updated 6 Apr 2011, 11:26
user id password
Wed, Apr 06, 2011
China Daily/Asia News Network
Email Print Decrease text size Increase text size
Skin is in as Chinese women take the plunge

For Lilia Li, a 24-year-old who has the perfect curves after hours of yoga, the best outfit is a T-shirt with a plunging V-neck, tight shorts and a pair of killer stilettos.

Li said she doesn't like baggy T-shirts and trousers because they cover the great shape of a woman's body and make women lose their feminine appeal.

"Today, the fashion is to show your own individuality," Li said. "If tight short skirts can make you feel more confident about yourself and even get some man's attention, then why not wear them?"

She is among a growing number of women in cities across China who like showing off their body with mini-skirts and low-cut dresses.

Wang Yang, a lingerie designer with Aimer, a top underwear brand in China, said the trend is obvious.

"Most of the underwear was designed as high-waist and big panties in the past when there were no low-rise trousers," Wang said.

"Today, all types of panties are designed to match different kinds of pants, such as low-cut bikinis, thongs and seamless underwear. They can all be found in a lingerie store."

Wang said Chinese women are more aware of their curves today, which is why the demand for push-up bras - they have padding inside the cups' linings - and the deep-V bras has increased in recent years, making women appear like they have larger breasts and sometimes a beautiful cleavage.

Luo Huilan, a professor of women's studies at China Women's University in Beijing, said as society changes and as our mentalities transform from the effects of mass media, our attitudes toward the way we dress have changed, too.

"At one time, no woman would wear a blouse that revealed her cleavage, but now people consider it as a way to be sexy and express their personality," Luo said.

Zhou Qunying, a sociologist from the Beijing Normal University, said the change is not a big deal.

"Some of the changes might challenge the traditional Chinese style, but it means that our society is more diversified and tolerant," Zhou said.

Zhou said the younger generations are looking for something different from their parents, something unique and sexy.

"As long as they don't express themselves too much in the workplace or at other formal occasions, they should be fine," Zhou added.

But Vega Wang, a 24-year-old dress designer who studied in the UK for years, said young Chinese women are blindly following the fashion trends.

"We rarely saw a woman wearing a bikini while shopping in the streets in Western countries," said Wang, who graduated from the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London.

"Every design has an occasion to fit in, but few young Chinese woman know about it.

"In general, Western women naturally have bigger breasts, buttocks and longer legs, while Asian women are relatively flatter with longer torsos," Wang said, explaining why Chinese women can't often fit into Western designs.

"Asian people are not as open as Westerners, and we used to outline our figures with traditional clothes such as the cheongsam rather than expose the breasts and legs."

Professor Luo said women today are living under enormous pressure in a society where men tend to place a significantly higher value on a woman's appearance.

"Today, the exterior beauty is more emphasized, which is wrong and superficial," said Luo. "The real beauty is reflected in one's soul, not in her appearance."

Zhang Binqiao, a Chinese designer of the qipao, a traditional Chinese dress with a high-neckline and long slit, said being sexy doesn't need to include the cleavage.

Qipao, considered a conservative and elegant dress, can also accentuate femininity.

"Being sexy has nothing to do with revealing the body," said Zhang. "Showing too much leaves little to the imagination. With the imagination and confidence, women can be sexy."


readers' comments
Lynn complains that the hot weather causes her choice to wear thin, light and loose clothings.
Well, she chooses not to wear bra during summer.
Not sure if she feels cooler but she does show off her well developed breasts and nipples.
She is beautiful!
Posted by Superidiot on Fri, 23 Jul 2010 at 17:48 PM

Copyright © 2011 Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Co. Regn. No. 198402868E. All rights reserved.