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Taiwan's 'betel nut beauties' drum up business,
 
 
 
 
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Others, however, counter that condemning the trade is a bit hypocritical given that scantily clad women sell things everywhere, including designer clothes on runways.

"These things exist in any society," says Hwang Shu-ling, a sociologist at Taipei's National Defense Medical Center. "After all, the U.S. has topless bars. The thing that makes Taiwan's betel nut industry different is that it's more extreme and it's all out in public."

Jane Ke, 33, a high school teacher, says she's not particularly offended if the women wear tight clothes. "I wouldn't dream of sitting in a glass booth in my bathing suit, but those women have their financial concerns," she says. "It's their own choice, and I'm sure they work hard."

Lee in the Taipei suburbs says many of her competitors wear far less than she does. "I don't show my sensitive bits," she says. "Even then, men sometimes yell at you. And some are psycho, even exposing themselves. When that happens, I just curse at them and try to tell them not to embarrass themselves."
 
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