Yajiao’s Blog

Brother Sharp-The Most Handsome Vagrant

Posted on: 08/03/2010

Recently, the most popular figure discussed by Chinese netizens is not a celebrity or political officials, but a vagrant. With the cult following of netizens, this vagrant drew attention from the media as well.

A photo of a homeless man taken by an amateur photographer when trying his new camera was posted on the Internet. Because of his good looks and sharp dress sense, Chinese netizens call him as Brother Sharp. A growing number of Internet users become his fans and keep tracking the latest news of the unidentified man.

According to the photo, he is wearing a rag-tag but well co-ordinated overcoat on top of a leather jacket. The match of his clothes even similar as the latest Dolce & Gabbana collection The expression showing in his eyes is described as ‘deep and penetrating’ by his fans. With a cigarette between his fingers, the confident position of his walking is like a model. He also wears women’s clothes sometimes, which has emphasised his status as a fashion icon. He was compared with popular Asian actors like Takeshi Kaneshiro or the Oscar-nominated Ken Watanabe. Several netizens have dubbed Brother Sharp as the “most handsome underdog of this century”.

He is one of the most talked about personalities in Chinese cyberspace today. Chinese netizens started the “human flesh search ”, and found that he is usually wandering in the streets of Ningbo, Zhejiang province. In the online posts, Internet users write about his cool attitude while asking for money from passersby on the streets. The news coverage of him is full of Chinese commercial websites and social networking websites. The discussion of Brother Sharp has even spread to other Asian countries like Korea and Japan, who say they find it hard to believe that such a handsome man could be homeless. The Independent in the UK also reported this unique vagrant.

Because of the popularity online, he also attracts the attention from the society. However, a worker at the Ningbo homeless center said his colleagues contacted Brother Sharp several times and tried to help him, but had been refused. Homeless people are vulnerable. Actually, Brother Sharp may by mentally disturbed, the person who first posted Brother Sharp’s photographs mentioned and asked netizens to stop trying to chase him. Some journalists tried to interview him, he was scared and could not speak fluently.

With the help of netizens and the attention of media, these homeless people receive more assistance from the public. Brother Sharp was sent to the mental hospital for treatment. His family that lost contact with him for over 10 years found him from the media report. Finally, today, with the accompany of journalists and some of his family members, Brother Sharp back to his hometown. According to the report, to welcome his back, his home village is like celebrating a festival.

Based on my experience and observation, I found that Chinese netizens are very interesting, kind-hearted and justice. They are playing an increasingly important role in shaping media coverage. Many social problems are firstly raised from the Internet, then reported by the journalists and become a public concern.


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