Sex sells, as we well know, and animal rights organisation PETA, is hoping it can sell vegetarianism. So every year it announces a raft of "sexy" celebrity vegetarians from around the world, presumably in the hope that we will associate a non-meat diet with sexiness.
This year, according to an online poll, actor Barbie Hsu (徐熙媛, pinyin: Xú Xīyuàn) was voted Asia's sexiest female vegetarian. The 32 year old Taiwan star finished ahead of some 200 other well-known vegetarians, including last year's winner, the Hong Kong singer Faye Wong.
Interestingly, sex symbol and Barbie Hsu are words that normally don't gone together. Her fame and popularity is due more to her cute and wholesome girl-next-door persona, rather than hot sultry roles. She's probably best-known for her Taiwan TV dramas. She came to immediate prominence with her TV acting debut in 2001, in the series Meteor Garden. The show, based on a Japanese manga and set on a university campus, was a smash hit in several Asian countries. Hsu played the female lead, a girl from a poor family, who gets bullied by the rich kids but eventually conquers their affections. She also starred in the equally successful sequel the following year.
Last year she had a movie hit with Connected, the Hong Kong re-make of the Hollywood film Cellphone. Her performance as the kidnapped woman was well-received, earning her a nomination for Best Actress at this year's Hong Kong Film Awards.
The committed Barbie didn't mince (excuse the pun) words in her acceptance statement for the PETA award. "Eating meat is like eating corpses to me, and it makes me feel sick and sad".