How Do Women See Themselves?

by Lullanotes on Monday, May 13, 2013

The first time I saw this Youtube video by Dove, I like it a lot. The main reasons being:

1. They are not trying too hard to sell me, as a viewer, anything. So that in itself, I feel, gives them a lot more credibility. If they had ended with something remotely like "Buy Dove to make your natural beauty shine through!" (yes I made it up), I would have trashed the video and not give it any more thought.

2. It has a really positive message behind it which is asking women to look at themselves more kindly and honestly, I don't think people do it enough. I am guilty of this too.

3. There was attention to details like the fact that they didn't just engage a random artist to sketch but an FBI trained forensic artist who is used to sketching based on descriptions and have tons of experience in that area.

It was also interesting to see other people's point of view regarding the video. jazzylittledrops felt uncomfortable because she felt there was too little diversity in the choice of their subjects and which I tend to agree. I would have appreciated if they also used someone who is on the bigger side or someone who is awkward etc ... you get my point. She was also disturbed that one woman at the end said "I should be more grateful of my natural beauty. It impacts the choices and the friends we make, the jobs we go out for, they way we treat our children, it impacts everything. It couldn’t be more critical to your happiness." and she felt that too much emphasis is placed on the physical appearance and we all know that how we are as humans and the roles we play to others are so much more than that. I don't feel quite the same in this aspect. I think the sentence "I should be more grateful of my natural beauty" is not only pertaining to external beauty but also the outlook that she views herself. Because she has a lower sense of worth in her physical appearance, she is riddled with an inferiority complex that affects how she deals with people and the world. I know I've done things like dressing myself up for no special occasion or putting on a new lipstick colour and telling myself I am beautiful on random days and it just felt like the day is sunnier, I walk with a spring in my steps and I smile more easily. On the days I think I look crap unpresentable, it ultimately made me feel bad about myself and the day was spent trying to avoid contact with people and rushing home earlier to wallow in my own company.

(No offense to you I hope, jazzylittledrops! It wasn't particularly meant to single you out but your post gave me food for thought.)

Why don't you watch it and judge the video for yourself according to how you feel? I know I spent some time thinking on what I would have told the forensic artist if I was the subject of interest.

He's There! The Phantom of the Opera

by Lullanotes on Wednesday, May 8, 2013

You are crying! You are afraid of me! And yet I am not really wicked. Love me and you shall see! All I wanted was to be loved for myself.
Gaston Leroux, 'The Phantom of the Opera'

I was fourteen when 'The Phantom of the Opera' came to Singapore. My best friend then, let's call her WL, asked me if I would be interested to watch it with her. I remembered that the Category 1 tickets were about SGD128 then and Category 2 tickets were at SGD90. Being in secondary school and having parents who did not understand my interest in musicals and frankly with no means to meant that I could only afford Category 2 tickets on my own then. I did not blame my parents one bit. My father was the sole bread winner and I have no doubt that they would have given me the money had they known I wanted to see it that badly. But paying for my ticket would also mean they have to scrimp and save in other ways. We tried to buy our tickets too late and by then, the only tickets available to us were the Category 1 tickets. I gave up watching the musical, telling myself that it will be back someday and I would make sure that by hook or by crook, I would get to watch it then.

Time passed by - WL and I graduated from our secondary school and went our separate ways to other institutions. She left Singapore to further her studies. She had always excelled academically and is ambitious of what Life can offer. I started work earlier than my peers and at this very moment, we are no longer friends. We lost touch, due to differences I am afraid to say, was largely my fault. I read and re-read the book till I could lift paragraphs out of it. I met my first boyfriend and fell in and out of love a few times. During particularly emotional nights, I wept, remembering of Erik's selfless love and how he died lonely and broken. I worked for different establishments. I dabbled in religion till I stumbled out of it and still, 'The Phantom of the Opera' was as elusive as his namesake, keeping me out of reach. It was to be a twelve years wait. It finally made its re-appearance in Singapore in 2007 and happy to say, I was already earning as an adult by then. I bought the most expensive ticket the day tickets went available for sales. I dressed myself beautifully and went off to the theatre to watch in rapture but what an agonizing wait it had been! Besides climbing The Great Wall of China which I had already done in 1996 on a school trip, watching 'The Phantom of the Opera' became the next biggest thing in my bucket list that time. Even if it had never made its way back to Singapore, I would have found a way to London.

'The Phantom of the Opera' is making its comeback from July 16 to August 11 this year so if that is in your bucket list, go grab your tickets from Sistic. I had already bought mine before it went on sales at Sistic. Even though I've watched it, a compelling love story that is my favourite musical still holds its undeniable magnetic appeal. Maybe one day, I will find myself seated in a West End theatre.

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