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breast stroke

November 21, 2010

And here it is, the first nude Chinese woman depicted in Beiyang Huabao…or at least the first one I have seen in the periodical. This drawing was published on October 1, 1927, after Wan’s articles about the dangers of pressing breasts and during her series on new styles of Western brassieres and chemises. A few interesting things about this. There is no Chinese translation provided for “The Beauty of the Breast” – the Chinese writing above the English writing just says that the drawing was done by Y.K. Hu. This doesn’t seem like the smartest method if you are trying to convince the Chinese public that breasts are beautiful. There is no text around the drawing which tells the Chinese reader anything about breasts, hygiene, beauty, or the natural breast movement. Additionally, it is a drawing, not a photograph like the other (white) nudes in the magazine. I have found time and time again that the portrayal of Chinese women in drawings like calendar posters shows a full-figured, curvy body while photographs of Chinese women show a flatter chest and a far more covered up body. It is also important to note here that the Chinese woman in the drawing has her hair bobbed like a “modern” “New Woman.”

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