FINAL Chapter 6 : The big purge. 8 months in Purgatory

   Haro friends. It’s been a while.

   It’s time to finally catch up on some more recent stories. Are you ready for more drama? Can I get a hell yeah? woop woop**

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**please don’t feel bad or sorry for me. I wanna show you how life is great but sometimes not exactly a bed of roses, and awful things comes to those who deserve it (JUST KIDDING, I am JUST KIDDING).

   So, after my adventures in Taipei and this, I relocated to Bangkok, Thailand, at the end of the year to keep working as a model but focusing more on acting/TV Commercials jobs. Bangkok is a thriving media/film production hub and it’s also fun. It was calling me back.

   Following my PCOS (link) diagnosis, I stayed on birth control pills for years and learned how to coexist with it. That was until one of my visits to a doctor in Bangkok took me by surprise. After a check up she asked me multiple times how I was diagnosed exactly, and asked for all details about it because apparently there was ZERO trace of PCOS on my body, and it seemed like I have never had suffered from it. NADA. Nopety nothing. So after consulting her, I decided to go off BC (glad I did)(<-link)

   I dived into nutrition, exercise and what not. I’m always very curious and god bless google.com for existing, everything is one research away. I read a number of different health approaches, articles, books(Woman’s code, Leaking Gut, Paleo, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Ovolacto), natural products, natural skin care, supplements, detoxing, superfoods, alkaline body. PHEW! There’s more. Organic eating, alternative medicine (Reiki, Acupuncture), mega-informative podcasts (Joe Rogan, Dave Asprey’s Bulletproof Diet, some other paleo stuff), learned how to fast and learned about Ketosis. I was on the Bulletproof Diet lifestyle for quite a while, and even mentioned it on some of my Instagram posts. But due to the high fat content with butter stuff, I would always break out.

   In fact, I never stopped breaking out even after being on birth control pills. My skin was always alright but never AWESOME. I quit dairy for the longest I can remember because I thought that was it, and it wasn’t. My diet was so clean, I was active, I was healthy, making smart choices, but sometimes out of nowhere…boom. I could count how many weeks/months out of a whole year I had a good skin. It was exhausting and frustrating, specially while having to work WITH your face.

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(photo: a week before the story below)

   2014. Last year in July, I was coming back from my last photoshoot in town before going back to Japan. I remeber in the morning my skin being fine, but half way through the shooting I noticed it wasn’t smooth anymore. After a long time being fine. Could it be allergy? I was intrigued.

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I started documenting it.

  • September in Brazil:
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   It was only getting worse. I thought changing environment would help. Nope. During August in Japan, I met a highly spiritual person/healer who worked with herbs and gave me a whole bunch of tree barks, dried leaves, flowers to brew and drink each thing 5 times a day. He was magical and he smelled like sandalwood. He told me I was already cured. 

   I finished the 1 month supply of tea in Brazil, but nothing changed. I wasn’t feeling like visiting my friends or showing up at my moms restaurant. I just wanted to stay home and play with the dogs. I visited some other place in my hometown and they told me I had to detox my blood. More teas. I also visited a gynecologist for exams and definitely no PCOS or hormonal imbalances.

  • end of September -October in LA:
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   I arrived in LA. My friends were in shock. WHAT THE HELL was going on? Everyone told me to stay in the States for a bit just to deal with this and not worry about anything else. From different group of friends, they were all so wonderful and loving, commited to help (inlcuding myself), but nothing was working. I tried products from Dr. Murad and visited the spa. I was told it was a no brainer. I visted one of those Beverly Hills dermatologists who promised me the gates of heaven, but for a salty price of xxxxUSD. Nope. Nope. Nope. Still not working. I got really depressed around this time.

   I once had a mini-emotional breakdown when I was in OC spending time with my friend Caren. It’s hard when you’ve been battling for so long and each glance in the mirror reminds you that everything looks absolutely out of control.

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   But I wasn’t going to give up. My name is Patricia! Which acording to Urbandictionary.com means “beautiful, tall, smart, brunnete that likes to party. Usually friends with a blonde.” 

   Anyway. I switched from antibiotics to Traditional Chinese Medicine. It was a fantastic doctor who helped healing a serious condition of a friend of mine and have been taking care of her whole family ever since. His wise wrinkly face told me I had too much heat on my stomach and lungs, and that my pressure was too low. He gave me a list of do’s and dont’s (no cold food, ice cream, spices, certain meats). I took expensive Uber trips every week to see him from West Hollywood all the way to Alhambra.

