Can women still be sexy at 60?
Of course, said 59-year-old Taiwanese actress-host Chen Meifeng, who is often dubbed "Taiwan's Most Beautiful Obasan (Japanese for auntie)" by Taiwanese media.
Chen, best known for her leading roles in Hokkien soap operas Love and Night Market Life, was speaking from personal experience.
In 2014, she made jaws drop when she uploaded a photo of herself on her Facebook page wearing a hot pink bikini that showed her D-cup chest and firm abs.
Chen's figure had netizens raving, with some remarking that she "puts young girls to shame".
In town yesterday at the invite of the Mary Chia group to launch the Limited Edition MU V.TIVATE Mist Spray which was designed exclusively for her, Chen told The New Paper in Mandarin: "In the past, people had preconceived notions of how a 60-year-old should dress. But that is not the case any more.
"Who says obasans must look dowdy and ugly? We can choose to be beautiful obasans. Nobody can defy the ageing process, but we can grow beautiful as we age.
"I think I sent a good message to all mature women out there. Your mums who are around my age should be able to don swimwear and be happy and comfortable in them."
Chen, a divorcee with no children, is not without her insecurities and reservations though.
"The bikini was a present from a friend which I didn't dare to wear at swimming pools," she recalled. "So the next best thing would be to just take a picture in my bathroom."
She claimed the image was "natural, with no Photoshopping done and no filters added".
"I didn't work out or go on a diet beforehand," she said. "In fact, I was initially hesitant about posting the picture online, as I felt a bit fat wearing the bikini. But if I didn't do it (then), who knows? I might pile on the pounds and not be able to fit into it later."
Chen, who is 1.67m and weighs 55kg, maintains her svelte figure through regular strolls after meals, massages, hot showers, mental relaxation and beauty sleep.
She is game to show everyone another bikini shot in the future, "so long as it is a posed photo". "If you ask me to saunter down the streets in a miniskirt now, no way," she said.
Mary Chia's local brand ambassadors, actor Li Nanxing and actress Constance Song, who appeared alongside Chen yesterday, had nothing but praise for the veteran star.
Li, 51, said: "I saw that bikini picture and I must say that Feng Jie (Mandarin for sister) has done a fantastic job at upkeeping herself. All guys will take a second look at her."
Song, 40, who called Chen "an inspiration to women", agreed.
But Chen has her share of detractors who criticise her for "not acting her age".
She said: "I take all comments, good or bad, in stride. That is part and parcel of being in showbiz.
"If someone tells me that I am 'acting cute', I'd simply retort, 'I am young at heart'."
This article was first published on May 14, 2016.
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