (@remonwangxt) March 13, 2018
— 民主纤夫蚂蚁（专制国家的强大是本国和外国民众的灾难-Despotic world disaster） (@LrBlUA8AsssKdx4) March 14, 2018
— 华涌 (@HuaYong798) March 14, 2018
In the U.S., the meme doesn’t have the same political significance or censorship trouble, but Americans still love a good, shady eye roll. Liang’s meme has been covered by BuzzFeed, the Verge, the Washington Post, and more.
h/t The Verge
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.