“Chinese are drawn to the reverse-Cinderella tale—the story of a poor man falling in love with a rich girl, and of love trumping all else.”
That’s what I read in a Wall Street Journal article last week, which cited this as the reason why the movie Titanic is so popular in China. It continued:
…some of the most successful love stories in China touch on similar themes, catering to “Chinese audiences’ psychology of a normal male hungering for the touch from a ‘fairy.’
The theory behind the film’s draw stands in stark contrast to urban China’s increasingly money-driven marriage culture, in which many men complain that without a house and a car they have little chance of attracting a woman’s affections, or her parents’ approval.
When I read this, I had to wonder — was the attraction of Western women to Chinese men also a sort of reverse-Cinderella tale, in a sense? Maybe most Chinese men with dreams of a yangxifu aren’t as poor as penniless Jack Dawson who rode in the third-class section of Titanic. But perhaps the cache of having a Western wife, of a woman who could open up opportunities to him (such as study or work abroad, or more), could work like a reverse-Cinderella story to some men?
Of course, my Chinese husband John loved Titanic, so I asked him about it.
“You know, in China there is a naive romantic dream out there, just like in those old classic movies and Titanic,” he said.
“But did your naive romantic dream have anything to do with why you became interested in me?”
He smiled as his face blushed. “Sure, a little.”
Well, I could see that. John’s always been a dreamer — in love and in life. And if Titanic and other reverse-Cinderella stories happened to give him an extra nudge in my direction, well, I’m grateful. He’s the love of my life, as fierce as the love that Jack and Rose shared onscreen, and I’m glad our “hearts will go on” together.
What do you think? Do you see Chinese men (such as those who grew up in China or other countries in Asia) and Western women in love as another reverse Cinderella story like Titanic? Why or why not?