There are several ways to generate buzz and gain fame or notoriety on social media. Some insult famous people. Some change the lyrics of their national anthem. Some show off their bare bottoms and genitals in sex blogs. Some perform death-defying stunts. Some stir the hornet’s nest with the stick of controversy and some engage in righteous social activism – revealing sexy legs at the same time. Allow me to introduce 刘乔安 Johanne Liow.
A brief summary is in order. 29-year-old Taiwanese former F&B public relations manager and wine bar owner 刘乔安 Johanne Liow first stole the limelight on social media with a righteous cause. She organised activities for less fortunate children, spoon-fed the disabled, fought against child abuse and received a torrent of praises from the public. Friends revealed to the media that she is a civic-minded citizen who loves community service. Her signature ponytail and refreshing image soon won her the nickname of 馬尾正妹.
She caught the media’s attention again when her good friend, actress and model 王子鱼 became a victim of domestic violence. Liow stood up for Wang and even brought her before the media to condemn domestic violence – namely violence against women. The case went to court and 王子鱼’s ex-boyfriend denied beating her, claiming that Wang was a freelance prostitute and one of her customers was 李宗瑞 (currently in jail for date rape). We’ll revisit this topic later.
刘乔安 Johanne Liow’s popularity then took a quantum leap when she supported Taiwanese students who staged a protest against the government’s Cross-Strait Service Trade Agreement 海峡两岸服务贸易协议 with China. During the sit-in, 刘乔安 volunteered to distribute food, drinks and other necessities to students participating in the protest. Photographers in the midst captured flattering images of 刘乔安 at the protest site. The images quickly went viral and she acquired the nickname of 反服贸女王 and 太阳花女王 (sunflower protest)。Interestingly, revealing images of 刘乔安 Johanne Liow’s legs became the subject of discussion on a TV show. The host remarked that this social activist looked even sexier than nightclub girls and the social activism was only an excuse for her vanity. Her angry fans took revenge on her behalf by bombing the website of the offending station till its servers got overloaded. A women’s rights group also joined in the protest – to the extent of asking regulators to step in and punish the TV station.
刘乔安 went on Facebook to clarify her position, begging the rumour-mongers to stop blabbering about her “brain cancer”, alleged “vanity” and “mother” in Parliament (she had breast cancer once, though). She also urged fans and haters not to focus too much on her sexy side and pay more attention to the causes she has been fighting for. Responding to their idol’s distress, fans and other supporters went all out to vilify the “sexists”. All these events and 刘乔安 Johanne Liow’s expert handling of the media served to reinforce her angelic image. Little did she expect her righteous image to be completely shattered by a series of hidden camera footage.
Her meeting with a potential “customer” to discuss a sex deal in which she asked for NT 100,000 was filmed and disseminated! Can you imagine the kind of shock that must have greeted her biggest fans? After initially denying the allegations and attempting to explain the video footage as a wine deal gone sour, she finally admitted that she was tempted by NT 100,000. She also admitted having worked as a “dining companion” and nightclub PRO. She even revealed that she received offers for sex from Beijing at the height of her popularity during the student protests. After the video was leaked, someone from the mainland posted a comment saying that people who fight for Democracy earn their money from prostitution.
Yes, 刘乔安 was obviously set up (by enemies in the media), but the truth behind her attempts to deflect focus on her sexuality and her fight for the dignity of women is an insult to all those who believed her. She actually had the cheek (no pun intended) to set her price based on her popularity from all the righteous acts she performed in front of a gullible public. Yes, making love with someone who appears to be an angel in the public eye does perhaps give the perverted pleasure of having tricked NT 100,000 worth of people. What is the real 刘乔安 like? I guess I will never know until I’ve figured out why she ended up changing into a pair of shorts.
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