This time last year, we embarked on a sort of The-Alchemist-esque journey with our friends at Matter. It was the perfect alchemy. Matter, as you know, makes “pants to see the world in”. WoW discovers and tells stories of inspiring individuals. Together, we created a #WoWWoman series entitled #JourneyToMe. We wanted to have meaningful and intimate conversations with women about their unique path of self-discovery and self-acceptance; and with that, the power and freedom to be fearlessly and unapologetically who they are. In their stories, we found strength, courage, hope and inspiration. Listening to them gave us goosebumps and, because you, too, loved the series to much, we’ve decided an encore was in order. So here we are, one year later, presenting you part deux of #JourneyToMe.
We started the conversation with millennial #Girlboss and social media darling Andrea Chong. Then, the founder of local swimwear label K.Blu, Lyn Rosmarin, invited us into her home to talk about the road less travelled and the twists and turns along the way before she found success and herself. Last week, we chat with Cheryl Tay, the woman behind the #RockTheNakedTruth movement — through which she aims to turn her growing pains into others’ gain. And finally, to wrap up the series, actress Oon Shu An bares all about her idea of beauty and learning to be kinder to herself.
IN COLLABORATION WITH PORCELAIN, THE FACE SPA
You being you is what makes you gorgeous.
Can you tell us who Oon Shu An is in five words?
Oon Shu An: Inquisitive, curious, intense, fluid and… chocolate? Haha.
What is your favourite thing about you?
OSA: My stubbornness. Once I’ve set my mind on something, it’ll take a lot to talk me out of it, if at all. I used to think that it’s a bad thing but I’m glad for it now.
What do you think is your biggest flaw?
OSA: Same — my stubbornness.
Do you recall the last time you gave yourself a bad review?
OSA: All the time (haha). I’m very hard on myself. I’m trying to change the
What do you think it means or takes to be unapologetically you?
OSA: It means not compromising what you believe in just because you are afraid you’d upset someone else. It’s one thing to make a decision to change your mind about something, but it’s something else to let your fear of displeasing people rule how you think or act.
Do you think you’re pretty good at being true to yourself now?
OSA: Haha, I’m still learning. I don’t like upsetting people, and I care about what other people think. But I should learn to be less affected. I think I’m getting better at it!
OSA: I think it was when I first joined the media/entertainment world. I would like to think that I never really had big issues with how I looked, or my self-worth. In school, I was a squad leader in Girl’s Brigade and drama president in junior college. I mean, like everyone else, my confidence would take a hit every once in a while, but I had a pretty good support system. When I entered this business, however, I started being assessed based on things that I hadn’t thought that much about before. And suddenly, the things I thought I was good at started working against me because
I’ve always perceived beauty to be strength, grace, kindness and generosity.
I hadn’t quite learned or understood how the system works… Actually, this video pretty much sums up how I feel.
How did you overcome that? What important lessons did you learn?
OSA: I watched other people, and slowly tried to see and understand the bigger picture and why things were done the way they were.
How would you define “beauty” now? How does it differ from how you used to perceive beauty when you were younger?
OSA: There was a time when I was younger when I legit thought that if I grew up looking pretty, I would be successful. But I’ve always perceived beauty to be strength, grace,
I’m very hard on myself. I’m trying to change the way I ‘talk’ to myself, to be kinder to myself…
kindness and generosity — basically beauty is the women around me when I was growing up, like my mother, my aunts, my grandmothers. I always thought they were so beautiful. Who is your #WoWWoman? What about you surprise people the most? What do you do when you’re not feeling so fabulous and need a quick boost of confidence? What do you think is the surest way for a woman to gain or lose power? What’s your message or advice to people who feel like an outsider, like they are never good enough, and are trying to find their way in life? feelings is. I also try to open myself up to different people to get different perspectives, and experiment with different thought processes. Complete the sentences:
OSA: I have three — Ellen DeGeneres, Oprah Winfrey and my mum.
OSA: That I swear a lot? Haha! Actually, I always have, since Primary 6 or so. I think I was trying to be cool then. Now, it’s habit to me. I just don’t do it on camera.
OSA: Watch TED Talks.
OSA: To just take it, and to give it.
OSA: Everyone has their reason(s) for feeling that way. So I’ll just share my own experience. Those are feelings that haven’t gone away for me, so I try to figure out what the root of those
Every day, I discover myself through… things that happen with other people.
I am my best self when… I am hopeful.
When I’m stressed, I… eat, and watch cute animal videos.
My best-kept secret beauty weapon… are masks. I love masks — all kinds!
I am… worthy. Of love, of respect, of kindness. We all are.
kindness and generosity — basically beauty is the women around me when I was growing up, like my mother, my aunts, my grandmothers. I always thought they were so beautiful.
Who is your #WoWWoman?
What about you surprise people the most?
What do you do when you’re not feeling so fabulous and need a quick boost of confidence?
What do you think is the surest way for a woman to gain or lose power?
What’s your message or advice to people who feel like an outsider, like they are never good enough, and are trying to find their way in life?
feelings is. I also try to open myself up to different people to get different perspectives, and experiment with different thought processes.
Complete the sentences:
I am… worthy. Of love, of respect, of kindness. We all are.
DRESS & BAG // LOUIS VUITTON
SHOES // ROGER VIVIER
BEAUTY // PORCELAIN, THE FACE SPA
HAIR // BOSCO ENG, HAIRLOOM
MAKE-UP // LARRY YEO
LOCATION // THE SCARLET SINGAPORE
DIRECTION & PHOTOGRAPHY // KARMAN TSE
ASSISTANCE // ABIGAIL LEE & CHARNICE LIM