Maybe it’s all the influence from the image of butchers in cartoons and movies, but when I think of wet markets and butchers, the first image that comes to mind is usually that of a middle-aged man with a fairly impressive stature wearing an apron and wielding a huge butcher’s knife.
Being a butcher is rather physically demanding, and as such, there are fewer females working as butchers than there are males, and certainly way fewer young pretty girls butchering meat for a living. So when somebody discovered a beautiful young lady butcher at a market in Taipei and uploaded a photo of her online, it caused a huge buzz and she became an Internet sensation overnight. The beautiful butcher certainly didn’t pick up the butchering as a hobby. In fact, she gave up going to college to become a butcher. Find out more after the break!
In this day and age, paper qualifications have seem to have become a prerequisite, especially in urban cities. 25-year-old former philosophy student Charlene Chang used to juggle work while pursuing a degree at Fu Jen Catholic University, but decided to give up her studies and take over the family business in Taipei City’s Dongmen Market. Chang’s family has been in the butchering business for three generations.
Many wet markets are seeing a gradual decline in business as the younger generations prefer shopping for groceries in air-conditioned supermarkets. Needless to say, working in a humid market that smells of raw fish and meat is not quite a desirable career choice for many. However, Chang says that she grew up watching her grandmother run the pork stall, and decided to give up school to learn the ropes of the family business.
Since word got around that there was a cute girl working at the market, business has been brisk as many mums and grannies come by to get to know the fair lady better in hopes of introducing her to their sons and grandsons. Groups of young men also patronize the stall attempting to get her number. Some guys have even got pretty straight to the point, asking Chang how much pork they had to buy in order to get her number, and some asking for her contact on the LINE app.
▼ Charlene Chang when she’s not in butcher mode.
Chang’s family, especially her grandmother, has been full of praise for the girl’s dilligence and filial piety. Her father, though, is still worried that she might injure herself working with knives and cleavers. Chang shares that she has indeed had many minor accidents with the blades, but is getting the hang of things, though her dad still doesn’t let her wield the cleaver when it comes to the more challenging tasks such as chopping through bones.
The beautiful butcher has become the belle of the Dongmen Market, and her friends and netizens have taken to calling her “pork princess” or “pork babe”. In an interview, she laughs and says that “there isn’t a single name with ‘pork’ in it that sounds nice, it feels greasy.” She also mentions that she finds it awkward when her customers keep asking whether she has a boyfriend, or whether she’d be willing to be their daughter-in-law. Chang expresses her thanks for the attention and support, but hopes to lead a simple life and find her destined one by her own means.