Cinzia Chang

Name: Cinzia Chang
Profession: Sales Associate at Acne Studios
Residence: Stockholm, Sweden
Instagram: @cinziac_
Currently: Model for Boob Spring/Summer 2019 together with my son Erling

Tell us a bit about your life journey and how you have become who you are today.

I was born and raised in a small town in the middle of Taiwan called Caotun. My older brother and I grew up with our parents. My grandmother and I have been very close because she took care of us while our mother worked. When I was 17, I moved to Taipei for four years to study at university. I started running every day during the summer break and continued this routine afterwards.

That's how I met Björn, my current husband. He was a student from Sweden visiting my university. One day, he saw me running while he was playing soccer, so he came over and talked to me. We started dating and that same year I participated in a beauty pageant. I was lucky enough to win the title "Miss Republic of China" and later competed in "Miss World 2013." Participating in such a significant and demanding competition made me discover many sides of myself; the ambitious, confident, and competitive sides as well as the vulnerable, insecure, and weak sides. It helped me gain self-awareness and the courage to face many different things later in life.

I moved to Sweden in December 2013 and two months later, I was lucky to get a job at Hollister as an assistant store manager. In 2015, Björn and I moved to Boston for a year due to his studies, and in 2016 we got married in Taiwan and then moved back to Stockholm. I worked at Acne Studios for a year before we had our first child. I am grateful for the journeys I have made in my life. Today, I see myself as a strong, independent, positive, and outgoing woman.


What are you thinking about the most right now?

My son's well-being and his development. He started walking a few days ago and he is only ten months and eleven days old! As a mother, I hope it's okay to feel a little proud. I have also started preparing for his first birthday party. Time flies and before I know it, he will have grown into a little boy! In any case, he will always be my sweet child.

With a background in beauty pageants as a former Miss Republic of China, you are a real pro in front of the camera. How was it to do the photoshoot for Boob together with your son Erling?

Being part of the photoshoot for Boob felt unique and it will be a memory for both of us. But I also had many thoughts like "Was my body fit enough for a photoshoot?", "Did my belly still look like a deflated balloon?", "How do I look in front of the camera right now?" etc. But when I thought about how my body had just created and given birth to a little human and that Boob is a brand that truly celebrates mothers, there was no reason to doubt myself. Having my son close to me also made me feel strong, proud, and confident.

I was a bit worried about how Erling would react to the different surroundings, but then I realized that my presence calmed him. He always senses my mood and reacts accordingly, but I had plenty of time and wasn't stressed. He felt that we were doing something fun, and I clearly remember how happy he was in front of the camera that day.


You were born and raised in Taiwan but now live with your Swedish husband and son in Sweden. What would you say is the biggest difference between the two countries both in terms of being pregnant and becoming a parent?

In Taiwan, people see it more as a duty to start a family and pave the way for the next generation. Therefore, they more or less take it for granted that you start a family as soon as you get married. The welfare system is not as developed in Taiwan, so it's quite expensive to have children there. Many mothers choose to start working again just three months after giving birth. Grandparents or a babysitter often take care of the child during the day in the first years. Usually, children start preschool at the age of four. Some working parents even have their children live with the grandparents and only see them on weekends. Being a parent in Taiwan is not a "full-time job" in the same way as in Sweden. Since my son is growing up in Sweden, I really appreciate that I have been able to take care of him myself since he was born and that I get to spend every day with him. It's a gift to see him grow and learn more every day.

When Erling was eight months old, we moved back to my family in Taiwan for six months. My mother is still working but in the evenings she can help out. It's really nice to get some relief now and then. Erling is ten months old now, so he wants to be with everyone and is very active every waking moment. One thing I like about Taiwan is that our neighbors love children. As soon as we step outside the door, there are always neighbors who talk to him and want to hold him. Even children come by and knock on the door wanting to play with Erling.

Are there any Taiwanese traditions or anything specific to Taiwan that you don't want your son to miss out on growing up?

I would like Erling to experience the celebration of the Chinese New Year. It's like celebrating Christmas here in Sweden. We have a big feast with the whole family and put up red decorations on the doors to bring luck and health. As a child, we always received "lucky money" in red envelopes from the adults. It's the highlight of the year in Taiwan and I am really looking forward to celebrating it with Erling for the first time next year. I also don't want Erling to miss out on the traditional ceremony called "zhuazhou." When you turn one year old, you should wear traditional clothing and choose an object from several different ones, and each object represents a type of career. The first object he picks will indicate the type of profession he will have in the future. Of course, we don't take the result seriously, but it's a fun event for all parents. Another tradition I think is important is the old Chinese tradition of honoring our ancestors and visiting temples. I hope my son will always feel gratitude towards his heritage and life itself.

Name three things you don't want to be without in your daily life as a parent.

Water, lotion, and lip gloss. Since I became a mother and started breastfeeding, I am constantly thirsty and wash my hands so often when taking care of my son that they become very dry. I still don't have time to put on a full makeup, and using lip gloss is the only thing I have time for, and it makes me feel a bit more presentable... So these are the three things I always make sure to have with me among Erling's things in the diaper bag.

Where are you happiest?

Right now, it's everywhere I can be with my Taiwanese family. I have been waiting for them to get a chance to meet Erling. Now that we are in Taiwan, it fills me with love and happiness to see how he makes my entire family laugh. Seeing him laugh in my mother's or grandmother's arms warms my heart. Happiness comes so easily since Björn and I became parents. It's amazing. Before, we were always looking for fun things to do on weekends, but since Erling came, it's pure joy just to stay home and watch him. Or go to an open preschool and see him play with toys or other small children. Or just take a long, cozy nap together with him. Seeing him having fun gives me so much joy, it's as if I am in complete harmony with everything, and my son is literally my whole world.

You are a family that likes to spend time in nature. Do you have any tips or favorite places you want to share?

In Stockholm, we love going to Nacka Nature Reserve when we crave some nature experiences. It's easy to get there even without a car, and you can decide to hike a certain distance. Last summer, when Erling was five months old, we took a boat to Äpplarö in the archipelago. It was the first time we camped with Erling, and it was a cozy and unforgettable experience to sleep in a tent together in nature. Another place we really like is Gömmaren Nature Reserve just south of Kungens Kurva. You can swim there, and it's a great place to make a half-day trip to in the summer.

What do you hope to pass on to your son?

I think the most important thing to pass on to him is my mother tongue. I want him to learn Chinese and understand the culture where I grew up.

What kind of world do you wish your child to grow up in?

I would say an embracing, inclusive, and non-judgmental environment. A place where everyone can truly be themselves and where everyone is aware that each individual is unique. When I think back to how my generation grew up in Taiwan, it was an environment with too much comparison regarding different achievements, such as school grades. I want my son to grow up in a free society, like Sweden! One more thing – I also want him to grow up close to nature!


What is at the top of your wish list?

It would be fun to have the chance to go to the opera, see a ballet performance, or attend a concert. A weekend stay at a spa would also be lovely. Because, you know... after becoming a mother, you might need some relaxation now and then!