updated 16 Jan 2012, 05:18
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Fri, May 07, 2010
Urban, The Straits Times
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Matilda Tao (Celebrity mums part 4)
by Hong Xin Yi

Not for nothing is Matilda Tao considered the Oprah Winfrey of Taiwan. In fact, the quick-witted host of programmes like talent show One Million Star is so at ease with dispensing amusing anecdotes that one might justifiably rate her as an altogether more entertaining public figure than the pious Winfrey.

Tao, 40, was in town last week as the face of Japanese cosmetics brand Cosme Decorte.

She revelled in talking about her family. She and her husband, 36-year-old actor Li Li-jen have a daughter, Doudou, four, and a son, Hsiao-lung, one.

Recently, she recalls, her daughter asked her the classic birds-and-bees question 'How did I get here?'

Says Tao: 'I didn't describe which body part goes where, but I talked about the sperm meeting the egg and all that. Then she asked me: 'Er, wasn't I born in a hospital?''

With just a touch of make-up and a fair complexion, she looks every inch a contented yummy mummy.

But while she has remained an A-list host after having children, Tao readily says that work has taken a backseat since she became a mother.

'In the past, my schedule was always packed. Now, I turn down many jobs because I put my childrens' needs first.'

Even her beauty regimen has been simplified, 'because I only have time to do these things after the kids are taken care of and I have bought the groceries and made dinner. Regimens that require many different products and many different steps are just impossible for me. That's why Cosme Decorte works for me - the products are easy and convenient to use, and the textures feel so good that I really feel like a queen'.

She also does not wear make-up when she is not on camera and is not considering going under the knife anytime soon. 'Being a celebrity mother can be stressful because everybody is scrutinising your figure and whether you have a double chin. But I figure everybody has photos in which they look ugly,' she says.

'I think plastic surgery requires a lot of courage - but then again, once a woman has given birth, she is not scared of anything. You can send them into battle.'

If her popularity as a host starts to slide, Tao says she is ready to try other things.

'I can write, go into radio, give more talks, travel, take up photography, be a screenwriter - there are still a lot of things I want to do. But I still like to host. I believe you shouldn't be too resistant towards things that you are naturally good at, that you don't have to think too hard about and still do well. But I do work hard at it.'

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

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