卖萌 Cuteness for Sale?
卖萌 (mài méng: sell cuteness) is a Chinese lingo that originates from Japanese ACGN (Animation, Comic, Game, Novel) culture. 萌 Méng means “cute, adorable, innocent”. 卖(mài: to sell) in this context means “to play” or “to pretend”. 卖萌 can be either taken as a complement or an insult depending on the situation.
It can be complementary when the “cuteness” is actually “cute” and appreciated, but how do you do it right?
1. Looks Matter
you gotta look good to be 萌
颜值即正义（yán zhí jí zhèng yì: looking good justifies everything) is a trend in Chinese pop culture. Nowadays, people value physical appearance more than ever. In terms of 卖萌，as long as you’re good-looking, you can always succeed playing cute - despite your gender, age or actual personality.
2. …But Looks Aren’t Everything
Is a pretty face all that matters … The answer is no.
屁桃君 (pì táo jūn: butt face peach fairy) is originally from a Japanese comic book about children and farm fairies. 屁桃君 is an example of a special kind of 萌. A little weird and even ugly, but he is still cute.
3. Don’t Try Too Hard
Selling your cuteness without even trying or pretending - that’s the best kind of 萌
When Sherlock puts on a big smile after being a jerk to Watson...
When Sheldon Cooper says Bazinga (or whatever he does, he could be the definition of a weird kind of 萌)...
When 周杰伦 Jay Chou couldn’t hide his happiness after another contestant chose him in Voice of China...these are all real and genuine examples of 萌.
Another kind of 萌 works best when it is contradictory to the person’s character. Like this crazy, violent bunny in the Secret Life of Pets who looks as innocent as a bunny can ever be - but of course, he would never 卖萌.
4. Emoticons Help
颜文字 (yán wén zì: Japanese emoticons) help sell the cuteness for you
- <（￣︶￣）> Satisfied or proud
- ╮（╯◇╰）╭ gimme a kiss
- （╯‵□′）╯︵┴─┴ angry, flipping over a table
- 〒▽〒 crying
- ╮（￣▽￣）╭ shoulder shrugs
- o(*≥▽≤)ツ┏━┓ laughing so hard and slamming the table
- (￣ε(#￣)☆╰╮o(￣皿￣///) punching the face
and many more…
After reading this article, I hope you’re not limited by your gender or age or looks, and are ready to sell some cuteness to the world…今天就卖个萌吧！