Chinese swimmer Fu Yuanhui made China proud by winning the Bronze medal in 100 meters backstroke and missed another medal by a whisker in the women’s 4 X 100 meter relay. But despite her stellar performance in the pool, she has come up as a youth icon for China for a very different reason. She just broke China’s period taboo and perhaps laid the path for young Chinese women to be more open about their bodies.
In an interview shortly after the relay, Fu Yuanhui seemed to be in visible pain. When the interviewer asked if she was ok, Fu Yuanhui said, “I feel that I didn’t swim well today. I let my teammates down. Yes (my belly hurts) because my period came yesterday. I’m feeling a bit weak and exhausted, but this is not an excuse. Anyway, I didn’t do well.”
In China women’s bodily complaints are matter of complete secrecy, in fact most Chinese women have no idea about a tampon. The internet stood together in support of Fu Yuanhui claiming her step to be a historic one. On the other hand many are fearful that now any woman’s non-performance in an event will be painted with the same brush thus opening another avenue of verbal stereo-typing and oppression. But for now, Fu Yuanhui remains to the youth icon for China.
You can see the interview below: