Is there any value to being beautiful these days?

I don’t know about you, but when I first saw the picture of Ms Jeong Ae Ree, the Korean opera singer and voice teacher in the story about former Romanian diplomat Silviu Ionescu, who is linked to the hit-and-run accident at Bukit Panjang last December, I thought she was Fiona Xie. And when I learnt that she’s 40, I took another look and the first thought was, some work must have been done on her face!

Perhaps it’s a blogging hazard, but I find myself scrutinizing faces of women these days – especially if their age is listed in stories like this one. And when they look too perfect or their complexion too flawless, I’ll start to think that they probably had some invasive cosmetics procedure done. But of course that’s just a guess and not a confirmation. But my point is, what’s the value of looking so beautiful these days if all you get are just doubts that the beauty is probably fake.  Or maybe it’s just me?

I’ve nothing against invasive or minimally invasive cosmetic procedures but I just can’t bring myself to do them. The furthest I’ve gone was having my pigmentation spot removed by a laser procedure and even though I’ve considered botox, but I’m too much of a coward to attempt that. And while I like to look younger than my age but I’ve also been thinking – if it really a good idea to look 10 or 15 years younger than your age when people you meet are just thinking: “Oh, she probably just got herself a facelift or something!”

Maybe it’s not a bad idea to have some blemishes.  *BIG CHUCKLES*


  1. AtelierGal says:

    I don’t really care though. If anyone say I’ve got anything done, I’ll take it as a compliment and say “It’s all me, baby!”

  2. CT says:

    If only I have the money, I would be extreme in maintaining youth. Wouldnt mind some lipo, lifting, injection etc.

  3. flym says:

    Haha, I think that way too, to make myself feel better : )

  4. wendy says:

    and what about the asian obsession of having amg mo hair colour?

  5. zhenling says:

    hmm.. i do wonder if they have anything done to their faces cause whatever they did, i want it too! i dont really understand what is so much better about all natural vs. fake. cos i don’t think one can really draw the line between natural and fake. make up? skin care? laser? plastic surgery? cause our skin is meant to age spot and wrinkle. so a truely natural beauty is one whom doesn’t even use skincare!

  6. Jyoan says:

    I normally attribute it to makeup or camera being too far away, because sometimes when there are closeups on tv, I see all the lines and bad skin. All these don’t appear in photographs. haha. Unless I do notice features difference, like Felicia Chin, I wouldn’t think someone has done surgery. I guess some people like Fiona Xie just have nicer features…

  7. sesame says:

    I doubt many would dare to open their mouth to ask anyone. They’ll just have bubbles in their heads that’s all.

  8. sesame says:

    You would? Hmm…interesting. It seems that increasingly pple here are very open to such ideas.

  9. sesame says:

    Haha…that too.

  10. sesame says:

    Okay, I’ll use two celebs as a comparison. When they casted Zoe Tay and Fann Wong next to each other, everyone compared them and said Zoe look so old. It’s true but to me, I accepted her looks quite well. As for Fann, I’m really tired of seeing her face looking the same all these years. She doesn’t seem to have aged and it’s just not natural to me. I guess the line between natural and fake is more of a feeling or vibe.

  11. sesame says:

    On print, it’s probably photoshop. ?

  12. pf1123 says:

    People tell me I look 5 years younger than my actual age. Good thing they have not suspected I did anything to my face. Perhaps I’m overall chubby. Not all that flawless to have done anything surgical. Hahahhaha….

  13. sesame says:

    Beached blonde hair and colored contact lenses? Way too fake if you ask me.

  14. jolie says:

    i think society is pretty much open to surgeries nowadays. in the fashion world, they would tell people that they NEED the procedures.

    Ive recently bought a couple of japanese magazines targeting teenagers from 15 – 20, its quite shocking to see the no. of pages of advertisements they have on cosmetic surgery. models used in the advertisements were as young as 17, is it even allowed?? haha

  15. Hayashi says:

    Hollywood stars would get their face done without hesitation. Won’t it be risky and having side effects? Seeing their pictures before and after face-treatment and/or make-up is shocking. Looks completely like a different person. Moreover, they seems to abuse / overkill with make-up.

    However on the other side, believe such has been very common practice in korea / japan / europe countries.

