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Beautiful and Bad Women: Media Feminism and The Politics of Its Construction in Taiwan
Unformatted Document Text:  6 Bitch,’” United Daily News, 2001-12-10) Virtuous women belong to history. Women of the present are independent and beautiful. Sometimes, they engage in naughty/bad behavior and play tricks. Some men say that they do not love women who are not bad…. “Bad Girls,” Marie Claire 2000/5, p.146 The 80’s and 90’s were times when women’s autonomy was accentuated and when traditional images of women were dismissed. But the world we live now is very different. It is trendy to explore and express your feminine allure. Call it flirting or feminine seductiveness, the so-called feminine allure can be used not only to attract attention from the opposite sex, but is a social tool for gaining popular approval. (“Seductively Bad Women”, Elle, 2000/April p.162) These three quotes all point to the image of a beautiful-and-bad woman as “having breasts and brain,” “independent,” and “dare to be yourself.” This new feminist subject is grounded in a new kind of “feminism” which distinguishes itself from traditional feminine virtues. Here, I would like to use “Out of the Closet: Xiao-hung Zhang’s view on clothing,” published in Bazzar, June 2001, to talk about the concept of beautiful-and-bad woman and the kind of new feminism it represents. This article features three black and white photos of Taiwan’s prominent feminist, Zhang Xiao-hung. The first photo is a close-up of Zhang, which takes up half of a page, the other two photos, taking up about a quarter of a page each, are medium shots of Zhang with bookcases in the background. Under the title of this article reads: “Inside our body there exists an unconscious passion for clothing, no matter you are honest about how you dress or not. Dressed in white shirt, long black skirt, and a green scarf, Zhang Xiao-hung joyfully talks about ‘women’s irrational passion for clothing.’” In this article, Bazzar chose the beautiful, celebrated feminist activist Zhang to talk about her recent book, Absolute Obsession with Clothing, emphasizing her appearance, clothing, and her irrational obsession with fashion: “It is a good thing to like fashion because it brings me a lot of pleasure. I am not going to feel guilty about it because I am worth it” (163). As for sexual politics, “men who wear Armani take on a more feminine aura and women, more masculine. A kind of androgynous ambiguity is born when one wears Armani” (162-163). In this article, Zhang is constructed as the representative of the beautiful-and-bad-woman feminism—beautiful, because she cares about her appearance; bad, because she does not feel guilty about her obsession with fashion,

Authors: Yang, Fangchih.
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6
Bitch,’” United Daily News, 2001-12-10)
Virtuous women belong to history. Women of the present are independent and
beautiful. Sometimes, they engage in naughty/bad behavior and play tricks.
Some men say that they do not love women who are not bad….
“Bad Girls,”
Marie Claire 2000/5, p.146
The 80’s and 90’s were times when women’s autonomy was accentuated and
when traditional images of women were dismissed. But the world we live now is
very different. It is trendy to explore and express your feminine allure. Call it
flirting or feminine seductiveness, the so-called feminine allure can be used not
only to attract attention from the opposite sex, but is a social tool for gaining
popular approval. (“Seductively Bad Women”, Elle, 2000/April p.162)
These three quotes all point to the image of a beautiful-and-bad woman as
“having breasts and brain,” “independent,” and “dare to be yourself.” This new
feminist subject is grounded in a new kind of “feminism” which distinguishes itself
from traditional feminine virtues. Here, I would like to use “Out of the Closet:
Xiao-hung Zhang’s view on clothing,” published in Bazzar, June 2001, to talk about
the concept of beautiful-and-bad woman and the kind of new feminism it represents.
This article features three black and white photos of Taiwan’s prominent feminist,
Zhang Xiao-hung. The first photo is a close-up of Zhang, which takes up half of a
page, the other two photos, taking up about a quarter of a page each, are medium
shots of Zhang with bookcases in the background. Under the title of this article reads:
“Inside our body there exists an unconscious passion for clothing, no matter you are
honest about how you dress or not. Dressed in white shirt, long black skirt, and a
green scarf, Zhang Xiao-hung joyfully talks about ‘women’s irrational passion for
clothing.’” In this article, Bazzar chose the beautiful, celebrated feminist activist
Zhang to talk about her recent book, Absolute Obsession with Clothing, emphasizing
her appearance, clothing, and her irrational obsession with fashion: “It is a good thing
to like fashion because it brings me a lot of pleasure. I am not going to feel guilty
about it because I am worth it” (163). As for sexual politics, “men who wear Armani
take on a more feminine aura and women, more masculine. A kind of androgynous
ambiguity is born when one wears Armani” (162-163).
In this article, Zhang is constructed as the representative of the
beautiful-and-bad-woman feminism—beautiful, because she cares about her
appearance; bad, because she does not feel guilty about her obsession with fashion,


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