Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Can you imagine a leading Taiwanese - or Asian - women's magazine asking five of its readers to pose for nude pictures for publication and discuss the topic of charisma? And can you imagine five readers replying yes, and the magazine ever appearing?
Maybe not, but in Europe, that happens, in a healthy sign of acceptance of non-sexual nudity. During a recent visit to the small Western European country of Belgium, I picked up the women's monthly Feeling, a magazine filled with color pictures of the latest cooking, gardening and fashion trends. To my surprise, on arriving at page 38, I stared at a double-page spread of five completely naked women. Admittedly, it wasn't full-frontal nudity, and two of the ladies were also hiding their breasts. But one of the women was pregnant with twins, and another was expecting her fourth baby.
The picture had the title "Who's Got It?" printed underneath, alluding that charisma is independent of wearing the right clothes. Quite a statement from a magazine which partly reports about fashion, and is aimed at women of my mother's generation, for whom I bought the publication in the first place.
The other pages featured one separate picture of each of the women, and their opinion of charisma. They say they feel good about their body, and take well care of it, especially after pregnancy, for those who already have children. They also say that when you have charisma, it's not because of the clothes you wear or don't wear, you either have it or you don't. Despite their nudity, they say that looks are not important, it's just feeling right about yourself that counts, confidence will shine through whether you're dressed or naked.
Hello, editors of Asian women's magazines, are you reading this?