A boy band known as Acrush is the hottest craze in China. The “A” in the group’s name is borrowed from Adonis, the Greek god considered to be the epitome of male beauty. But the members of Acrush are not really male. The band is made up of five young, androgynous women.
Though the group has yet to debut a music video, its fan page on the social media platform Weibo has 900,000 followers, Quartz reports. (Katy Perry, by way of comparison has around one million.) Female fans refer to the members of Acrush as “husbands” — a term that is usually bestowed upon male heartthrobs like Justin Bieber.
Acrush was reportedly inspired by Li Yuchun, a pop star who is known for flaunting an androgynous style that “defied Chinese norms,” according to Time. The band’s members do not use gendered pronouns, opting instead for “meishaonian,” a genderless designation that means “handsome youth” in Chinese.
The group is the brainchild of Zhejiang Huati Culture Communication Co. Ltd, an entertainment startup that recruits talent from across the country to form market-friendly pop bands. Acrush belongs to a cohort of pop bands that Huati will debut throughout April and May, in conjunction with the sports brand Fantasy Football Confederation (FFC). So Acrush is formally known as “FFC-Acrush,” and like all FFC stars, the group will be expected to incorporate soccer into their performances.
Acrush’s agent, Zhou Xiaobai, deliberately set out to form an androgynous pop group, and spent six months searching for the right stars to join the band. Lu Keran, An Junxi, Peng Xichen, Min Junqian, and Lin Fan were ultimately selected as the perfect candidates. Zhou told Quartz that all five members of the band had been dressing like boys long before the selection process.
The band has struck a chord, Zhou told Quartz, because it advocates for “freedom, not bounded by frames.”
Read the full story at Quartz.