On the whole, I think I am generally quite a confident person.
Despite the numerous beatings to my self esteem over the past decade, I think I’m doing quite okay.
But here I go again sounding like a broken tape recorder:
I might not be your conventional beauty but I do not hide my face nor am I shy about what I am lacking/have too much of.Â What is the point? I’d rather be out there talking to my friends and meeting new people.
Due to certain efforts of mine over the past few years, I’ve been given the chance to do certain things that put me in situations to be scrutinized. Though these opportunities come with endless benefits, it also comes with criticism.
So what’s new?
About how I look again la what else.
I’m not actually bothered by it too much because by now I should have developed an immunity to being insulted for my lack of physical attributes.
I did an advertorial for Maxis back in November and I know, realized and was very well aware that all those other girls who did the advertorial with me are hot babes that I’ve never grown to become. But I have long overcome the fact that I will never be a stunner. I’m cool with it because for years I have made up for that with attitude.Â The criticisms that comes with it, the shamelessness that I ooze without effort, my bitchiness verbal diarrhea style and various other sohai things that I’m quite proud of.
So if you’re reading this and worrying about me, don’t. These are just my thoughts after having a long talk with a classmate of mine on MSN last night.
I let him see this forum where some people said why are maxis taking advantage of young girls to promote their products and while they are at it, why don’t they use better looking girls? Apparently I looked like a man in some of the photos lah. But yeah tell me something I don’t know. Most of them comments were about the way I looked in the photos instead of the actual product itself. -_-
During the event for the advertorial, there was a make over session. I know the make-up artist was being realistic but I just smiled politely when he said, “All of you girls have beautiful eyes! And Jolene, yours are curved downwards, so we’ll need to work on that.” …As it is, I was already surrounded by some of the most beautiful malaysian bloggers, I just didn’t need to be compared like that.
On Cindy’s blog when she posted her Maxis advertorial, there were some comments about how I was the worse looking one there.
A bit ouch for awhile but this incident today really stimulated some thoughts that need to be jotted down here. Now that I am older, I get over insults within 5 minutes. The usual feelings will be there for a while lah such as shallow breathing and a grimace on my face. Then I’ll be back to normal doing my own thing. 🙂
But I was not always like that.
Some of you might have heard this before but I shall take you on a journey down memory lane laden with events that made it clear just how the shallow society viewed me.
When I first entered secondary school, I was like any other 12 year old – boy crazy and naive. I didn’t think I was ugly and any guy who talked to me, MUST have talked to me because they liked me. All these incidents went into that stupid juvenile diary of mine. I had imaginary love triangles or even octagons for that matter.
But talking to that classmate of mine yesterday made me realize that I was not alone in thinking so. Children assumed that they are good looking until reality snaps. I posted this up on my FB status and received quite a lot of ‘likes’ which only further proved my point.
I was snapped out of my reverie on one afternoon in form1. I got to know this boy from my school via IRC and he was in form2, a year above me. And the rule still applied lah, since he talked a lot to me, something must be going on here! I heard from friends that he was on the lookout for a potential girlfriend and felt quite flattered that he was talking to me a lot online.
At this point, he has yet to see me. But me being the perasan kid that I was, thought he probably saw me around school already.
I walked by his class one day and heard the boys in the backrow erupt in laughter. I smiledin their direction and thought to myself, “Oooh…. maybe they are teasing him! Ooh!! So exciting!”
I was at my friend’s house a few days later and he was talking to her on ICQ. He said something like, “Oh the other day that Jolene Lai walked by my class and she smiled at me… ” I sat up straight, very excited to see what he was about to say next.
“I almost fainted ler,” he continued.
I was smiling to myself by then because he must have been blown away by my beauty!
“My friends said want to vomit lerrr she so ugly hahaha,” he went on to say.
The moment I saw that, I frozed. It was like I was slapped in the face. My friend tried to save the situation by telling him that I was actually reading the entire thing. He quickly said, “Eh eh just joking. Don’t smile lah next time k? You don’t smile okay one!”
I got on my bicycle and cycled home from my friend’s place with tears streaming down my face. I’ve not forgotten that incident at all. This guy was regarded as one of the ‘bad boys’ in my school and because of him, I never spoke to boys who had a bit of rogueness about their person. For years, I was pretty sure that they would not bother being acquainted to me as I was not up to standard.
For months after that I refused to be introduced to boys I met over the internet. Don’t worry for these were only boys from school. I was very sure that they would run away screaming when they saw me. I couldn’t take another blow to my ego.
