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‘The cutest First Lady ever!’

Oh no, This is not about these two...

Caricatures of the US First Lady Michelle Obama and the previous French First Lady Carla Bruni are not always flattering as shown in the picture. Photo: (middle top); (middle bottom); Getty Images (left and right)

But her:


Cute, aren’t they? This series of Peng Liyuan’ caricatures were first posted on Weibo by @HELLO-MISSJ on April 1 and was reposted by @学媛之家 (translated word-for-word as Study Yuan Home), a fan Weibo of Peng two days later. Dubbed “The 萌est First Lady in history” (萌, Chinese cyber slang for “cute”) by one microblogger, it has since set off a renewed First-Lady frenzy on the Chinese cyber space. “Beautiful!” “So cool!” are among the many raving comments left by the Weibo users, in English.

There has been confusion about the identity of the author, which later was revealed to be @HELLO-MISSJ, a senior student at Xi’an International Studies University, who issued an announcement on April 8 asserting her intellectual property rights of the pictures. However, they really owe their quick fame to @学媛之家, a long-time fan of Peng first as a singer now as China’s First Lady, who was apparently better in the role of advertiser. She wrote in her post, “In the depth of beauty is the natural cuteness (美到深处自然萌).” The sentence quickly caught up with the set of pictures in popularity and became an Internet catch phrase.

China does have its own tradition of satirical drawing, which arguably boasts a long history of almost a thousand years since the Southern Song Dynasty (南宋1127-1279). The modern Chinese political cartoons, though similar to the western ones, are different when it comes to caricatures- the Chinese do not parody their leaders sarcastically, for the apparent reason of censorship. According to a painter and political cartoonist Peng Changzheng (彭长征), the Chinese caricatures of its leaders serve one purpose: to bring them closer to the people via the bridge of humor.

For more cute pictures, please click on. For more article on Peng Liyuan, please click here.

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