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She Lives

October 24, 2010

This past week I have been looking through Beiyang Huabao (北洋画报 – Beiyang Pictorial), a late 1920s publication from Tianjin. Tianjin was the first treaty port; it was open to Western countries after the Second Opium War and this international flavor is definitely present in the publication, which features bits about cinema (Chinese, American, European), politics, fashion, and culture, along with plenty of photographs.

Throughout 1927 there were a series of articles about breast-binding and the new Western brassiere in the publication, which is why I have been spending quite a bit of time with it. I am still working on reading through the articles and I will write about them when I am done, but for now I wanted to post a few photos of some of the Chinese women featured in Beiyang Huabao. Nearly every edition featured a famous Chinese actress or a noted young Chinese society woman on the cover and all of these women, from the looks of their figures, bound their breasts. It is definitely interesting for a variety of reasons, mainly because Beiyang Huabao published numerous articles about the dangers of breast-binding and also because every other issue of BYHB had “art photos” of nude Western women.


Cover of January 19, 1927
It should also be noted, and this isn’t scholarly, but Miss Chow Wen Chu, Shanghai Movie Star, seems like one sassy lady.


Cover of January 22, 1927

Miss Wang Wen-Hen, movie beauty of Tianjin


Cover of February 23, 1927

Miss Rose Chang, daughter of a wealthy Asiatic stamp collection


Cover of May 21, 1927

Miss Alice Chang, daughter of a noted general


Photo and advertisement from June 15, 1927

A Chinese flapper


Cover of December 24, 1927

Princess C. Pu, sister-in-law of the last Emperor, Pu-yi

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One Comment leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 11:24 am

    Hay gurl hay! Finally got around to perusing your blog. Sounds like an adventure out there! Sadly, I don’t think I’ll make it out to where you are, much less Hong Kong or Guangdong as I initially hoped. I’m adding you to my Google Reader right now.

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