Season 2, Chapter 1: A RECAP

Hey everyone!

I hope life has been treating you well.

Last time we touched base I had just gotten out of Roaccutane and was living the life of the fearless and spotless. The sun was shining bright, my hair blowing in the wind in slow motion while I glazed at nothing. Not a single zit. Great times! I could write a song about it.

But like any good Netflix series, my path to a good skin is a journey made out of a number of plot twists. Here’s a quick summary of the events:

Los Angeles- San Francisco-New York- trip: AUGUST 2015

I travelled to the States to celebrate my birthday and hang out with all my loved ones. During the trip I noticed my trophy smooth skin was becoming clogged, but I brushed it off justifying it for my lack of exercise and not 100% clean diet.

By the time I my trip ended I realized I had a zit. But it wasn’t bad like before so yay.

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CONFIDENCE: ★★★★★

SKIN QUALITY: ★★★★☆

Brazil trip: SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2015

My face started to slowly be covered by these little bumps EXACTLY like it was the year  before  around July. They were all over my forehead and cheeks. They were unsqueezable, hard bumps. I exfoliated, had religious mud masks sessions, steamed my face, used homemade organic Rose water, aloe vera. No improvement. My sister gave me a local brand face wash to try and I think from that point onwards everything turned really, really bad.FullSizeRender.3.jpg

My favorite character on this show died: her name was MY CONFIDENCE.

My mom owns a restaurant and we kind of have to hang out there in order to have a family time. I hated every single moment of it because breaking out and having to socialize with customers it’s close to a punishment. There was a lot of “Oh, so this is your daughter who’s a model abroad?”  going on while I felt and looked my worst. I avoided going to town and meeting people I knew. I stayed home as much as I could.

Completely depressed and defeated, I was laying down on the couch one day when my sister, who’s 10 years younger than me, decided to drive me on a scooter to the park so I could cheer up a little. She said: “Patty, don’t worry. At this time of the day nobody is really there, so you don’t have to worry about meeting anyone. I’ll bring some strawberries too”. She’s so amazing.

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Me on that day. You can tell happiness was absent.

CONFIDENCE:☆☆☆☆☆

SKIN QUALITY:★☆☆☆☆

Bangkok: OCTOBER 2015~JANUARY 2016

I flew back to Bangkok knowing I couldn’t just go back to castings yet. My agency understood the situation very well so they just let me take my time.

Long story short:

 

There was no time for being sad. I was the only one who could solve this. I attacked it from all sides. Diet, workout, skin care. **It’s really important to mention that I gained 4-5kgs while vacationing in Brazil,and losing that extra weight was ESSENTIAL to the health my skin.

My frustration became this strong desire that fueled my willpower to get out of this. I did it before and I could do it again.

I spent Halloween, Christmas, New Years Eve and also booked some big jobs all WHILE breaking out terribly. I shot for big brands with one of the most amazing directors out there, and I HAD to chin up and find out what else can I offer when I’m physically NOT looking my best. I faked confidence most of the part but there was no time for feeling sorry for yourself.

During one of my researches I found out about KERATOSIS PILARIS (those little bumps that can form on your upper arms), and also finally understood the devastating effects of make up allergy.

In January I started to see a dermatologist weekly, and I could finally see a light at the end of the tunnel. She put me back on a 2 and a half months Roacutanne treamement, combined with Antibiotics and facials with poking, squezing and all once a week.

We found out I had developed allergy from something I’ve been using. I still can’t believe this, but the BB cream I was wearing almost daily was the biggest cause. Ironically it was good for acne-prone skin. See: COVER FX BB GEL ANTI-BLEMISH TREATMENT

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😦 I really didn’t know.

CONFIDENCE: ★★★☆☆

SKIN QUALITY: ★☆☆☆☆

BANGKOK: MAY 2016

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This is me now. I have so many new things to share. Products, habits, ideas.

But I’ll have to write a separated post just for it.

CONFIDENCE: ★★★★★

SKIN QUALITY: ★★★★★

ENJOYING LIFE: ★★★★★

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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.