  16. sesame says:

    I guess it’s a necessity if they’re celebs or models but it looks like others are also influenced and want to change their looks or improve their looks. So I don’t know if there’s anymore value in being beautiful cos as long as you’ve got the money, you can look good.

  17. sesame says:

    Yes, there are side effects. There are many cases of botch up jobs and people who have problems after undergoing these procedures. There’s a price to pay I guess and some pple are willing to take the risk.

  18. sesame says:

    I think there’s a difference to looking naturally younger too…

  19. sesame says:

    Anyway, I don’t consider using skincare unnatural. Skin is our largest organ so it’s also important to take good care of it. Just the extent one would go. Anything invasive to reverse the aging cycle is unnatural to me.

  20. N. says:

    I have nothing against people wanting to maintain a young image by doing certain invasive treatments. But I would never do it to myself because I’m 1. Scared of so. 2. I don’t like the idea of changing who I am so radically. I mean sometimes you can look so different…

  21. Natalja says:

    I guess I’ve been blessed with natural blond hair and blue eyes. And yes, I’ve had some work done on a few parts of my body. I don’t see anything wrong with it. It’s been proven that it improves self confidence and self worth. That can’t be bad for sure. I definitely would have more work done if only I had some money to spare these days. Soo expensive…

  22. stella says:

    if it make you feel better, i think it’s ok, but i’m too chicken for any of it

    in the case of actresses, it often doesn’t do them any favors to fix their face too much imo. i’ve noticed that some of their facial muscles don’t really move, or look really odd when they express certain extreme emotions like cry etc. it also looks them much less interesting as a person (after all, a pretty face is a dime a dozen). i remember reading an actress, i think it was cate blanchett, saying she wouldn’t get botox ‘coz it’ll be unprofessional since it’ll affect her facial expressions – i say bravo for professionalism over aesthetics!

  23. sesame says:

    Yeah, I’m scared too even though I did consider botox for my forehead.

  24. sesame says:

    No, absolutely nothing wrong. If I have money, the first thing I want to do is my teeth. I hadn’t realized that a nice set of teeth can do wonders to the face too so yes, I want to change that. But like you said, it’s so expensive.

  25. sesame says:

    I think it’s the extent one would go. In terms of the celebs, they probably feel their face is their security blanket and will go the full extent. But yes, I agree with you…some of them look way too plastic.

    Anyway, I was amused with a dermatologist who once dissuaded me to do anything cos he said there wasn’t much issue plus, he asked me honestly if I have deep enough pockets to maintain the going.

  26. estranghenya says:

    I Don’t have anything against people who go under the knife. But I guess all the cosmetic surgical fad is causing an imbalance in people’s perception of beauty and people’s confidence and contentment. For example, I do think that I’m beautiful and a lot of other people do too. But when I look at all those photos in the magazine and all those actresses who don’t seem to grow old, I sometimes become frustrated because I know that whatever I do, I can’t match beauty that is tailored to be perfect. So I have to keep telling myself that at least I know my kids won’t look too different from me. When I’m older though, I won’t mind going for a little botox injection or laser lift (whatever they call it). LOL.

  27. sesame says:

    Yes, you’ve hit the nail on the head! Plus there could be pple who have really good genes and have aged well, and yet, because they look good, others may just assume they could have done something when they’ve not. Something else struck me is that it’s so easy to be beautiful on the outside, and everyone focuses on that. But what about the inside? As in the state of health, the person’s character?

  28. Priscilla says:

    I’m actually open to plastic surgeries to maintain youth but i totally look down on people who dare not admit when they had it done.

    Have the courage to do it yet dare not admit and claim that it’s natural beauty…

  29. sesame says:

    Haha…I know what you mean and I like the guts of those who admit and in fact, I admire them more!

