Not considered beautiful by China’s exacting pop star standards, Wang has developed a cult following of fans who find her relatable and an inspiration

Wang Ju swaggers on stage, stepping out in front of the other female contestants competing to be China’s next pop idol. Wearing white boots and a short pink windbreaker, she leans toward the audience as she sings in English lyrics that she wrote: “You don’t have to put a ring on me. I can buy my own.”

She raps in English and Chinese as the camera pans to a crowd of mostly young women cheering. “Free your mind, fight [for] your right. Cold moonlight shines on my warrior coat. With a gorgeous attitude, my life is in my own hands.”

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