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Nearly being exposed is great exposure

Taiwanese model-actress Mico Chang is perfectly fine with being best known for her wardrobe malfunction at the 2011 Miss Asia Pageant. The embarrassing incident helped Chang with her modelling and acting career. -TNP
Mervin Tay

Fri, Feb 22, 2013
The New Paper

It got her all the exposure she wanted, without her really being exposed.

Which is why Taiwanese model-actress Mico Chang is perfectly fine with being best known - to date, at least - for her wardrobe malfunction at the 2011 Miss Asia Pageant.

The 29-year-old, who has been modelling since 2007, is in town filming local police movie re:solve.

It also stars Taiwanese model-actor Chris Lee Chih-cheng and local actors Zheng Geping, Pamelyn Chee, Zhu Houren and Xiang Yun.

The shoot is expected to take one month, and the movie is tentatively slated to be released at the end of the year.

Speaking to The New Paper over the phone on Monday evening, Chang was candid about her "exposure" last January, in which the strap of her bikini top snapped while she was on stage.

The incident has since become Chang's biggest claim to fame, but she insisted she is not too worried about it.

"To some extent, it was an unexpected gain," she said in Mandarin, laughing.

"After all, I didn't expose myself on stage, and it gave the media an interesting piece of news to write about."

According to Taiwanese media reports, during the bikini round of the pageant, which was held in Haikou, China, Chang and the other contestants were each asked to react when put in an unexpected situation.

Chang's "situation" was that she was on the beach, and a man had suffered a stroke.

There was a first-aid box provided, but it only had random items like a piece of rope, a feather duster and a toy chicken.

Click on thumbnail to view (Photos: Internet, video screengrabs, Lollipop)

While trying to secure the man on a wheelchair with the rope, Chang's bikini strap, which consisted of pearls strung across a fishing line, snapped.

She quickly placed her right hand across her chest to prevent the bikini from falling off, which would have exposed her 32C assets.

Chang was eventually ranked eighth, but she, instead of the eventual winner, made headlines in the Hong Kong and Taiwanese media the next day.

Some reports even speculated that she orchestrated the stunt, which upset her.

"I wouldn't do such a thing to gain publicity," she said.

"But I soon got over it, because I was no longer a newcomer in this industry and I knew such news was part of what I had to live with."

Chang started her career in 2007 after coming in third at the Catwalk Competition, an annual talent search organised by Catwalk, a Taiwanese modelling and artiste agency.

She took on modelling jobs, appeared in print advertisements and made occasional appearances on Taiwanese variety shows, all of which she said were arranged by her agency.

Chang made her movie debut with a small role in Taiwanese movie The Killer Who Never Kills (2011), and she said it was also Catwalk that had asked her to participate in Miss Asia.

Despite saying her own definition of sexiness is "beauty from within" and "not necessarily showing a lot of skin", Chang has come to terms with dressing sexily for work.

She was featured in men's magazine GQ Taiwan last April, along with a series of photos of her in a bikini top and sport shorts.

Sexy is okay

"I don't mind portraying a sexy image, as long as the context of the job is appropriate," she said.

"After all, I'm still young, and I feel honoured if people think I look sexy. So when I can still do it, why not?"

Is she worried about suffering another wardrobe malfunction then?

"That was just an isolated incident, and I think I always protect myself quite well," she said, laughing.

However, change seems to be on the way for Chang as she moves towards acting this year.

She has a small part in the upcoming Channel U drama Marry Me, which airs on Feb 27 at 8pm and stars Jesseca Liu and Yvonne Lim.

In re:solve, she plays the lead role of a policewoman with "complicated inner struggles".

But do not expect to see Chang wearing anything sexy in the movie.

"(Director) Randy (Ang) told me I'll be all wrapped up," she said, laughing.

"There'll be quite a number of emotional scenes, so it's a good chance to let people know me through my acting."

Looking back on her five years in the spotlight, Chang said it made her grow up much faster.

"Under normal circumstances, it takes time to establish relationships with others," she said.

"But in this line, I have to get to know people quickly and deal with issues swiftly. This has made me stronger and wiser, and is definitely good training as I grow and mature."

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