Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Our generation, narcissistic as it is (guilty*), seems fixated on nursing whatever deep-seated insecurities it might have by subconsciously lowering others' self esteem using glamorized photos that are so perfect, it hurts. "If you're an insecure person, how are you capable in producing such confident photos online that in turn, makes others feel insecure about themselves too??? Why not make everyone feel good together??" With so many people fixing their faces for a little cosmetic "boost", I constantly wonder if standing firmly beside my ideals will eventually cause me to lose out while everyone is looking prettier every minute. Irina, do you want to be the kind of person who advocates for brands that ultimately serve to only deepen feminine insecurities? No, of course, not!

Being in an industry where you're constantly exposed to the ugliness makes me feel really uncomfortable. Thanks to the interconnectedness that social media provides, I've crossed paths with a fair share of people over the years. People who ride on others for satisfaction that is merely temporary. People who set goals at the expense of others. People who use their job as a tool for extortion. When interacting with such individuals, I'm often confused as to how to act or carry myself. If you can't fight them, do you join them? Or do I burn bridges I have yet to cross?

With each passing day, I get more afraid. I'm worried for the kind of generation I might raise. I mean, how did we even go from "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)" by The Proclaimers to Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?"?

Pardon me, but as I've said before, I'm confused. 

Friday, September 25, 2015


During my last group discussion in class about a research paper pertaining to social media, I learnt that there are people out there who actually believe that most photos on Instagram are true reflections of an individual's reality. FYI: Just like advertisements, not all the photos on Instagram are what you think they are. 

The photos above (if I'm not wrong) are great works of a Thai photographer, Champoo Baritone. I love this series so much. There are so many issues that have arisen since the dawn of social media; it has changed social dynamics, altered interpersonal relationships, modified perceptions of self identity etc. It truly and especially breaks my heart when I discover that the people around me believe in such crafted reality. "Guys, I'm in this industry. You guys help me out with my ootd and stuff. You ought to know better." The love-hate relationship from listening to them compare themselves with other individuals and how such discussions lead to self-deprecation is driving me nuts. As much as I want to agree with every word of self loathing coming out from their mouth, I can't help myself from going on a tirade about the lies on Instagram.

Never ever feel shit about yourself because grass will ALWAYS be greener on the other side. Your life is beautiful too; it's just that... maybe you're not equipped with the skills that others have to present a fancier version of reality right?

Friday, September 04, 2015


So.... how come you've been gone for so long, Irina?? 

The initial plan was to attend a  3-week Summer Exchange programme in London and, at the same time, see what Yi Ming's world was like. However, mere weeks before my flight over, I was informed by the school that both my first and second choices had not meet the achieved the minimum mass of students/attendees/sign-ups and as such would be cancelled. P/S The Summer exchange was really just an elaborate excuse, or rather a much needed boost of courage for me to get my ass out of my ultimate comfort zone. I was disappointed (yet secretly happy at the same time) by how it all turned out, even while the program advisor urged me to choose another course instead. It was a pity that the other courses had not interested me enough... so, that led me to make one of the best decisions in my life: dropping out of King’s College Summer Exchange.

In short, I took a semester off this Summer to travel with Ming :-)

Over the years, I’ve lived vicariously through the travel photos posted by other people on social media platforms as they ventured out of Asia. This Summer, however, it was finally... my turn. Since turning nineteen, I have stopped taking allowance from my mother because I'd discovered how modelling could be a sufficient (albeit temporary) source of income. It was hard to be financially self-sufficient and never in my wildest dreams would I have ever imagined that it was actually possible to save enough for something as big as a trip to Europe. Thus, the furthest I'd ever been from Singapore, prior to this Summer escapade, was on a family trip to New Zealand.

Within the first few hours of my departure, I’d unlocked the two of the biggest achievements in my life: flying to Europe and flying ALONE. There was definitely an odd sense of liberation during my solitary flight but oh I can’t deny that I was... to a certain extent, scared (??) ha ha. I've always had a fear for the unknown and that includes unknown destinations. What I meant by that is, somehow it scares me when I can't envisage myself fitting into a place that I just naturally don't belong. My mind just can't translate the 2D Google Images I see online into something concrete, real, and with myself in it. The unknown basically bundled itself up and transformed into fear - a fear which has held me back for a long long time and has, a number of times, prevented me from brilliant opportunities like overseas internship and degree study.

So, while I still have the energy, I'd better get moving. You know what they say - when you're old, you've the money but neither the time nor energy. So for now, let's live. I have always been envious of those who have travelled so much with their families, who have seen so much of the world, and those who have managed to absorb so much culture and knowledge by immersing themselves in foreign lands. For those of you who are still waiting for your turn, don't be demoralized. Instead, work harder, save harder, and when it's your turn, you better play motherfucking harder than you thought you ever could.

Long story short, here's a sneak peek we've put together before breaking the travel-logs up into parts!

P/S: The morning I departed did not start too well. I lost my phone the moment I arrived at the airport but a good-hearted taxi driver returned me my phone and guess what?? I didn’t even take his ride (my uncle sent me to the airport instead)! He was very reassuring when he sensed the panic in my voice over the phone. SMRT cab driver of plate XXX883X, thank you for being such a life saver. I couldn’t note down his plate fast enough cause he drove off so quickly around the corner. Singapore is really small; just thought I should say my thanks here and give him the commendation he deserves. Maybe if someone he’s related to reads this, he/she can help me pass on my thanks and feel absolutely proud of what an exemplary man he is.