Why is China blurring men's ears?

A contestant on the Chinese reality TV show "Little Sister's Flower Shop" is seen with an ear lobe blurred.

(CNN)Chinese TV personality Jing Boran has something on his ear that authorities don't want you to see.

In the latest episode of the popular Chinese reality TV show "I, Actor," the young star's face is digitally altered to blur out his earrings.
Chinese actor Jing Boran is seen with what appears to be digitally altered ears on "I, Actor."
Jing, who held lead roles in Chinese box office hits "Monster Hunt" and "Time Raiders," is not the only victim of the alleged "earring ban." Images circulating on Weibo, China's version of Twitter, show several other young male stars with blurred circles on their ears.
    It's unclear if Chinese regulators have issued a specific directive barring men from being shown wearing earrings, or whether TV stations are reacting to a shift in what is considered culturally appropriate.
    Last year, China's media regulator banned TV stations from featuring actors with tattoos. Depictions of "hip hop culture, sub-culture and immoral culture," were also banned according to Chinese state media.
    Grace Leung, a professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong's School of Journalism and Communications, said the decision to blur earrings is likely influenced by the government's desire to minimize Western impact in China's pop culture.
    "This is a consistent policy of purify their pop culture from the Western influence and strengthening the Chinese characteristics of manhood," Leung, who teaches media regulation and policy issues, told CNN in an email.