China's Fear of the Bikini

For the judges, muscle definition and mass symmetry were everything. But for most of the 5,000 Chinese spectators who jammed the sports coliseum in Shenzhen recently to see 46 female body builders compete, the appeal was far simpler: the ever so brief costumes that showed off more of the feminine form than the Chinese have ever before seen in public.

The bikini has arrived in the People's Republic. After a year of competing in demure, one-piece suits, the country's female body builders are creating a sensation with their new sports uniforms. The first blow for navel liberation was struck in September...

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