At the tender age of 25, Yang Bingyang has carved out a career in modelling, in acting, as a casual event host and as a writer. But Yang is better known on the mainland as an internet celebrity under the name of Ayawawa, a name she prefers. Ayawawa shot to virtual fame a few years ago for her unflinching and controversial postings about relationships and her occasional bragging about her beauty and intelligence. Her infamous statement that 'all women who are prettier than me are not as smart and all those who are smarter than me are not as pretty' started out as a chat-room signature before drawing a barrage of unflattering comments and the attention of 'human flesh searches' in which Web surfers tried to dig up dirt about her. Criticised for being too narcissistic, Ayawawa said she spoke of nothing but a simple truth about herself. 'Just as Han Han [a rebellious but popular young mainland writer] once said, Chinese people are used to talking humbly, and you're considered normal speaking that way and you're labelled abnormal if you talk sincerely,' she said. After her first taste of the internet 12 years ago, Ayawawa spent many of her formative years online and is at the vanguard of a younger generation that values individuality and freedom of expression. When she graduated from Southwest University's law school in Chongqing in 2005, she decided not to look for a full-time job and opted instead to freelance, an increasingly popular trend among her generation. Ayawawa said the country had come a long way in terms of tangible improvements since her earliest memories. For instance, in the past an ordinary family might have to save for years and even have to borrow some money before they could afford a television set. But she said she was particularly impressed by what she perceived as a gradual move towards democracy and the country's strides towards greater openness. 'China has increasingly adopted the mindset of a major nation that is powerful enough to face up to the media glare,' she said. On a personal level, Ayawawa said she was not worried that her high profile and sophistication would scare off anybody interested in her, even though she lived in a culture where women were not valued for their wit and self-esteem. 'I don't worry - I will marry myself off one day,' she said with a grin, adding that she would not let her beauty and wit get in the way of finding that special someone. Ayawawa said she did not particularly oppose sex before marriage as long as there was a loving relationship. 'Not every relationship leads to marriage, but we should at least start one with that goal in mind.'