  • November-December in LA:
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   I was so happy to be treated in the most natural, holistic way, being a huge fan of chinese medicine myself. But it was almost too much to handle. It was too slow recovery for my liking. I couldn’t recognize myself anymore.

   Some days were pathetic.

   Some others, it was ok:

  • January in LA:
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January in Arizona:

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   It was time to leave. 

   I grabbed what was left from my chinese medicine bags and went back to Bangkok. But as soon as I got back, I realized I couldn’t afford spending any more time trying to get myself out of this misery. I ran some blood tests, hormonal levels, and checked to see if I was still ok and I was.

   So I pondered over what I thought it was right or wrong, wrote on a paper and spit on it. 

   I took a drastic decision which I have been avoiding since my teenage days. I went on an 3 months 10mg ROACCUTANE treatment + twice a day antibiotics.

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LIVER POISON! DEPRESSION! MENTAL PROBLEMS! Everyone shouted.

   Luckily for me the only side effect I had was extremely dry lips, and not being able to drink alcohol beverages.

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   Today, I can eat anything I want, use any brand/products on my face without breaking out almost simultaneously. Matter of fact, I haven’t broken out since I finished the treatment. It’s amazing!

   EVERYDAY IS SO AWESOME! IS LIFE SUPPOSED TO BE THIS GREAT?

   GOOD THINGS DO HAPPEN TO GOOD PEOPLE. Not the other way around.

   This is the story of how I miraculously cured my PCOS, food sensitivities, expelled life long demons and finally started to live like a real WOMAN, not a slave of my appearance. Send me questions.

snapchat: patty_nk

ig: pattynk

email: info@skin-careme.com

Chapter 5-6 violence interlude. Breaking point

   I just wanna share this small story before I move on to chapter 6 so you understand a little more about what kind of person I am. Sweet, funny, caring and temperamental.

   After what happened in Taipei, I did very well and worked non stop. 

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At the end of 2010, I moved to China for a short term contract but returned to Taiwan afterwards and kept working a bunch.

   Modelling in Taipei it’s hard. The market likes innocent, perfect, shy and cute girls. But I’m a bit goofy and boyish, so I did my best to please everyone, even if it’s pretending to be something I’m not. 

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  I take my job very seriously, and if anything, I am my own worst enemy. I am VERY self-critical, and when something is not good or perfect, trust me, I’ll be the first one to notice it.

   After breaking out immensely, getting endless scars and being so vulnerable, I got used in being apologetic all the time, accepting that I deserved every single criticism bomb thrown at me, while trying to be professional and hard working at the same time. It was something beyond the humble aspect, just a constant “Yes, I understand”,”It’s fine, don’t worry about me”, “I’m sorry”, “I’m so sorry”, “Is this good enough for you?”, “My fault”.

   Non stop working. End of April, 2011.

   I had a clothing catalogue job, shooting for 2 days with 2 other taiwanese models. I remember it was for party dresses. Everything was shiny and sparkly and tight and short. I had a super curled up hair situation (old school selfie photo attached below) and was ready to work. Before every shooting, they get all measurements head-to-toe from the agency, so I assumed everything was cool.

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   This wardrobe lady came to where I was getting my make up done, and asked me to try the shoes on. I always do my best to please everyone, be it a Tv commercial shooting/print ad, if I don’t have to walk a lot/jump/dance, I WILL suck up the pain and wear your wrong sized shoes. 

   But she brought me something 3 sizes smaller. I couldn’t even fit in it. After trying, I told her I was sorry and I couldn’t wear it. The shooting was for dresses anyways so shouldn’t be a big deal.

  But she got fffffffffffffffurious.

  She left. Then came back again fuming, asking me to try another one on the same size, as if my feet shrunk on that small interval. Again, I said I couldn’t because it was just too small. Her face got red. She told me to try AGAIN. 

   And that’s when she threw the shoes in my direction.

WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH, WOAH.

   We held a staring contest. I said I wasn’t going to wear it, and I had my own shoes if she needed. There was tension in the air. I was so done being treated like a undeserving low life (calm down Paty). I shot whatever I was supposed to on that first day but before it was a full day of work my agency called me and told me I could leave.

   I went to the agency straight from the studio, and was told to sit and wait. After a while my agent told me I didn’t need to go back for the second day. She said clients were happy but she received complaints from the wardrobe lady, who called in to say I was very rude, disrespectful, unprofessional etc etc etc.

  And that’s when, I believe, I had my first nervous breakdown.

