Betel Nut Girls of Taiwan

Betel Nut Girls are one of Taiwan's distinctive features. Born at the beginning of the 1990s, their popularity grew out of a number of social trends: vanishing jobs for unskilled females in Taiwan's factories, the embrace of "traditional" Taiwanese culture that celebrated betel nut, and competition for customers for the island's 100,000 betel nut stands. According to one researcher, about 60,000 of the stands feature an underdressed babe. Keep in mind that the nuts have to be processed -- slit open and a mixture of flavorings inserted -- a repetitive fine motor task well suited to young, unskilled women, so that the use of young women is probably inevitable in any case. As for myself, I have no idea why barely clad women selling stimulants along public roadways is so interesting. I offer this page purely as a visual database about this important facet of the culture and economy of Taiwan.

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