Beauty Ideals

Are you comfortable with the way you look in close-up photos?
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Are you comfortable with the way you look in close-up photos?

I don’t think I paid that much attention to the construction of my face throughout my teens. I didn’t wear much makeup because mom said that makeup’s for grown ups and it would only mask my youth. The only thing that I owned that was close to being a makeup was The Body Shop’s lip balm in a pot which I loved by the way because it was just so fruitilicious and glossy.

Came university time, I put on a tonne of weight (approx. 10kg) and that completely changed my facial shape. All of a sudden I “lost” my already non-prominent Asian features and my broad face became as round as it could possibly be. To add insult to the injury, my skin decided to go crazy and I broke out severely especially during winter time. Going through all that, I actually still felt ok about myself because I didn’t think that I was out there to impress anyone. I still had fun with my crazy bunch of girlfriends and that was all that mattered. I must have created this protective shell around myself and rejected any form of negativity that was surrounding at me. My parents freaked out of course and resorted to telling me how chubby I became (those instant pasta should be banished forever!) and took me to various skin treatments which didn’t help a great deal initially (but did at a later stage). I wanted things to improve but I also tried to keep a nonchalant attitude about these issues that were happening in my life.

I can’t remember when exactly it was but slowly (but surely) I realised that I didn’t quite fit the “pretty” bill and it sucked! Many of my friends were in relationships (in and out for at least a few rounds) while I was still waiting (impatiently) for my prince charming to show up. That coupled with all the Taiwanese beauty ideals shown on TV really tipped me off the edge. I wasn’t satisfied with the face that God has given me. Instead I secretly wanted to change every feature that I have, ok maybe not the dimples ha! I wanted bigger eyes, taller nose, slimmer jawline etc as those qualities were seen and labelled as beautiful. It didn’t matter that those beauties that I saw on the internet or soap operas were completely plastic, I kinda wished that I could look a similar way as well because after all, pretty girls seem to have more fun right?

I soldiered through singlehood, a short-lived relationship and a few “it’s complicated” here and there with this deep insecurity within me, and a bodyweight that yoyo-ed back and forth until I met Mr M. I know I’m making it all cheesy but the truth is, Mr M has shown me that he accepts me for who I am. I also realised that whilst the exterior is important in the law of attraction, it is the internal qualities that are going to hold the relationship together. I really don’t need to be perfect to find love. Part of love is about accepting imperfections and quirks. Of course I believe that we do have a responsibility to look after ourselves as well as we could but if we were to spend majority of our time being so consumed with our physical appearance, we’re going to miss out on other areas in life. We’re living in a world that gives way too much credit to visual appeal and I think that’s hurting us in unimaginable ways, especially for someone who’s still in the process of finding him/herself.

So a few years have since passed and hopefully a few years wiser as well, I’m posing the very same question at the top back at myself- Am I comfortable with the way I look in close-up photos? For now I would say yes. Nothing very much has changed since but I did drop a few pounds as a result of a change in lifestyle and dietary choices. I’m grateful for my unique face and a sense of security and freedom. That didn’t come naturally but with time, I realised that I am loved regardless of how I look.

Fact is, this applies to you too.


  1. Ahh I love this and I love that you’re so comfortable in your own skin to ask if you’re happy with it up close. I totally get what you mean by being consumed by the ‘fake’ beauties around you wanting to still be like them despite knowing it’s all plastic! You’re are so beautiful Mun and it definitely radiates much brighter than having external beauty!


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