.anything two-wheels, travel, food, beauty, fashion and my personal musings.
I have recently been on a work trip for a familiarization tour of the Company’s business in Vietnam. During one of our corporate dinners, a local contact I have had frequent tele-conference encounters with but have never met, exclaimed to me upon our first face-to-face introduction, “Are you Malaysian?? You are so dark-skinned!” I believe she met to ask if I was indeed of Malay descent instead.
Initially, I was rather taken aback by her candidness as I generally thought it had come across as rather rude to discuss race a the dinner table
among colleagues and work associates. I had to quickly respond graciously (and hide my embarrassment) with, “Oh, yes, I know I am rather tanned for a Singaporean lady. But yes, I am Chinese.”
In all honesty, I had just interpreted her response as, “Oh, you are ugly!” You see, since that encounter a few days back, I’ve started to pay more attention to how fair-skinned most of my Singaporean counterparts are. And although I have known that being fair is rated rather high on beauty scales, it only finally hit me how being fair-skinned is considered the epitome of beauty here among Asians.
I am therefore, not considered beautiful as I have medium-toned skin.
I am addicted to watching YouTube videos especially beauty tutorials and product reviews. In these videos, I have seen how Caucasian women love being tanned skin instead of appearing pale and pasty. And women of colour seem to carry off bright neon hues. I was convinced it was great to be in the middle with medium-toned skin as then I had the best of both worlds.
Boy, was I wrong!
“You are so dark-skinned!” Again, this looped in my head like a broken record. So much so, I started to thought-circle and get rather depressed. I mean, who doesn’t want to be considered beautiful??? Then, I had a eureka moment: Is validation so important to me that I live my life according to other people’s view or ranking of me?
So now, I am likened to think that beauty is as fair-weathered friends are: few and unimportant. What I mean by that is while it’s nice to labelled beautiful and good-looking, I am fine with not ranking high on that scale because I value self-love over self-loathe; and being a person with good values and having strong family bonds and a few close friends are more important to me. That, and living a full life. And, I can appreciate beauty if I am staring it in the face.
So, I think I merely had a moment of weakness there. Here’s some food for thought: is beauty skin deep to you? Or would you rank inner beauty higher?
Here’s a picture of me on the plane. Yup, I’m not fair but I am beautiful as God’s child and that’s more than enough for me.