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Ah Lian (Chinese: 阿莲; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: a-lián) is a pejorative term applied to a certain group of ethnic Chinese girls in Southeast Asia, especially Singapore and Malaysia. These Chinese girls, in their teens and twenties, are usually found in larger cities in the region. In Singapore, they usually hang out in Bugis Junction, Bugis Street, Orchard Road, especially Cineleisure, and shopping malls throughout the country. In Malaysia, they are usually found around Midvalley, Sungai Wang Plaza, Low Yat Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, SS2 and are regarded as bimbos, and are stereotyped as anti-intellectual, superficial, materialistic, and shallow.
Ah Lians are commonly stereotyped as having hair dyed in bright colours, and wearing outdated Japanese fashion, although how much of this is true is debatable. Most of them also like to wear hot pants or mini skirts. Most Ah Lians have straightened long hair, usually with thick fringes. They also tend to wear colored eye contacts to make their eyes look big. They like walking in big groups where most of the people in the group are Ah Lians or Ah Bengs and make their presence known by talking loudly.
They enjoy taking self-portraits of themselves and usually imitate the way Japanese girls take their pictures, making their eyes look big and puffing out their cheeks. They also take pictures by putting a horizontal 'Peace sign' over their eyes, pressing a fist facing outwards against their puffed cheek. They also apply a very sharp tone in their speech which they classify as "cute". Another distinct feature of an Ah Lian is they swear in most of their conversations similarly to their male counterparts, Ah Bengs. Ah Lians are stereotyped as very loose sexually.
Ah Lians commonly speak a kind of hybrid mix of Singlish or Manglish and Chinese, or Chinese-related dialects. It is also common for the grammar from these dialects to cross over to English usage, creating English phrases with Chinese grammar.
The term "Lao Lian" is sometimes applied to older women ("lao" means old in Chinese) who exhibit similar characteristics as Ah Lians.
- Ladette (England)
- Millie (Belfast, Northern Ireland)
- Naco (Mexico)
- Ned (Scotland)
- Scanger (Dublin, Ireland)
- White Trash (United States)
- Xiaxue (Singapore)
- Beng Huat Chua (2003) Life is not complete without shopping for bimbo products: consumption culture in Singapore, Singapore University Press
Definitions of 'Ah Lian':