Vietnam model fined for indecent exposure

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Supermodel Vo Hoang Yen has been fined VND3.5 million (US$168) for exposing her breasts during a fashion show in Ho Chi Minh City on December 20.

A dress that Yen, 24, wore had not been approved for wearing at the Dam me va hoi tu Huong sac Viet Nam (Passion and convergence Vietnamese scent and beauty) show, online newspaper VnExpress quoted Vo Trong Nam, deputy director of the city Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism, as saying.

The dress, reportedly inspired by royal attires in the past, had a high collar and long sleeves but was almost fully barebacked and exposed most of her breasts on the sides.

"The fine is appropriate for her violation. If it happens again, Yen will be banned from performing," Nam said on December 25, a day after his department had also announced a penalty of VND7.5 million for the show organizer.

He added that Cuoc Song Nang Dong (Active Life) Company, the organizer, could even get the maximum punishment prescribed for such offenses a ban on event organizing in future.

"When I was asked to wear the dress, I felt uneasy and a little worried," Yen told VnExpress last week.

"At first I did not intend to wear it, but I didn't want to put the organizers in a difficult situation. This is a painful lesson for me."

She had not known that the costume had not been approved, she said.

She and the organizers have both apologized. Active Life admitted full responsibility and agreed to pay the fine, Tuoi Tre newspaper said.

This year several artists and models have been fined for indecent exposure at shows. Model Thai Ha paid VND5 million and singer Thu Minh coughed up VND3.5 million. 

The law prohibits performers from wearing outfits that are offensive or inappropriate to Vietnamese culture and customs.

The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism had said in June the penalties would be made harsher, with the fines going up from VND2-5 million to VND15-25 million and bans of up to one year and two years for a second and third offense.

Considered one of the top models in Vietnam, Yen won the Vietnam Supermodel contest in 2008 and was the first runner-up at Miss Vietnam Universe the same year.

She represented Vietnam at the Miss Universe pageant the following year.

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