Chinese leg models are currently in high demand in China, selling pantyhose, short skirts, knee high boots and skincare products. These models are earning 600 RMB ($89 CAD) to a rumoured 20,000 RMB ($3000 CAD) per shoot. If you have the ‘right’ type of leg, the model can earn a very respectable annual salary.
Chinese photographers and magazines are particularly picky about models’ legs. Ifeng says that:
Calves should be toned and equal in length with the round thighs. The legs should also be well-balanced in shape, beautiful in lines, fine and smooth without obvious scars, straight in the middle part and no extra fat in the hips.
This renewed popularity on women’s legs is attributed to Kong Yansong who was initially spotted during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Her unusually long legs measure 1.17 cm (3.8′) while she is 1.77 cm tall (5.8′). Kong became known as the Queen of Long Legs and became a top search on the Internet by Chinese citizens. She was voted as having the “Most Beautiful Legs” in an online poll by Mop. Not only does she possess extremely long legs, she also has a twin sister named Kong Yanzhu who is even taller than Yansong. The twin sisters often pose together in ad campaigns and together, they are marketing gold.
Thankfully, a few years ago, China banned the practice of leg lengthening surgeries as they were in high demand for height-challenged people wishing to get hired for high salaried jobs. There is a belief that taller people are more often chosen by employers over those who are shorter. Hopefully this media exposure and focus on leggy models would not result in illegal leg lengthening surgeries.