A Star Is Born
Updated: Sep 20
If I have to name one phenomenon that takes over Hong Kong recently, that would be the rising of the local boy band Mirror.
The whole city has been swept up by these 12 young men through their songs, powerful dances, TV dramas, countless commercials. The boy band serves as a booster in Hong Kong's most depressing moments under political upheaval and pandemic.
Even New York Times has noticed this storm and commented that the boy band "has infused the city with a rare bust of joy, providing a musical balm to an anxious population." Japan broadcaster NHK also produced a 5-minute story recently to comment on this "unprecedented phenomenon" in the recent 20 years.
Although pop idol groups have never interested me, I have to admit that the rising of Mirror does catch my eyes and cheer me up these days.
Not only because Hong Kong hasn't had real idols since the 90s (at least in my eyes), the emergence of this homegrown boy band re-ignites the passion, interest, and belief in Cantonese pop and Hong Kong culture.
In addition, given the irresistible strong influence of K-Pop all over Asia, it is a pure pleasure and surprise for me to watch how these young men are packaged to be attractive and talented yet still manage to keep their authenticity and individual identity in front of the camera.
People appreciate the boy band for different reasons. For me, observing how these young men evolve and transform in their style and performance all the way is quite touching.
To be an idol, one may just need strong support in marketing, styling and with good luck to be popular. To be a true star who shines, however, it needs to be a full-package work from the inside out.
After all, what touches people the most is the star's personal story- it involves the style (appearance being the key), personality and mindset. This story may not be perfect, yet needs to be authentic and charismatic enough to tackle the audience's heart. Same as what we've all gone through when growing up, this personal transformation will inevitably cost struggle, bitterness and tears all the way.
Each Mirror member has his character and all has demonstrated certain evolutions in both their personal and professional fields. Below I will pick Anson Lo as an example to share how good makeover matters to transform and prepare a pretty boy to set off on a journey to be a star. Hope it will be an inspiration to my readers to discover their personal style and shape their own personal story.
Anson Lo: From A Pretty Boy To Fashion Heartthrob
Among all Mirror members, Anson Lo may not be the most handsome one. Yet, no one can deny that he's easy to be recognized. He is a very good-looking man with delicate features & skin, a gentle way of talking and provocative power when he dances. Comparing to his teammate Jeremy who has a similar androgynous look, Anson obviously stands out more at this stage with his unique charisma- a mixture of innocence and class.
That explains why Anson Lo can rise rapidly by attracting a large fan base (from young girls, middle-aged housewives to grannies), and quickly become a heartthrob to fashion brands and magazines in the town.
Even with the blessing of talent and appearance, Anson Lo was not the most shining one in the competition given his remarkable dancing performance. Personally, I think his style should take the blame.
By the time Mirror was officially formed, Anson Lo gained more attention and his style had also further elevated. However, his overdone makeup, hairstyle, and total styling still didn't help bring out the best of him.
I have to say, hair - both style and colour- does play a critical role to determine the quality of Anson Lo's look. Image: ViuTV
Maybe his stylist finally realized that the dandiness can be Anson Lo's best asset, we see a full package of work to push the young man to this direction. The make-up becomes more refined, the wavy hairstyle compliments his curvy feminine features, medium to darker hair colour gives the quality. On top, we notice that his outfits are more carefully selected- shirts, suits, fine jewelry and a more thoughtful colour styling obviously make him look more "expensive" and dandy. The whole package obviously transforms Anson Lo's androgynous style to another level, which sets an important ground for him to step on the journey to be a real star.
Image: ViuTV, IG@ansonlht, Facebook@Mirror
Of course, a true star needs to be versatile enough to stay shining and eventually become legendary. When Anson Lo grows older, it is predicably that the current image may need to go through another transformation to be more age and status appropriate. Personally, I will be quite looking forward to the next transformation this young man could show us- and better to surprise us!
Would this be a possible style to explore? Being androgynous means that one has the maximum style possibility between two genders. I will be very interested in seeing Anson Lo tackle his masculine side in the near future, which might bring us a good surprise!