After rescuing the man Feng posted on social media about water safety and advised people to take off heavy clothing before entering the water in winter if rescuing someone and to hold the person from behind, rather than the front.
A video taken of Feng hurriedly pulling off his clothes and diving in to save the man has since gone viral on the mainland internet. However, most people who commented on the story struggled with Feng’s red hair and tattoos on his right arm. The fact that Feng was wearing red underpants and socks led many, without any real evidence, to conclude he must be a member of a criminal gang as they stereotypically wear bright-coloured attire.
When asked about the bizarre public response, Feng said he did not care about the comments of others.
“I will not be affected by what other people say about me,” he said. “You don’t like my red hair, but I won’t dye it black. You said my clothes are not appropriate, but I won’t buy different ones to please you. In a word, I choose to do what I like.”
Feng said he often wears red clothes, not because of any gang associations but because he likes the colour and added that he dyed his hair red to celebrate the new year.
“You cannot judge a person or things from appearances,” said Feng.
Some people pointed out that the commentary about Feng’s clothes and hair was foolish.
“A person with dyed hair and tattoos is not necessarily a bad person, while a person wearing suits and leather shoes is not necessarily a good guy,” one person said on Baidu.
“Heroes should wear glasses?” Another person joked about the stereotypes applied to Feng.