   That’s it. I’ve had enough. I snapped. I got so mad my mind went blank. If you knew my agent from Taipei, you would know she’s the craziest agent out there. No one talks back to her, everyone is afraid of her. But on that day, she got scared of me.

  -Naomi, calm dow..

  -WHY (beep) SHE (beep)(beep)(beep) RGHHSTUEERJIHFRJAHREJREARGHHH

   I went through something the modern society youngsters would call a few years later “0 to 100 real quick”. I felt exhausted, I felt out of control, out of my mind, my face was raging, my heart was racing, I was shaking, I felt like I was going to explode. All the bookers stopped working to see me go nuts. “Fun day at the office! Now this is something you don’t see every day!” they must have thought. 

  Why did the lady lie and said I was misbehaving? They canceled me because she had made a mistake and she was throwing that on me??

  I was eventually told to go to the back room to regain my composure. I walked in the room and started going absolutely crazy. I recall punching the couch, yelling and holding my fists close to my face, throwing the pillows around. At some point my agent walked in, lit up a cigarette by the window, waited for the right timing and told me I might have been working too much and needed to take a break.

  I bought a ticket to Japan and left for a few weeks. On the first week, I stayed at my uncle’s because he works everyday and I didn’t wanted to see anyone for that period. So for 7 days I didn’t see NOBODY. I didn’t talk to a fellow human for 7 days. It felt weird and dark, but it also felt great. I needed to reset. I also didn’t brush my hair or looked myself in the mirror for 7 days which is none of your business.

  I reevaluated my life and decided I needed to be true to myself if I wanted to be happy, and pleasing everyone was not the way to do it.

  I went back to Taipei and set the wardrobe lady’s house on fire.

  JUST KIDDING!

  I’M FINE NOW.

Chapter 5. Photoshoots and PCOS part 2. (got tea? bear with me, this is a long one)

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    So…what was that? What is PCOS?

   “PCOS is Polycystic Ovary Syndrome, also known as Stein-Leventhal Syndrome, and is one of the most common hormonal endocrine disorders in women” (source: pcosfoundation.org) Symptoms varies from irregular menstrual cycles/periods to weight gain/difficulty losing weight, cysts on the ovaries (multiple), hair loss, anxiety etc.

   The most popular treatment is through drugs or birth control pills (my case), although bc pills only masks the symptoms and doesn’t heal your body. >>I will come back to this in the future.

   The recovery was emotionally and physically draining, with severe pain every other week. I kept my skin care regimen minimal, I only wore baggy clothes, played games, read books and avoided talking to my family for a bit just so that my mom wouldn’t stress worrying about me, specially overseas. 

   One good thing that happened to me is that it was during this hard time that I first heard about TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine) and Acupuncture as an alternative treatment to illness and unbalances, but I didn’t use them on my favor this time.

   And 2-3 months after what it felt like forever, everything was under control again. I had some scars from the intense breaking up, but I felt way better and was also naturally back to my modelling weight and shape. My manager was happy when she saw me and asked me to move back to the city ASAP and start going to castings and working again. I was so excited and happy to be back.

  Right on the spot I booked the very first casting I went to after my come back. 

me: Yay good times are back! 

life: – HAHAHAHA actually, not too fast

STOP. I HATE ACTUALLYS

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   It was early in the morning, me and a Brazilian male model getting ready to shoot a gazillion of clothes for a catalogue. The make up artists was doing my make up when she stopped and went to get the clients, who has already seen me personally the other day. She started  complaining about me while pointing at me. They were getting louder, standing right behind me looking through the mirror with VERY NOT HAPPY faces. Damn, it was my scars. At one point there were at least 8-10 people there, just looking at me and talking. The make up artists asked me to switch with the male model, and promptly started doing his hair and make up (yes you heard it, guys wear make up for photoshoots).

   After this, everyone simply stopped talking to me. I sat there on the couch waiting, waiting, waiting…. 

   I didn’t know what to do so I decided to ask someone from the team if everything was ok, when she answered me in chinese basically something like: “Dafuq you want?” even though we were speaking english before.

   I texted my booker and told her what just happened, when I saw the booker herself entering the warehouse with 4 models from my agency, everyone in high heels holding their books. 

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  They were kicking me out and holding a last minute casting to replace me. 

  They chose a japanese girl from my agency, and my booker coldly asked me to get my stuff and to leave my high heels so the other model could wear it on the photoshoot.

   I can’t describe the feeling of shame, anger and sadness I felt. I was angry at them and at me at the same time. I couldn’t even see properly where my bag was because I was already crying. I walked past everyone towards the exit just like a ghost pretty much invisible. 

