Los Angeles Times

To fight K-pop's influence in China, boys train to be alpha males

BEIJING - It is 14 degrees the morning two dozen boys gather at a Beijing park to be transformed into alpha males. A reluctant winter sun casts silver light between treacherously cold shadows. The wind bites, worsening nerves as the boys - the youngest 7 - prepare to strip to their waists for a run.

One of the watching mothers is worried. She wants her son to grow into a macho male, but it's so cold. She tells him he can keep his shirt on, or perhaps skip the run through Olympic Forest Park.

This is the kind of "feminine" parenting that coach Tang Haiyan fears can ruin boys. Tang, a former schoolteacher, founded the Real Man Training Club to combat what he and others in China see as a masculinity crisis - part of a backlash against the makeup- and earring-wearing male TV, film and pop idols who have gained immense popularity here.

"If you are promoting these effeminate

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