Militia in miniskirts steals show at parade
With impeccable make-up and eye-catching miniskirts, the phalanxes of female soldiers are the talk of the town after the massive military parade strode through Tiananmen Square on Thursday, impressing the world.
Forget the intercontinental missiles and state-of-the-art tanks. The troupe and their miniskirts aroused heated discussion on the internet, as their pictures flooded forums.
Standing out from a sea of military green and navy blue was the array of female militia in pink skirts, white above-the-calf boots and white berets. Internet users immediately launched 'human flesh search engines' to investigate the two leaders of the troop, whom they called the 'most beautiful phalanx marchers'.
Before the parade, Zhang Xiaofei and Zhao Na had already made headlines given their backgrounds as models and ritual girls in last year's Olympic Games.
As pictures of them doing the goose-step hit the internet, many curious minds dug further and found that Zhao was a model for Audi and Mercedes-Benz print advertisements, and Zhang had modelled for L'Oreal and mainland brand Bosideng apparel, the Huaxi Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
The pair's modelling shots - including some of them wearing bikinis - have already spread on blogs and other forums. The shift from model to marcher apparently did not come easily: the pair reportedly had to work extra hard - doing 20 more push-ups and 500 more goose-steps daily - since training began in December. Both are originally from Shandong , stand 1.78 metres tall and are fourth-year students at China Women's University in Beijing.
Another detail during the parade that was much talked about was a smile on the otherwise grim face of President Hu Jintao when the women marched past the Gate of Heavenly Peace.
Perhaps it was the broadcast director's sense of humour to intentionally highlight Hu's pleasure; the camera quickly panned towards a smiling Hu, clapping his hands, when the women's corps came into sight. For the rest of the parade, Hu appeared rather stern and wooden.
One commentator said on the popular forum Tianya that he was disappointed to see Hu smiling at the women's militia.
'Hu fell in my estimation after I saw him so delighted when seeing the female soldiers,' he said.
But another post said: 'I smiled when I saw the female soldiers. I think Hu looked more friendly when he smiled, too.'