Singer Kimberley Chen hits back at criticism of her attire: 'I can't wear a bikini to go swimming?'

SINGAPORE – Australian singer Kimberley Chen got quite a bit of attention in 2019, but not exactly for her music.

The Taiwan-based star had posted photos of herself in a bikini walking her dogs at what appeared to be a train station. This led some netizens to criticise her attire as inappropriate, while others complimented her on her figure.

During an interview over Google Meet with Singapore media on Wednesday (Sept 23) to promote her recent singles, the singer responded to reports on the incident.

The 26-year-old said: “I was bringing my dogs to go swimming, so I was wearing swimwear. Everyone wants to put the emphasis on my body, I think it is disgraceful… I was going swimming, do you mean I can’t wear a bikini to go swimming?”

Asked if the reports had affected how she dresses now when walking dogs, she replied: “Is there a problem with the clothes I wear? Why should I pay attention to what I wear?”

No stranger to the limelight, Chen started out as a child star at age six, singing and dancing on Australian national television.

As a child, she also performed the role of young Nala in The Lion King stage musical in Melbourne, and appeared as a child model for the Australian television game show The Price Is Right.

After moving to Taiwan, she competed in the Taiwanese singing competition One Million Star; and in 2012, released her debut self-titled album, with the effervescent track Love You becoming a runaway hit.

With another two albums – Kimbonomics (2013) and #Tag Me (2017) – under her belt, Chen joined record label ChynaHouse Digital earlier this year, and has released the singles 9 Million and 4am Calls. These deal with more mature subjects than her previous work.

For example, the spunky R&B track 4am Calls is about staying away from men who toy with women’s emotions, and who call only when they need you.

In its music video, Chen plays an employee in a diner when one such man, played by her real-life boyfriend, Taiwan-born singer Albert Lin, enters.

Chen believes everyone would see the humour in casting Lin in the role. After all, their relationship is “very good”, she said.

However, she has had past experiences with such “rubbish men”, For example, she once liked a man who was not very serious about relationships.

“So I stopped liking him because I saw through him. That is why there is this song,” she revealed.

In another new work, the groovy number9 Million, Chen sings about doing what she wants, and having nine million dollars in her bank account.

When asked if this amount was in US dollars or New Taiwan dollars, she laughed and replied good-naturedly: “Both, both”. She explained that she used the figure nine because she felt it was a “nice” number.

Chen’s future plans include releasing a new album around the end of 2020, which will include a variety of musical styles, including sentimental songs.

Given her background as a child star, might the public have different expectations of her, compared with other celebrities?

“I do not really know what expectations audiences have of me. I only know what expectations I have for myself,” she replied.

“I think the fans who really support me – the very loyal fans – they will want me to be truly myself, and not pretend.”

9 Million and 4am Calls are available on online music platforms such as KKBox, Spotify and Apple Music.

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