There’s something special about the wildly popular Chinese boy band FFC-Acrush: None of its members are boys.
FFC-Acrush has five members: Lu Keran, An Jun Xi, Peng xi Chen, Min Jun Qian and Lin Fang. All are in their early 20s, with floppy hair and boyish clothes. The BBC refers to them as women. But the group’s manager Zhou Xiaobai told Quartz that they carefully avoid using the words “boy” or “girl” when referring to the group. Instead, they refer to them by the genderless expression meishaonian, or “handsome youth.”
Zhou described them as “a group advocating freedom, not bounded by frames.”
Female fans call the band members “husbands,” a common expression girls use to describe their favorite male pop idols. The A in Acrush stands for Adonis, the mythical embodiment of youthful male beauty worshipped by women in Ancient Greece.
FCC-Acrush is wildly popular on Weibo (China’s equivalent of Twitter), with almost 900,000 followers on their fan page. And even though they’re in a country that’s pretty conservative about human sexuality, they have adoring female fans who aren’t afraid to express their love for the group. Girls mob them at airports. One fan wrote, “FFC-Acrush are a girl group. I doubt my sexual orientation.”
The size and ferocity of their fandom is pretty amazing considering the group hasn’t actually released a music video yet.
The group happily plays up their fluid sexuality for fans, releasing images and videos of the bandmates cuddling, kissing and smacking each others’ asses:
FFC-Acrush日常拍摄花絮！几个淘气鬼? 林凡眼睛发炎啦！? 因为她抱了路边的流浪猫不洗手就去揉眼睛…… pic.twitter.com/2yLTdC2joF
— FFC-Acrush (@FFC_Acrush) March 31, 2017
Chinese tech juggernaut Tencent showed the group off at their recent Husband Exhibition pop star showcase.
Like many boy bands, FFC-Crush was put together by a company. In this case, it’s Zhejiang Huati Culture Communication Co. Ltd., an entertainment company started by Tencent. The group’s members were recruited from across China.