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Tue, Mar 02, 2010
The New Paper
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I don't fit in, but I don't care
by Tan Kee Yun

WHEN it comes to fighting stereotypes, it's been a long battle for Hong Kong singer-actress Denise Ho.

The androgynous 32-year-old protege of late Cantopop diva Anita Mui is also starring in Man And Woman, War And Peace alongside Ariel Lin.

She plays a talkshow host in the female camp which is the arch-rival to David Wang's male camp.

In an interview with The New Paper, Denise, sporting a neat short crop, admitted she felt the pressure "every single day and every minute" to live up to the public's expectations of her as an artiste.

She recalled: "When I first started out in the music scene more than 10 years ago, I didn't like wearing skirts. The Hong Kong media remarked then that my image was too different, it didn't fit into their (conventional) 'Type A' of singers (the conventional feminine singers in Hong Kong)."

"People had a hard time accepting me for who I am."

And as the years went by, the situation remained unchanged.

Wearing dresses

Said an exasperated Denise: "Just last month, the paparazzi went on about me wearing dresses. They even photographed me hanging out on the streets with my stylist, who happens to be male."

"They wrote, 'She's with a guy now, she has turned straight'! They can write what they want, I'm so used to it, I really don't care."

Her sexuality has always been fodder for the Hong Kong gossip mill.

She was said to be dating Cantopop artiste Wilfred Lau and later, fellow female singers Joey Yung and Theresa Fu.

Denise has denied all of her rumoured relationships.

What she admits to is that she is an "androgyne", which she defines as "someone having equal parts of toughness and sensitiveness.

"I might look masculine, but my fans who have followed my career closely would know that I have an extremely emotional side. It's revealed through my songs."

Having hit her 30s, Denise - who was last seen in the romantic comedy Look For A Star with Andy Lau and Shu Qi - does not deny that her biological clock is ticking.

She said: "I love kids a lot, so of course it'll be great to have kids. Actually, I've been thinking of adopting since I was 17."

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