  I walked outside where our driver was waiting and just bursted in tears. My booker and the rest of the models came after in silence and got in the car. No pad on the back. The booker was very brief and told me to stop crying soon because we were on the way to 4 castings. ARE YOU FUCKING* SERIOUS? (*swearing was necessary)

  Long story short, I booked 2 out of the 4 castings we went to, and the clients were very clear that my skin wasn’t an issue.

 This episode went straight to my archive of “Days That Crushed Me Into Pieces”, “Therapy Required” but also in the subcategory of: (press play below)

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***All photos on this posts were from photoshoots right after I came back to work. Do I look like I just visited Crapland? Luckily I got super busy after that day, schedule always fully booked and became a regular on countless magazines. 

“Illness is a calling”

Chapter 4. Photoshoots and PCOS part 1.

    When I came to realize how serious things really were, it was already too late. I was 10kg heavier, with my skin and my menstrual cycle going absolutely nuts. Ashamed, defeated, depressed, lifeless.

   My whole lifestyle, sleep patterns and diet changed when I started modelling, a natural adjustment to the fast-paced unstable schedule model life. But I also come from a family were nobody exercises or gain weight, and the lack of health knowledge, limits and just plain careless mindset played a crucial role on what happened to me after 1 year deep into modelling.

And definitely TAIWAN. 

   My agency in Taipei had a terrible rule of measuring the models every Friday after work. They were very strict, and being 0,5kg* or 1cm* out of the ideal measurements/weight allowed them to play a harsh psychological game on us. I saw my teenage roommates stop eating on Thursdays and not even drinking water on Friday just so that they could pass the measuring patrol thingy. I too went on the most stupid diets, ran with inappropriate shoes desperate to get that skeleton skinny legs and walked up 14 stairs up to the agency office (in high heels) because they told me to avoid the elevator. How damaging these habits can be?

   I went back to Bangkok for a new contract when my skin started to break out really really really really but really bad. My agency was fuming. I had to go through a few extremely humiliating email exchanges between the local agency and my mother agent on how I looked hideous and disgusting. “Is she even a model?”. I went to the hospital and was told that having oily and acne-prone skin is normal until your 30′s (OK), then suggested to do a couple of laser $$$$sessions and it would go away in no time. (Which never happened. I was desperate tho). But then suddenly I started to gain A LOT of weight, so I had to step back.

   I flew back to Taiwan, and started seeing a bunch of doctors with my friends help, until I was finally diagnosed with PCOS (Polycystic Ovary Syndrome). It was a hormones havoc nightmare. It didn’t sound very good.

It was my first career set back, I had to drop everything and hide. I even stopped looking myself in the mirror.

Suddenly the magazines and commercial days seemed so far away.

Time to do some maintenance.

part 2 coming soon.

*I’m sorry, I still can’t figure out pounds and inches.

Chapter 3. Girl in Japan part 2.

   And so we are in 2008, where My Chemical Romance – Cemetery Drive was still a recurring song in my life. I did no longer listen to death metal but CONFIDENCE LEVELS WERE MINUS 100 x INFINITY. The feels.

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   One of my sisters was invited to join Elite Models, and since she was underage and my parents were busy, I had to go with her to do all the hands shaking, sign the signatures, question the questions and just be your overall embarrassing family member which I’m very good at.

  When her new manager looked at me and said how the big sister was also beautiful, I had the hardest time digesting that compliment. I was in a point of my life where I had settled for less for everything. My life, work, relationships. The head booker then proceeded to ask me if I ever thought about getting into modelling, but it was so hard for me to sit there and listen to that nonsense. I waved my hands in front of my face (the japanese way) denying it and said how far I’m from being pretty or anything close.
   I don’t think they noticed, but I felt this overwhelming sadness and shame, with my eyes getting watery because the FEELS were arriving to the party uninvited. In my head I was just simply not part of this surreal world of gene pool lottery.

   They told to me take care of my skin (even more), my skin color (to avoid getting tanned), let my eyebrows and hair go back to natural and come back in 4-6 months to see them again.

   Right before that deadline, I was randomly introduced to a scouter from Tokyo who invited me to attend a 2 days modelling workshop over the weekend. After the last day, only 3 girls were invited to sign with their agency and I was one of them. It all happened in August, and it happened really fast. I shot my first portfolio with them and immediately started going to Tokyo for castings. My boss from my company back home was kind enough to let me take the day off and travel to Tokyo, but I would always come back the day after and work 10 times harder just so I could keep earning those day offs.