  30. meh says:

    sorry for the late reply, but this post has to be one of the best in your blog even though there aren’t any beauty tips :p

    yep i’m totally with you. i can understand why some women are quite prepared to go for these surgeries leik botox as it gives them that extra confidence. but to me, no matter how good you look after those surgeries, your beauty will still be fake. maybe it’s my ego, but meh.

    also, it’s getting more boring to see so many ‘beautiful’ people around. i used to think that beautiful people are those with perfect features, perfect skin, perfect body and blah, but quite recently i have realised that what really makes your face shine is actually the quality of the personality behind it. i’ve seen a lot of ugly beautiful people, and i’ve also seen a lot of beautiful ugly people. and vice versa and etc. that’s what makes people fascinating. but when you have a load of ‘plastic-looking’ people, it can be abit disturbing because they look less human for some reason. i dunno if it’s really true but that is just my opinion.

    on the other hand, i’m not so boring as to reject that skincare and makeup are fake too :p once my face completely healed from acne and scars, and this lasted for a week. that it actually happened AND lasted for a week was a miracle. but the weird thing is, when the breakout happened i actually welcomed it, leik ‘why hello! i missed you so much!’ it’s really weird, but i think i’ve become much more confident with myself once i realised what beauty really means.


  31. sesame says:

    Haha…you actually welcomed your breakout? Er…I’m not looking forward to mine though. ?

    The definition of beauty is undergoing a change…it’s so easy to be beautiful these days but is it really beauty? I’ve also met some ladies with acne and whatnots, but when I talk to them and interact with them, I feel they’re so pretty or beautiful. Like you said, it’s the personality.

    Although I like to look youthful with a flawless complexion but I’m also disturbed by the focus on this – it creates an unbalance – people just focus on improving their exterior without looking at what they should do to improve their character or personality. Can you imagine how it would be like in the years to come, especially for our future generations?

    I hope that while we try to improve our skin, but we do not get so obsessed to forget that it’s the whole that counts. We need to have inner beauty – by that I mean health as well as grace.

  32. estranghenya says:

    My sister is going for nose surgery in December and my parents don’t know about it but I do and I’m in such a dilemma! Anyway, my sister actually has high-bridged nose but she wants to get the perfect caucasian narrow bridge. She’s beautiful to me–of course not perfect but nonetheless, beautiful. She’s a model. I tried to talk her out of it but she said “You don’t understand how I feel coz you don’t need it! Okay… what if a doctor offers to give you bust enhancement surgery for free? Don’t tell me you won’t think twice before saying no!” I was dumb-founded. (Note: I’m a nobody in the B department so yeah, she was pinning me on the right spots!)

  33. sesame says:

    If it’s her occupation, then there is probably some pressure for her to strive for perfection. *sigh*

    Sometimes, it’s quite hard to say no, even if we don’t agree in principle. I’ll tell you that I’ve received some offers to get free treatments like laser, facelift because of this blog. However, I’ve said no because while the offer is attractive, I just can’t bring myself to do it. Plus, I need to find the $ to sustain in order to be able to enjoy the long term benefits.

    However, I do ask myself – would I say no forever?

  34. fwy says:

    I had done braces & lasik before. However, I was told these 2 procedures are way too common nowadays. I know a lot of ppl started wearing braces when they are in their teens.

  35. sesame says:

    Yeah, these are pretty common…

  36. fantsastic says:

    she looks fantastic for 40 !

    any idea on what skincare regime she has?
    if so pls blog and share !

  37. sesame says:

    I have no idea.

  38. li says:

    hmmm , i think braces are more of a necessity because having a crooked / misaligned bite is really also a health issue, and not just a cosmetic issue.

    I’m way too scared to do lasik so i’ll stick to my glasses! ? don’t want to be part of that 2% that goes blind!

    Sometimes with movie stars it’s not just cosmetic surgery though. if you have that much money and the luxury of time, it’s easy to look well maintained and therefore younger for longer.

    Weekly massage, facial, daily exercise with a personal trainer, personal chef to watch what you eat, nanny to watch the kids, cleaner to clean the house, not much stress like “ordinary people” … (all that running around, work and money worries, chasing after children and just the daily toll of “life”) – the aging process is not just caused by the passing of time, but also our lifestyle habits.

  39. sesame says:

    That’s true…stress is a big trigger for aging. I wish I can wake up every day with time to smell the flowers.

  40. . says:

    I am her daughter, and I can say without a doubt that my mum did not go for plastic surgery. “Please do not jump to conclusions if someone looks too pretty for you. ” quoted from my friends. Please make sure you have any evidence before saying anything fake. I cannot say that the photographers don’t use photoshop, but they may not have. If you want to hate on someone, please give hardcore evidence. Don’t say something untrue because of your jealousy.

  41. Mohsin Saqlain says:

    i aha

  42. Mohsin Saqlain says:


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