Lin Chi-ling (林志玲, pinyin: Lín Zhìlíng) has been voted the sexiest woman in the world by readers of the Taiwanese edition of lads' magazine FHM. It's the fourth year in the row she has topped the 100 Sexiest Women in the World list, confirming her status as Taiwan's number one pin-up girl. Although not well-known outside of Asia, in her home country she is a household name and genuine supermodel.
Lin is now in her second decade as a model, although her popularity only took off in 2004 when she was romantically linked with pop idol Jerry Yan. She has tried to branch out from modelling as a TV host and, more recently, actress. She had a role in the historical epic Red Cliff - although apparently her trademark high-pitched voice was dubbed over. Just last month debuted on Japanese TV screens in the soap opera Tsuki no Koibito (Moon Lovers). Despite appearing alongside one of Japan's most popular actors, Kimura Takuya, ratings have been in steady decline and the series may even face cancellation.
The Top Ten of the FHM list was dominated by local girls, with eight of the ten from Taiwan. The only non-Taiwanese in the top ten were American pop singer Lady Gaga (Number 2) and Victoria's Secret model and Sports Illustrated cover girl, Marisa Miller (Number 5). At number three was Aimee Sun (孫芸芸, pinyin: Sūn Yúnyún), the 32 year-old businesswoman and model probably best known for her ads more than anything else. She's a regular on the FHM lists, featuring in the top 20 the past four years. Last year she came in at number 14.
At number four is Taiwan's Queen of Dance Pop, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林, pinyin: Cài Yīlín), slipping two places from her runners-up position in the 2009 list. A former news anchorwoman, Patty Hou (侯佩岑, pinyin: Hóu Pèicén) was voted number 6. The US educated Hou began her career reading the English-language news on Taiwan cable TV. She has since moved to hosting entertainment and fashion shows and will appear in her first soap opera this year. She is also famous for a short-lived but highly publicised relationship with singing superstar Jay Chou five years ago.
The final four positions in the top ten were taken by Taiwanese models. At number 7, Tia Lee (李毓芬, pinyin: Lǐ Yùfēn), followed by Amber Ann (安心亚, pinyin: An Xīnyà) one of the new co-hosts of popular Taiwanese variety show Guess Guess Guess. Number 9 is Barbara Hsu (许维恩, pinyin: Xǔ Wéiēn), while Jenna Wang (王思平, pinyin: Wáng Sīpíng) rounds off the top 10. And in a shameless attempt to boost my blog hits, I've included photos of them all.
Clockwise from top left: Tia Lee, Barbara Hsu, Jenna Wang and Amber Ann