24-year-old Chinese pop star Zhang Muyi is shouting from the rooftops (of the internet) about his love for his girlfreind, Canadian model Akama Miki… Canadian child model, we should say: Akama happens to be 12.
They recently came out as a couple on Weibo (a popular Chinese social networking site), where they post constant messages of love and devotion, like this one (from Zhang): “Today we’re super happy, laughing, being crazy, had a nap and practised singing. I said to Miki, ‘I’m going to be with you as you grow, I’ll always wait for you.’ ” And, of course, lots and lots of uncomfortable photos that emphasize their age difference:
As another example, Akama recently turned 12–they met when she was 8 (he was hired to be her music coach) but began dating when she was 11–and Zhang offered these unsettling birthday wishes, “I simply can’t wait for these next four birthdays of yours to pass, I’m counting down each one.” Which we’re assuming is an age of consent thing. You’d think, as Jezebel points out, this would cause a furious shitstorm but… instead their one million-strong legion of fans are captivated. And regularly offer messages of support about love knowing no bounds, etc.
Which leads us to the next point–which we hope is the weird, dark light at the end of this horrible tunnel–it’s probably just the world’s worst publicity stunt: Akama is launching a pop music career and, naturally, they decided to reveal their “courageous love” right before releasing a duet:
In case you can’t watch the video, the absolute most disturbing part occurs in the first few seconds, when Akama is shown writing her name in the tentative, open, uncertain script that all young children use. Because she is 12. The rest is mostly shots of them in the studio, side-by-side as they lip sync emotionlessly.
Responding to the allegations of a publicity stunt, Zhang released this statement:
Many people have doubted us and our love story. There’s nothing we can do about this, nor do we feel the need to prove anything to these people. All we can do is continue to persevere with our love, our life, and being together.