   Finally in October, when I was contemplating moving to Tokyo to give this strange thing called modelling a try, I scored my fist short-term contract overseas. I took off to Bangkok, Thailand – home to a huge TV commercial market, and that’s how my career started. 

 I wish I could tell the “My Chemical Romance me” how my life would drastically change, or how someone with so little confidence would be forced to work with some of the most handsome talented stars in Asia over the next years, but it would’ve sounded like a bad Young Adult fiction novel plot.

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Hi Vivian. Hi Godfrey. Hi Siwon.

So, does it mean I made it safely into the modeling indrustry?

It never got easier! Only harder.

The journey begins.

Chapter 2. Girl in Japan part 1.

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   I went back to Japan at the end of 2006, and got a job at a mid-sized manufacturing company for Toyota and other big auto companies. It was my first paid job (MOM never paid us). Since I could speak Japanese and Portuguese, they used me as a translator too.
  Morning routine was: up before 7AM. Get ready, eat (somedays prepare lunch to bring), walk/ride my bicycle to the company and clock in before 8AM. Work would go on until 5 or 8PM depending on the day. Sounds crazy to me now, but I didn’t mind. I liked feeling responsible. But no matter sun or rain, typhoon or snow, I would sacrifice one of the morning’s steps so I could put make up on. Concealer for my pimples and mascara/eyeliner to look decent. repeat x365

        Skin was still not good. But moving back to Japan made get back in touch with my girly side. Spending more and more time with old friends and specially my grandma, I got some serious “Skincare and Makeup 101 guide for dummies” lessons with chapters:“Only use your ring fingers to wash your face!” “Double Cleanse!” “Shave your face(love this one)” and “STAHP, SUN IS EVIL!!!!”.* 

*I will come back to this Japanese/Korean skin care subject in the future.

   I was living with my parents with no social life and a solid salary every month. so I started spending my dollah bills with facials and spas. They call it エステ(ESUTE, short for aesthetic) in Japan. I took a take a train every weekend to a city nearby for skin treatments and nutritional counseling. They told me to cut out sugar, processed food, coffee, red meat and walk 2x a week. Mind you, I was already 47kg(103pounds?), so obviously my family started to worry that I was going anorexic. I was spending easily 600USD for those weekends and I even bought a light therapy device from them, with a set of 8 colored lenses for 2,000USD++ BECAUSE DESPERATION.

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^something like this. 

   Now, this method MIGHT be the one for you! It’s proven scientifically that colors has different wave lengths and it works on your skin in a different depth, helping any trouble from wrinkles or skin rejuvenation, oily/dry skins and eczema/acne.

   But B, you guessed it! WOO! You was righttttt. (OG MACO)

   For me it was just another big NOPE. 

   What now?

   All aboard What’s Wrong With Me? train express!

Chapter 1. 16ish.

    Most of you will go through puberty, breakups and college and never visit Hormones Roller Coaster Land. Go to a party, come back just waaaaay too turnt to remove your make up and wake up as if nothing has happened. Pick up whatever you see from a drugstore, splash your face with it and carry on with your normal day. For some reason I thought I would be one of you. The innocence.

   Flash back to high school in Brazil. I wasn’t into fashion or make-up at all. I was very boyish and wouldn’t spend too much time pampering or thinking about my looks because I thought it was stupid. Tough girl, but every time someone stared too long at me, I wanted to disappear. I was always breaking out. 

   When I was 15-16 my mom opened a restaurant, so my sisters and I all had to work there part time. The customers were all friendly and they loved stopping by to chat with my mom, who I could only wish to be like. She’s such a people person, and she forced taught us how to a have a sense of humor/sarcasm from a very young age. So it became my strongest self-defence mechanism.

   One time, I was serving a regular customer (a doctor), when he told me my skin looked like a cheese grater. He came back to the restaurant with his family a few weeks later and said: “Oh, ok. Your skin is not THAT bad today huh, good for you.” I laughed it off and replied: “Oh, Thanks! It’s because I haven’t washed my face in a week. Anything to drink?”.

   The damage was already done. On the outside I was very funny and silly, but inside I was growing as one of the most self-conscious girl out there.

   The products I was suggested by then were glycerine soap bar and clay mask. I buried myself in heavy metal music and some self-destructive behaviours twice a day before and after meals by my own choice too.

   Is this really the path to self acceptance, self love and healing? Stay tuned.


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Hometown in Brazil, December 2005. Too emo for smiles.

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Singapore, April 2012. Still struggling but at least more confident.

Ps: I learned English on my own, so if any grammar mistake drives you crazy, I apologize in advance.