Breaking Steretypes

Watch: Everyone’s got a crush on this all-girl boy band from China

‘A group advocating freedom, not bounded by frames.’

Meet the newest, refreshingly subversive “boy band” to hit the musical charts – Acrush.

This is the Chinese band’s contribution to a world busily fighting for LGBTQ rights and breaking gender barriers. Acrush is an all-girl team, and its five members – Lu Keran, An Junxi, Peng Xichen, Min Junqian, Lin Fan – aged 18-24, like to dress androgynously in shorts and loose shirts.

That makes them “a group advocating freedom, not bounded by frames”, said Zhou Xiaobai, the agent of the band, in an interview with Quartz. The band members want to specifically avoid using the terms “boy” or “girl” and would instead like to be known as “meishaonian”, which means “handsome youths.”

The band was brought together by the entertainment company Zhejiang Huati Culture Communication Co and is part of the sports brand Fantasy Football Confederation (FFC). This means that not only do the band members wear sporty, androgynous clothes, but they also play football on stage. Wang Tianhai, head of the entertainment company, said it makes his pop stars “sunny, healthy, and full of positive energy.” It is probably not a coincidence that the Chinese government has placed special emphasis on football.

The official name of the band is therefor FFC-Acrush. The A stands for the Greek god Adonis, who is believed to be the epitome of masculine beauty. “We’re a girl band. But we look more like beautiful young men, not young girls. So the positioning fits us more,” said band member Min.

For a band this progressive and so valiantly challenging stereotypes, it is perplexing why the members are forbidden by company policy from speaking of their own sexuality in public. China is still a conservative country, and though gender issues are becoming a important concern, like in India, feminism is becoming a politically-sensitive issue. Wang, however, stresses that in the end, it is their music and not their image that will determine their success.

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Advice from an ex-robber on how to keep your home safe

Tips on a more hands-on approach of keeping your house secure.

Home, a space that is entirely ours, holds together our entire world. Where our children grow-up, parents grow old and we collect a lifetime of memories, home is a feeling as much as it’s a place. So, what do you do when your home is eyed by miscreants who prowl the neighbourhood night and day, plotting to break in? Here are a few pre-emptive measures you can take to make your home safe from burglars:

1. Get inside the mind of a burglar

Before I break the lock of a home, first I bolt the doors of the neighbouring homes. So that, even if someone hears some noise, they can’t come to help.

— Som Pashar, committed nearly 100 robberies.

Burglars study the neighbourhood to keep a check on the ins and outs of residents and target homes that can be easily accessed. Understanding how the mind of a burglar works might give insights that can be used to ward off such danger. For instance, burglars judge a house by its front doors. A house with a sturdy door, secured by an alarm system or an intimidating lock, doesn’t end up on the burglar’s target list. Upgrade the locks on your doors to the latest technology to leave a strong impression.

Here are the videos of 3 reformed robbers talking about their modus operandi and what discouraged them from robbing a house, to give you some ideas on reinforcing your home.

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2. Survey your house from inside out to scout out weaknesses

Whether it’s a dodgy back door, a misaligned window in your parent’s room or the easily accessible balcony of your kid’s room, identify signs of weakness in your home and fix them. Any sign of neglect can give burglars the idea that the house can be easily robbed because of lax internal security.

3. Think like Kevin McCallister from Home Alone

You don’t need to plant intricate booby traps like the ones in the Home Alone movies, but try to stay one step ahead of thieves. Keep your car keys on your bed-stand in the night so that you can activate the car alarm in case of unwanted visitors. When out on a vacation, convince the burglars that the house is not empty by using smart light bulbs that can be remotely controlled and switched on at night. Make sure that your newspapers don’t pile up in front of the main-door (a clear indication that the house is empty).

4. Protect your home from the outside

Collaborate with your neighbours to increase the lighting around your house and on the street – a well-lit neighbourhood makes it difficult for burglars to get-away, deterring them from targeting the area. Make sure that the police verification of your hired help is done and that he/she is trustworthy.

While many of us take home security for granted, it’s important to be proactive to eliminate even the slight chance of a robbery. As the above videos show, robbers come up with ingenious ways to break in to homes. So, take their advice and invest in a good set of locks to protect your doors. Godrej Locks offer a range of innovative locks that are un-pickable and un-duplicable. To secure your house, see here.

The article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Godrej Locks and not by the Scroll editorial team.