I recently went down the rabbit hole and watched a few documentaries on the beauty culture and the dark side of models (aka beauty). On one hand, the current diversity, inclusion and variety is fantastic for representation. On the other, it still conforms people towards this idea of global beauty standards. It drives me nuts to see these absolutely gorgeous ladies having body image issues and crisis thinking that they are not good enough, not pretty enough or too fat. It breaks my heart.
Oh People 😍
Above all, I am reminded about how grateful I am for all the people (esp men) in my life. Every single one of them.
Dad, who has been relentlessly supportive of how I look, except for when my party clothes annoy him. He is incredibly supportive of how I dress. When we go shopping (we used to do family shopping vacations), Xavier and I would model the clothes we just bought. Dad and mum will rate it. Dad always compliments everything I wore. Till today, he would still comment on how great my clothes look on me. If I ever feel shitty about how I look or how fat I feel, he would say “no, you look really good. Wear it, you look good.”
Mum on the other hand….. she can be quite critical sometimes. But in general, as with Asian mums, she is always critical about how I look, dress and behave. She would say “put on make up” or “use foundation to cover your pores”. Of which, my rebellious self would NOT do that because I do like my skin and pores. However, mum would be the one who literally stops walking or talking when she sees how good I look. She’s always supporting me in how I dress, even if it’s too fancy over-dressed for a country like Singapore.
Snapchat Instagram Filters
The tipping point in how I felt and how I looked came when filters came out. Long time ago, when I had Instagram and Snapchat, I never knew why I liked the filters but I kept using it. It did not occur to me that it changed your appearance. I just like how I looked in the pictures. So I kept using them because they’re funny and cute.
And the guys would always say, “stop using that stupid flower filter. You look weird in it.”. Weird? I never knew! I really liked how I looked. But I like myself with or without filter, so I deleted social media and carried on with normal camera function.
These filters distort your face just so slightly that you don’t realise it. But your mind captures the difference and it slowly changes how you think you should look. Slowly, you end up dislike how you actually look. I didn’t get to that extent, but I knew I definitely preferred Lisa with filter than Lisa in mirror.
When I started using make-up, I hated it. But I’d try because everyone was doing it. And all my exes and others would always say “please don’t use make up. You look better without it.”. Maybe I simple suck at make up! But I also stopped using it. If I need it, just small things like sunblock and lip balm. Or if I have to film these days, it’s eyebrow, eyeliner and mascara.
I never ever told anyone about things that I am personally self-conscious about. Like my tiny eyes, the way I smile, or my little round nose or the visible pores on my skin. I never hated it, I like the package I came in. At the same time, it would not be too bad to change it.
But as I grow and meet more people, random people would compliment me about my nice eye-shape, the smiley eyes when I smile, the cute nose or how my skin looks good on me.
Like when Alessio said “you should not wear the sunny because your eyes are so beautiful” or Elliott always commenting on my smile and smiley eyes (I still hear that in my head!). Or Vale and Adrien commenting about my nose. Or JJ talking about my skin and Kostas always complimenting my face/pores.
Since then, I stopped giving a fuck about what society deem is “beautiful” and just decide to 100% truly love everything I came in. Initially, it took a bit of compliments from random strangers to accept that “hey I don’t need to be Jennifer Anniston to be beautiful”. And I’m very lucky to have experienced that.
Without these people and them appreciating me for the things I don’t see in myself, I don’t know where I would be today.
Perhaps I would be behind the veil of social media filters or maybe I would not 100% love and accept me for the package I come in.
Today, I rarely get complimented for how I look. WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT I WANT. Every time someone compliments me for my physical appearance, I’d stop them. I dislike it. There is so much more that I can offer than the physical appearance of me. I’m simply born with it, I didn’t work hard to look like this.
I’m really grateful that people got to see me for more than what I see in myself. When doubts plague my mind, their encouraging words become a ray of light to push me out of the dark clouds and get back to life again.
Thank you to the most wonderful souls in my life.