Interview with Sachiko McLean
Sachiko McLean is one of those rare women who looks at herself nude in the mirror and doesn't see anything she doesn't like. Not because she's perfect, but because she has never allowed society to make her feel guilty or ashamed for being what she is, which is, a beautiful woman. In a world that mercilessly persecutes women for their charms, her ease and simple pleasure in being nude and admired are as welcome and refreshing as a warm tropical breeze on a cold winters day.
More than just beautiful, she is a talented musician, singer and dancer, as well as an extremely intelligent and independant woman. In fact, she is exactly the kind who doesn't need Superbeauty.Org to fight for her rights to her body and freedom to be nude. She acts as though she lives in a world where she already has them. Indeed, because of her multiple talents and enthusiastic exhibitionism, she creates that world for herself.
On a purely personal note we want to say it was a pleasure to interview someone with such a rational approach to her philosophy and an honest integration of her beauty into her lifestyle. She is beautiful, and honorable. Sachiko McLean is in every sense, a super beauty.
SuperBeauty.Org: Sachiko, you are an accomplished pianist and singer, and you seem to revel in being a beautiful and sexual woman too. Most performers try to downplay their attractiveness in order to be taken 'seriously'. However, we at SuperBeauty.Org do not see beauty as an inferior talent unworthy of respect. In fact, we think it's some people's attitude that female beauty is less than respectable that has been the motivation and justification for every injustice towards women since time immemorial. To what do you owe your enlightened attitude towards your own beauty and sexuality?
Sachiko McLean: For me, it just doesn't make any sense to hide my beauty and sexuality so I can be a 'respectable' performer. It's just too unnatural. So for me, I really just can't do things any other way. I would also like to think that, in the long haul, I can help to make other people think the same way.
SBO: One remarkable way you've combined your musical gifts and your femininity is to perform topless. Can you describe the first time you decided to perform topless - and what made you do it?
SM: Actually, as I often get around in the nude at home, I have in a sense performed topless for many years. I think it was originally my webmaster/photographer Lee's idea to do it publically, although many other men independently suggested the idea. So I figured it must be a winner!
SBO: What kind of reaction do you get when you sing or play piano topless?
SM: Mostly stunned silence actually. As I normally play classy and 'respectable' classical music, people usually don't know what to make of it!
SBO: You say on your website that singing and piano playing is a little more 'respectable' than nude modelling - that you could play for your parents but not strip for them. Do you think being beautiful is not as respectable as being a talented musician?
SM: My exact words were "[singing and piano playing] is usually considered more 'respectable' than glamour modelling or belly dancing". In other words, I don't consider it to be more respectable at all, but I know most people do, especially conservative people like my parents!
SBO: Your website contains a great deal of intellectual discourse - how important is it to you to be perceived as an intelligent beauty? How important are ideas to you? How important are they to the world?
"I believe that sex can be a very powerful weapon, and I want to use it to positively influence people, instead of the negative way it is normally used by religion, government and big business."
SM: Perhaps I am being naive or even a little pretentious, but I believe that sex can be a very powerful weapon, and I want to use it to positively influence people, instead of the negative way it is normally used by religion, government and big business. I hope that when people read what I have to say, I've caught them with their guard down, so to speak, and I hope that as I gain more of a public profile I will be able to influence many people with my views.
SBO: You have a very strong political position in favor of Palestine over Israel. Can you tell us how you come to defend a culture that is dedicated to denying women their rights and personhood over a country that is devoted to individual rights, and in which women have achieved equality with men in every area including business, the military and education?
SM: Firstly, let me say that I don't consider myself to be in favour of Palestine over Israel - my position is roughly in line with that of the European union, which I believe to be neutral. I do however strongly object to the U.S. position, which I believe is biased too heavily in favour of Israel [this is not SBO's belief - ed.]. Having said that, let me get to the more delicate and interesting part of your question.
Sexual equality - like religious freedom or democracy - is not something that can or should be imposed on people. The more you try, the more they will resist, which obviously defeats the purpose of what you are trying to do. They can only arrive at it themsleves.
The Muslim world was once far more sexually progressive than it is now. They have become more conservative as a reaction against what they perceive to be America imposing their values (through military force) upon them. The west needs to leave them alone in peace before they will even be able to consider issues of sexual equality. It will take a long time, but sadly it's the only way it's going to work.
The same goes for trying to impose democracy on them, which is why Iraq is now descending into civil war, exactly as I predicted it would in my [website] FAQ, written just before the Iraq war.
SBO: Probably everybody in the world saw that coming, except for Bush.
SM: Sadly, I still get emails from people who think he's doing the right thing!
