“Modelling and Etiquette” might not sound like a real major to you. But to students at the Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College in Shanghai, they’re getting this very real Bachelor’s degree to help them climb the ladder in this increasingly social media-focused world. It’s called “Wanghong”, which literally means “hot on the web.”
Don’t be so quick to laugh- those kids you see promoting hair care products on Instagram and the vloggers on Youtube with CLICKBAIT TITLES IN ALL CAPS!!! are making more money than you or I ever will. They’re getting endorsement deals, agents and offers to appear in movies and television. All they have to do is know how to present themselves and navigate the industry. And this industry is worth billions of dollars.
“I like dressing myself up really pretty and take pictures. I feel like this major really suits me,” said 21-year-old Jiang Mengna.
The students, most of whom are women, learn how to do things like perform in front of a camera and pick the right outfits. They earn money posting vlogs about their daily lives online, and continue doing so until a company approaches them with an endorsement opportunity. Sounds like a pretty stress-free career path- and now that everyone and their mother has a camera on their phone, it’s easier than ever to go viral.
It’s not quite the same as going to school for specifically marketing or acting. These Internet celebs can make their own hours, film from their own home, and choose their own content to post. (That is, until they become famous enough that they move to LA and work with a manager)
So what we can take from this is that we live in a pretty shallow and vapid world. But that’s nothing new. And we might as well take advantage of it.