Slice of Life: Baby Love
Psuedo-models own this town. Every now and then, someone might suggest that the money-bag tycoons, swimming in their vats of cash, or politicians, probably in jest, rule the lives of Hongkongers. But the truth is, nothing really captures the hearts and minds of people in this city, and invades every waking part of our lives like pseudo-celebrity lang mo.
They’re the ones who have us fighting old women for free tabloid papers every morning, tuning into their interviews on terrible TV shows for their pearls of wisdom, and keeping people up and erect at night with ambitions of being the next Kissy Chrissie. Everywhere you go, from ubiquitous convenience stores, newsstands, on the side of buses, trams and in the MTR, they’re there, plastered on virtually every physical surface with their super chok poses, puppy dog eyes and pushed up breasts. And while the Hong Kong paparazzi hound them in a scarily vicious way, there’s something ironic about the fact that, every now and then, there’s that feeling like they’re stalking us. They’re inescapable. And increasingly so.
So, you may have heard that Angelababy – who has gone from tacky lang mo origins to modelling some serious fashion(ish) – has just opened a café, the imaginatively named Baby Café, where you can dine surrounded by the sheer, heart-stopping beauty of Angelababy. It’s generally what you’d expect – a plethora of photos of Angelababy looking hot, the occasional Angelababy reference on the menu, and, in short, a celebration of all the important things that she has done for the world – but, when we checked it out, we were a touch surprised by the people who had made the pilgrimage to Langham Place. There weren’t just teen idol wannabees and pervy, lang mo worshippers (although they were here) wanting to bask in the novelty of it all, but there were plenty of others who had been magnetically drawn to the lure of ‘the baby’. Like a table of serious-looking suits who had chosen to discuss big business under the colossal photo of French maid Angelababy. And the cool mid-20s couples sporting glasses with misplaced lenses, stopping in for a bite. And a lone, middle-aged woman, enjoying the titillating photos on the walls. It was clear: no-one is immune from lang mo fever.
What started as some simple photo shoots, short skirts, suggestive necklines and the occasional accidental spill of toothpaste has become a proper – almost respectable? – commercial behemoth which shows no sign of stopping. But what happens from here? Will we see a bar where you can drink cocktails through straws modelled on Jessica C’s legs? Or maybe a modern Hong Kong version of that failed Fashion Cafe wherean elite coalition of pseudo-models can band together to form the Lang Mo Café and we could all be hyptonised by their sheer collective emptiness? Or how about a theme park where you can ride down a slide in the shape of Chrissie Chau’s bountiful bosoms?
You do wonder how far it can go. Presumably there’ll be a point where Hongkongers say, ‘I’m sorry Angelababy, you’re hot, but this has gotta stop’. But that’s a long way off yet – and we expect plenty more ridiculous ventures to come before her bubble bursts.