SBO: To clarify your position with a more specific example, in the last few weeks the Iranian government was planning to hang a 17 year old girl for stabbing to death a man who was raping her. As you know, the laws in Iran are very repressive and unfair to women. And it sounds like you are saying that everyone who hates this kind of persecution of women should just keep silent and allow countries like Iran to develop in any direction they choose, hoping that one day they will see the light and start to respect women in a natural way? It's an interesting position. But what would you say to this girl herself?
SM: This is a misunderstanding of my position. Enforcing our values through military force is certainly counter productive, but on the other hand just sitting back and doing nothing obviously won't help either. The kind of work independent organisations like Amnesty International do to improve human rights is exactly the sort of pressure that actually can improve women's rights over time, and I am strongly supportive of their efforts.
"The kind of work independent organisations like Amnesty International do to improve human rights is exactly the sort of pressure that actually can improve women's rights over time, and I am strongly supportive of their efforts."
SBO: You live in Australia - how do you find attitudes towards female beauty and sexuality differ in Australia as compared to the United States, for example?
SM: The main difference is that we have less of the conservative Christian hypocrisy that America has - Australia is a more secular country, so we have a more pragmatic attitude toward sex.
SBO: You also seem to know a lot about the connection between a sexually liberal society and one that is thriving in every way - like the time of China's Tang dynasty - and how as soon as women and their sexuality are repressed, such societies crumble. How did you come to make these connections?
SM: If you view history on a large scale with your eyes open, the pattern is pretty obvious, I think. However, for most historians sex is the last thing on their minds! I guess the fact that I am a very sexually oriented person allows me to see this pattern more easily than most other people.
SBO: What do you think it would take for us to get back to the kind of flourishing society that appreciates female beauty?
SM: Well I think we sometimes forget that in many ways the world is the most sexually progressive it's ever been right now. And I think things will naturally continue in that direction over the long haul, even though we are going through something of a conservative backlash right now. However, we can't just sit back and wait for it to happen - I like to think my site is part of the vanguard pushing sexual enlightenment forward, as is yours. The conservatives are always trying to stop us, so we have to keep pushing forward even harder, or they will win.
SBO: But aren't you forgetting the other half of the beauty haters these days are actually liberals? The modern movement towards 'protecting children' from female beauty and sexuality actually comes from the progressive left, not the conservative right. It is also liberals - and feminists - who declare that images of female beauty and sexuality are threatening and destroying the freedom and self-esteem of women.
SM: In my humble opinion, these people are 'liberal' and 'feminist' in name only. I have actually been very critical of much of the feminist movement, as I really think they have a lot of things the wrong way around. I hate to say it, but I just can't draw any other conclusion: the position of these so-called 'feminists' is a classic case of female jealousy. They are just as bad as the men who try to suppress women in the same way - somehow, I don't think this advances women's rights! I really think these so-called 'liberals' and 'feminists' are hypocrites.
SBO: Why is beauty important to you personally?
SM: Of course everyone appreciates beauty for its own sake - it is one of things that is most essential to human happiness. However, as you can see from my comments above, I believe I can also use my beauty as a force for positive change.
"Of course everyone appreciates beauty for its own sake - it is one of things that is most essential to human happiness. I believe I can also use my beauty as a force for positive change."
SBO: Why did you want to become a spokeswoman for Superbeauty.Org?
SM: You have obviously established quite a profile amongst people who appreciate female beauty, and the sexually progressive attitude that is necessary to promote it against conservatism. So it seemed like an obvious way for me to get my ideas across to the sort of people who will appreciate them, as well as my site.
SBO: What do you see as the role female beauty in human life? What is its purpose? Is it purely physical or is there a spiritual element as well?
SM: Firstly, let me say that I am a very skeptical, scientifically-oriented kind of person, so I don't really believe in the spritual realm as such. However, in the complex way the human mind operates, we do relate strongly to what we perceive to be our 'soul', and this needs to be satisfied for us to be emotionally healthy. I think one of the greatest unrecognised problems the world faces right now is how so many people are losing touch with beauty. Many of us live in big, ugly cities where we may not even see so much as a tree. So we lose touch with nature's beauty, which I firmly believe is essential to our emotional well-being.
SBO: Why do you think there's so much animosity towards depictions of beautiful women - especially nudes - in the mainstream media?
SM: It's just a reflection of religious conservativism, which the church and the government have been using to control people for centuries. Remove this conservatism, and people will see nudity for what it really is: something beautiful and completely natural, not something dangerous, as the church would have us believe.
SBO: Have you ever been unfairly treated because or your beauty or liberal sexuality?
SM: I certainly have, but I've been doing things 'my way' for so long now that it's just water off a duck's back - I don't dwell on it, I just move on.
SBO: You've made mention of your site of your decision not to have children - what do you think of all the 'family first' activists who want to 'protect children' from seeing images like yours?
