China is a homogeneous country. This comes from thousands of years of closed borders. While the novelty of round eyes, blonde or red hair and brown skin is wearing off in the cities, these qualities are still rarely seen in the countryside. Being red-headed in China still attracts attention.
Whether or not a westerner has red-hair or brown skin, being "non-Chinese" is rare in some parts of China. I believe that my candid photo, taken when I was not paying attention, is on walls all over China, not to mention all the posed pictures and selfies I have taken over the years.
Sometimes this celebrity status is overwhelming for travelers. I agree that at times, it is exhausting. However, I tell travelers to enjoy their two weeks of fame. Smile and wave.