Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monkey Business: Taiwanese Student Becomes Internet Sensation After Simian-Induced Wardrobe Malfunction

What she's really thinking: "Get your stinking paws off me, you damn dirty ape!"
Wonder if this can be blamed in any way on the ever-mischievous Robomonkey.

A Taiwanese student and model has garnered nearly instant Internet celebrity status after her encounter with some grabby primates while on vacation in Bali.
Charmian Chen, who just happens to be a model, was visiting the Sacred Monkey Forest Ubud in Bali last month when two of the primates decided she was a little overdressed.

The 22-year-old student, from Taiwan, was on holiday on the tropical Indonesian island feeding long-tailed macaques when she was singled out.

The two macaques apparently spotted a piece of corn that had fallen down Ms Chen's top and decided they wanted it back.

Despite her valiant effors to fend it off, one monkey managed to pull down her top leaving the red-faced model to cover herself as best she could, with her hands.

But what should have been an amusing holiday wardrobe malfunction has ended up catapulting Ms Chen to internet superstardom.

Pictures of the incident have made headline news in her native Taiwan, with TV stations asking her to appear and talk about it.

Ms Chen said the macaques, as well as being hungry, were also attracted to bikinis worn by many visitors.

She added: 'I think when they took my top down it was because of the corn but the park staff warn visitors that bright bikinis worn under dresses do attract the monkeys.

'I think it's the bright colours which they think might be fruit, well I don't know about that but it was very strange at the time.'
Now, there seems to be this school of thought that this was somehow staged in an attempt to bolster Chen's modelling career.

Chen shown after disrobing without the aid of macaques
To which my reaction would be "So what?".

Assuming the 'cheeky monkey' encounter caught on camera was 100% staged for the sole purpose of furthering the modelling career of Chen, how exactly would that be any more contrived than the smorgasboard of insipid celebrity-themed reality shows that on any given channel at any given moment?

Hmm....I remember taking a trip to the San Diego Zoo once upon a time. They had this enclosure where you could feed lorikeets. They would fly right up and perch on your shoulder or arm and drink out of this little cup of nectar that somebody from the zoo would give you. Sad to say that even if the lorikeets were interested in disrobing some of the more attractive women in the enclosure, they couldn't do much besides maybe partially pull off a pair of sunglasses.

So staged or not, apparently this all made for a good vacation yarn and she posted some of the pictures on Facebook page after returning to Taiwan. Shortly thereafter, that led to requests for interviews from local newspapers and magazines.

Emulation is the sincerest form of flattery.
And from there, Western tabloids like The UK's Daily Mail picked up on the monkey shines. Chen, for her part, insists that the encounter was not staged.

Staged or not, I figured visitors migh appreciate some other images from her portfolio that are uncluttered with primates.

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