She's not yet 3, but Bai Cairan already has an agent and a diapers commercial under her belt. Why? Because the toddler in China loves to eat. The Wall Street Journal catches up with the odd phenomenon of little Bai, better known to legions of fans as Xiaoman. In scores of videos her mom posts online—see examples here—Xiaoman can be seen happily chowing down on whatever is put in front of her. In a nation where eating videos are a bit of a sensation, Xiaoman appears to be the youngest star in the odd genre. Last year, Quartz and the Daily Mail were among those to take note of her burgeoning fame on the Chinese app Meipai. Though people have expressed concern that Xiaoman may be eating too much, her mom posted a video of a visit to the doctor to prove that her daughter is healthy.
The amount of food she eats "looks big in the video, but it is very little,” says mom Duan Yu, who stays off camera and says the original intent wasn't to make her daughter famous. She merely began posting videos of her growing up, and people began to become fascinated with her non-finicky eating habits. Duan says it might help that she limits snacks and doesn't ever give the toddler seconds, even if she cries for more. Xiaoman now has an agent at Models International who says the appeal isn't complicated. She "eats everything by herself and appreciates it," the agent explains. "That's why people love her so much." (This 6-year-old boy will only eat one thing.)