For some 860 years, Beijing has been the capital of China. From the Forbidden City, the royal palace within Beijing, centralized imperial powers have ruled the rest of the nation with mighty reign for more than half a century. Because of the vastness of China, the city state of Beijing has a huge and long-lasting influence that can rival any major Western city. As a result of that, being a citizen of Beijing means being closer to the era-defining characters and events, that is, to history itself. Therefore it’s not surprising that even in modern China today, people describe the Beijingnese as still regarding themselves as being at the center of the universe, and the fact that they have been living next to the “kings and queens” for generations makes them intrinsically better than the people elsewhere. Or so goes the stereotype.
But even as a stereotype, the female half of the population gets a fair share of it. Beijingnese girls are said to be proud, strong and boyish. They are independent, cultured, at ease in social situations and large-hearted – not at all like the image of small, sensitive and reliant southern girls. They are not the scheming kind, although they won’t let themselves being taken advantage of either. The native-born Beijingnese girls don’t feel the need to rely on their husbands for money or status, because they can get very far all by themselves. They are also quite humorous and like to tease. Usually the closer they regard your relationship as a friend or lover, the more teased you will get.
Another reminder to non-Beijingnese is that, just like how the imperial court can always attract talents from all over the place, many girls you meet in Beijing are not native-born or are second generation. Because there have been many outstanding young women who like to live in Beijing, they have made the female culture there more merit-based, and not so much based on the family backgrounds. This is why Beijingnese women highly value education. They also subscribe to a subtler aesthetics than the rest of the northern states, where tastes are certainly less sophisticated.