SM: I am amazed that - despite the almost universal attitude that nudity somehow 'damages' children - not a single scientific study has been undertaken to confirm or deny this idea. I guess they know what the result will be - I know I do!
Indeed, I think nudity may even be a positive thing for children. I certainly don't see how seeing our bodies au naturel can possibly be harmful!
"I certainly don't see how seeing our bodies au naturel can possibly be harmful!"
SBO: Have you ever had any run-ins with detractors?
SM: Surprsingly few actually. I had a neo-conservative contact me once accusing me of saying things I didn't actually say to prove I was 'clueless'. When I pointed out that I never said such things, he then accused me of changing my FAQ! Plus of course he fell back on the old chestnut that if I really knew what I was talking about, I wouldn't be a nude model...
SBO: Ah yes, the old 'nudity equals stupid and immoral' thing - a variant of the 'beauty equals stupid and immoral' thing since no one would want to see you nude if you weren't beautiful. Notice it's not their intelligence or their value as human beings that's being attacked whenever women are attacked, it's their beauty. Always their beauty, including nudity and sexuality. What most women don't realize is that it's their beauty that's being used to keep them down, and that therefore, it's their beauty that should be used to bring them back up.
For example, has using your beauty opened any doors for you that otherwise might have been closed?
SM: I certainly think beauty has given me a much bigger audience than I would have had otherwise!
SBO: How did you see female beauty and beautiful women when you were a girl?
SM: I have to say that I have always felt quite sexual toward beautiful women, even though I consider myself heterosexual.
SBO: Who do you consider beautiful?
SM: For me, a truly beautiful woman is someone like the "peacock princess" Yang Li Ping. Not only is she beautiful - especially for a woman in her forties! - but she has an oustandingly trim and taut body, and her dancing is a thing of beauty in itself. It is also very sensuous, artistic and natural. She is some one I can truly admire in every way: artistically, intellectualy and sexually.
SBO: What other women do you admire?
SM: There is a feminist in Taiwan, Shi Ji-Ching, who I've read for many years and helped to form a lot of my ideas about sexual politics. She is what I consider to be a real feminist!
SBO: How did your family view beauty and beautiful women? Or nudity and sexuality for that matter?
SM: With disdain. That's one of the reasons I moved out of Taiwan as soon as I was able to.
SBO: Have you always enjoyed being nude or did you just decide one day that nudity was okay for you?
SM: I've always felt comfortable being nude - it's hard for me to imagine feeling any other way!
"I've always felt comfortable being nude - it's hard for me to imagine feeling any other way!"
SBO: Were you a good little girl as a child or were you a wild child?
SM: I was actually a top student in school, and studied very hard. However, I have always been somewhat temperamental and sensitive, so in that sense I was a difficult child.
SBO: What did you think of school?
SM: I hated school, but I like studying. So I really applied myself and did very well.
SBO: What did you want to be when you grew up? Have you achieved it?
SM: I have to admit that I've always liked to be the centre of attention, and I don't think I've achieved the level of fame I desire yet. However, the main reason for this is my insistance on not compromising myself in the process. I am very aware of the pitfalls of fame, and would rather die in obscurity than fall victim to these. I believe I can walk the tightrope, however.
SBO: You obviously have a very active and keen mind. What subjects interest or fascinate you especially?
SM: I think what I do and write about on SachikoMcLean.com make it pretty clear what interests me. I don't hide my light under a bushel - I want to tell everyone about what I think and what I like to do!
SBO: What would you like people to say about you after they've gotten to know you or seen you perform?
SM: That I'm talented, beautiful and smart. It really sounds narcissistic when I say it that way!
SBO: Pride in their beauty is the only thing that women have to fight the hatred of beauty rampant in the world today, so don't apologize!
What are you most proud of in your life so far?
SM: I guess how people respond to me when they see me. Both men and women really treat me like a godess! Most women who have used their looks to build their career complain about how other women are jealous of them, but that's definitely not the case with me. Other women love me, and find me empowering.
"Other women love me, and find me empowering."
SBO: Where do you see yourself in 10 years? What projects do you currently have on the go?
SM: I am currently working on a health and beauty book and an exercise video for the wider market, after which I intend to release a CD, an autobiography and photo albums. So hopefully in ten years these products will be widely available and successful, and I will be well-known enough to influence people's ideas in a positive way.
SBO: Where can people see you perform or see more of you?
SM: I mostly do private performances at this stage, but hopefully soon I will have enough profile to be able to focus mostly on public performance. There are also lots of video clips and photos on my website of course.
SBO: Well, we really enjoyed your answers. You are as knowledgeable and wise as you are beautiful. Thanks so much Sachiko.
SM: Well thank you, and thanks for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed for your site!
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