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Sunday April 9, 2006
BY KEE HUA CHEE
KUALA LUMPUR: While many are stunned by her appearance in Indonesia Playboy recently, Amber Chia is nonplussed and slightly bemused at the ensuing controversy.
“I didn’t think it would generate that much interest. In fact, I'm so proud to appear in the first issue of Indonesia Playboy as the eight pages of photos were tasteful, stylish and sensuous but not pornographic!” said the current Guess International Ambassador in an interview here.
She had flown to Jakarta about three months ago to promote Celebrity Fitness Gym, for which she was also ambassador, when she was asked by Indonesia Playboy to appear in its inaugural April issue.
Initially, she turned down the offer.
“They pursued me and showed me sample photos. I was surprised as the pictures were not what I imagined. I secretly laughed as I had posed in sexier clothes before,” she said.
The proposed images, she said, were very toned down and artistically done.
“I finally agreed when I was told I would be in control of how to pose with the garments and if I felt uncomfortable, I could stop.”
The fact she would be featured in Playboy’s much-touted “Celebrity” section also helped seal the deal.
Chia said: “In the United States, the 'Celebrity’ pages of Playboy feature people like Angelina Jolie and Beyonce. While they are in a league of their own, I am pleased to be in the ‘Celebrity’ section.”
The photo session took three hours and she wore six outfits.
“I was delighted with the results as I think the photos showed me at my best as I look so alive and healthy. I am proud to be the first Malaysian girl to appear in the inaugural issue of Indonesia Playboy. It’s an honour to me.”
She said she was firm about how she projected her public image as an international model.
“I have limits to what I will wear or ‘unwear’ and the type of poses. I want to look alluring, not provocative.”
She said she was in “no way ashamed” of appearing in the publication as the edition was “artistic, beautifully done with great artwork with only a little bit of sexiness.”
“Many assume a girl has to pose naked in Playboy but not in Indonesia Playboy.
“When I showed my parents the proposed pictures, my mum laughed and said I had looked sexier in other magazines while my dad merely asked why they needed so many photos. My boyfriend said if I believed this is good for my career, then go ahead.”
Chia has been fielding calls from friends all day yesterday since the magazine was released.
“I told them, hey, what’s the big fuss – it’s nothing more than a fashion spread! I am confident not only will this not harm my career but enhance it! I have done nothing wrong as my photos appeared in the world’s biggest Muslim country and according to their laws.”
Indonesia Playboy did not even bother to query about her vital statistics which, just in case anyone might be interested, is 32-25-35.
Meanwhile, Celebrity Fitness regional marketing manager Hendra Nugaha said the photographs were not even “faintly pornographic.”
“Celebrity Fitness gyms do not fear any backlash from using Amber as our ambassador. Indeed, we are even more proud she should appear in Indonesia Playboy which is a very classy and stylish magazine,” she said.
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