words & photo KARMAN TSE
Dr Rachel Ho is sitting opposite me, vis-à-vis. We meet for the first time at a café in the mall where her clinic, La Clinic, is.
Sometimes I think the universe is like Steve Jobs. Like him, she seems to believe that “people don’t know what they want until you show them”. Think about it—all the things, the opportunities, the people she has sent your way before you realise that’s what’s missing.
Last year, just before I turned 40, she did it again. Through my friend Alli, the universe sent Rachel, an aesthetics doctor, my way. Alli texted me one day our of the blue, and asked if she could introduce us. She thinks we’d really hit it off. We did…
Back at the café, after initial introductions and pleasantries, Rachel and I quickly drift into a comfortable flow of conversation… When an appropriate amount of time has passed, I ask what has been on my mind all along: “Tell me, Rachel, in your professional opinion, what problems do you see when you look at my face? Be honest, I’m a big girl, I can take it.” READ MORE
What makes you feel beautiful? What makes you feel un-beautiful, or ugly even?… It’s funny, isn’t it? That we don’t compare our inner beauty more often? What would happen if we started to think: My heart is not big enough. My kindness is too thin. My love is not voluptuous enough. Too much anger, too little graciousness. Maybe the ugliness we thought we needed to fix all along is less nose job and more inside job. READ MORE
“YOUR STORY IS WHAT YOU HAVE, WHAT YOU WILL ALWAYS HAVE.”
words KARMAN TSE in collaboration with PORCELAIN
Star sign: Taurus. Favourite colour: Turquoise. She loves the ocean because it’s serene and mysterious. Empathy is her secret talent. She is a student of psychology and quotes Bob Marley. Goofy, adventurous, responsible and a little weird—words with which she describes her “different sides”. She’s the daughter of former model Wendy Jacobs and Singapore’s football hero Fandi Ahmad. The sister of four brothers—two older, two younger (no, she does not receive special treatment as the only girl). Modelling is her dream. It has always been, inspired by her mum—the Cindy to her Kaia. Her ultimate celebrity role model is Zendaya because she’s so multi-talented. But so is she—she paints, draws, dances and likes to sing. More secret talents… READ MORE
words KARMAN TSE / KLARRA
Today is International Women’s Day. My friend Samira asked me only two days ago if I would be doing a special feature for the occasion. I said no, because I celebrate women—you, my friends, myself (I try)—every day here. But when the lovely team at Klarra asked me to be a part of their IWD project, “I Am: A Portrait Series”, I said yes because I think it’s time to stop hiding behind the stories of others, it’s time to tell my story, and share what I have learned—one of which is that feeling and caring too much is my superpower… READ MORE
For who I was, three days ago:
I thought I was caving in,
but I was actually
being broken in
so I could begin again.
—Morgan Harper Nichols
words & photography KARMAN TSE
“When I was growing up, I was the only mixed-race kid in my little town, which made life a little bit difficult, but they call it character building. It was hard because I got bullied a fair amount, not just name-calling,but physical abuse as well. There was one guy who literally strangled me and picked me up off the floor. But luckily, I had a lot of solid friends. I told my mum and she was like, ‘Okay, let’s find out where he lives’.”… READ MORE
words KARMAN TSE
“We all have bad days, so I guess the first step is acknowledging that and trying to put it into perspective. I believe in communicating any concerns that arise, rather than internalising them. If I need some time out, I will take myself out into nature, switch my phone off and enjoy 10 minutes of meditation somewhere quiet. It helps me find my center… I believe challenges help us grow and evolve, so I don’t shy away from them, but use them as opportunities to grow.”