Sometime in the middle of form1, a form2 boy named CX liked me but I didn’t really believe it because I was quite sure it was a horrible prank. He was a bad boy himself and he got a lot of flak from his peers for taking an interest in me. He wanted to join some gang at school and he was chatised for being a sohai and a wannabe for wanting to join that gang and ..on top of that, for liking that ugly girl called Jolene Lai.
I learned about all this in the form of an IRC transcript sent to me by one of his “pet sisters” who I supposed had a crush on him and was trying to hurt me.
A lot of girls had crushes on him and these were girls you would not want to mess with. They were the typical lala muis you would find dwelling in the back classes. Crude and distasteful types. They would scream at me from two blocks (of classrooms) away screeching things like, “CX GOT BAD TASTE!!!!!!!!” and glare at me when they walked pass me.
I was like wtf what did I do. In early form2, that chapter in my life closed. I started hanging out with people who were more open minded and were more into friendly conversations than stupid and juvenile boy-girl relationships that fizzle out within weeks.
I still had random people adding me on ICQ back then and claiming to like me and then after leading me on would say, “Aiyoh you so ugly go do plastic surgery first.”
While the kids around me became less mean as the years went by, it was made clear to me that I am really not the kind of beauty men would desire. When I attended interschool functions, boys would not be asking me for my ICQ number/handphone number. Boys from the other forms didn’t take an interest in me. There were no rumours about guys having crushes on me while my close friends were having boys falling for them right left and center. As a young teenager, these kinda emotions were hard to stiffle but I made up for it by busying myself with crushes and telling them about my feelings. 🙂 All rejected nicely, btw. They were all sweet boys.
By form5, I was pretty much already the girl that I am today. With a network of friends whom I can be totally myself with, enjoying the company of new friends who are just as funny as me and basically looking forward to life after high school.
Life after high school, meant the start of my blog. With my blog, I had something to back me up. Nobody judged me based on face value anymore. Friends of friends spoke to me warmly because they’ve gotten to know me ‘personally’ via my blog though I’ve not met them before. But as long as they were nice to me, that’s all I could ask for. Old acquaintances who would probably snub me because they are generally the arrogant type, spoke to me like an equal because they could connect with me after reading my blog.
This was of course back in 2005 when this blog of mine had more friends reading it. Now they are probably too busy and perhaps bored of me what with my lack of updates.
Eh let’s get back on track!!
So because I chose to make myself public, I opened myself to harsh criticisms from random passerbys who don’t even know me and just saw my photos here and got disgusted.
They would leave nasty comments about my face on my tagboard and kill my ego for a day or two. But I recovered fast.
One incident that was quite bad was the infamous blog post by another blogger girl who was mistaken for me at a blog meet and felt insulted because she’s definitely not as ugly as me. A blog post was written about the incident, someone sent it to me, I got hurt and the entire blogosphere went into a flurry as people got excited with the flame war that was going on. She and I are friends now and she’s not a bad person at all. Misunderstood and young and myself, sensitive and young as well. Hahaha. All water under the bridge. But this was a classic example of how society viewed me.
After relating all these to my classmate, he thought I was very strong and said some girls might have gotten a bit suicidal for being insulted like that.
Now that I am older, I know that beauty is subjective. Make-up helps and attitude helps a whole lot more. As long as you are comfortable with the people around you, so what’s a little comment from dimwit strangers? They just don’t know the substance that you have that makes you you. The qualities that you have that opens doors for you, it’s your own effort and if people who don’t know you don’t understand that, it’s okay. You’re the one reaping the benefits from such opportunities. So what if I sold my soul? My soul wants to be blessed with material things, so I think I should be happy doing what I do.
There are a lot of pretty faces out there with zero substance and that’s far worse than a plain girl. These girls get bitched about! Plain girls are just not talked about, so that’s better than being bitched about right?
I know I am not ugly when I have my better days, I’m just not what the media wants.
I’ll just have to take it with a pinch of salt and be thankful that I can get over insults fast and just go back to my usual hectic/mundane/eyebrow raising life of tvb drama watching, Chee Kiang missing, shopping, outings, Angel yearning, sticker selling, blog crapping, photos editing, facebooking, dentistrying and exam passing. Gosh my life sounds so boring. 🙁
My junior from uni, Aimee Lee, blogged about this too yesterday. I quite like what she wrote and babes, I genuinely think there are no ugly women, only lazy women. Perfect example is the dental dinner pic! You look gorgeous there.:)