She became famous because of a series of self released pictures that depicted herself in pigtails and a traditional Chinese dress. Chinese netizens have been more than supportive, instantly making the girl, raised in Southern China, an internet sensation.
Cosplay isn't new in China. Right across the street from my office in Beijing at the University of International Business and Economics, there is a big cosplay club, and next to my favorite drinking hole there a store dedicated to making cosplay outfits. Nan Sheng Guniang (南笙姑娘), or Southern raised girl, SRG, rose to prominence for a series of strange reasons
Chinese netizens say they are drawn to SRG due to her retro-look and her air of innocence. Instead of baring skin or being naughty, she looks pure and innocent. Other netizens have remarked that SRG looks like a younger Vivian Hsu. The Chinese media has at one point even labeled her as the new Chinese "otaku" goddess.
According to the Baidu wiki, SRG's real name is Lou Xiaomeng. She is 21 years-old from Sichuan province, and she is some what of a pseudo-celebrity, having appeared on a Chinese and South Korean produced television show. Apart from what little we know of SRG, rumors have started coming out of the woodwork about how she is a lesbian and that Nan Sheng is just a homonym in Chinese for Nan Sheng (男生) which means boy.
One thing is for sure though, she proves that one can become a Chinese internet icon without resorting to showing skin and being just an all around terrible person.
Photos retrieved from Baidu, originally from Nanshengguniang's account on Douban