What’s Up With The Whitening, Babeses?

On a par with learning the local language (ie. here in Sing, saying “lah” as often as poss), it is equally important for the expat specimen to engage deeply with the host country’s culture and daily life. When people accuse you of living in a bubble – and sooner, babeses, or later, babeses, they will – you must have ample evidence readily available to the tip of your tongue, establishing categorifically that the accuser is both utterly incorrect and a mahusiv loser. Photographic evidence is highly desirable (see pics below).

In furtherance of this, I have always made it my business to experience everyday Singaporean life, such as quarterly trips to Tekka Market, hanging out at hawker centres in Joo Chiat, and once I did a food shop at a vendor other than Paragon Market Place. I even take the MRT sometimes, in order to stay abreast of what regular folk are watching on their phones. This is how I discovered two hilario Singian YouTube sensations, Dee Kosh and Mr Brown. The latter seems to have gone quiet of late, quel dommage hashtag sadface.

So as part of my ongoing process of saying goodbye to this lovely country, I decided to take the MRT today to my appointment at Expat Dental (to commune with Lady B, of course; think I’ve mentioned they do Botox now – so discrete and handy). There I was on the platform at Somerset, totes minding my own thang – other than checking out other people’s phone screens – when my least favourite member of the Expaterati tapped me on the shoulder, saying, “Hi Emma-Jane, God can you believe this stuff??”

I turned around elegantly to see Mrs Doom & Gloom Expat Wifey gesturing heatedly towards a row of billboards. Said “stuff” was a series of ads for a moisturiser:

Whitening 1

 

Whitening 2

 
“Oh hiyee, how lovely to see you!”, I replied, polite to a fault at all times, as per my modus operandi.

“Um, no babes, cannot believe it, lah! As a Photoshop aficionado, that font is just ridic!! So dull! And that shading has been brightened at least seven times, I reckon”, says moi, taking a wild guess at what might be unbelievable about the ads.

“No, no, it’s not that! It’s the product, and how they’re choosing to sell it! Look! Look at that!!,” D & G rabbitted on, as if she was talking about something that actually mattered, “It’s a huge Western brand selling a product to Asians on the premise that white skin is more desirable than dark. Look at the bottle!!.. It says ‘healthy white’!”

Then the train appeared, and I realised with horror that D & G was going in the same direction as me.

Getting onto the train, I said, “Oh gosh, yes crikey, how funny is thaaaat?? Healthy white is so not how I’d describe the pasty peeps back in Blighty lol!! Did you know we’re probably going back? Well we probly are, and one of the biggies I am totes not looking forward to is losing my perma-tan. Argh, huh?? It’s a major problem because we’ll only go to hot places a few times a year, and the nightmare is, what happens in between?! I’ll be a pasty pasty too!! Hell, shear hell, the very worst kind of hell that anyone can endure and …” –

I had hoped that if I just kept on talking all the way to Novena I could circumnavigate the intrusion of her appallingly whiny voice, but then the inevitable occurred: I had to pause for breathe. Damn you, cruel respiration!

“What’s at least a little reassuring”, said D & G, pouncing hungrily on the silence, “is that a local charity has picked up on it – AWARE, do you know them? They do great work. But they really only mentioned it, so I don’t think they’ve taken it on as an initiative. It’s such a shame because I dread to think what the impact is on children and young people, when the message is that you’re not ok if your skin isn’t white, and” –

Now fully ventilated, I managed to interrupt her, in an effort to resume plan A of preventating her vocal interventions: “Oh I know, babes! I’m all over the body image issue. You’re probably familiar with my amazebobs campaign to have fakeness ratings put on media images. It is so worrying what that industry does to people’s self esteem, telling us that how we are isn’t good enough, but using totes faked up photos to prove it. Soooooo bad! Hashtag hate hate hate it!!! Oops well it’s almost my stop. It’s been awesome having this little chat-ski, but gotta go!!”

I swiftly stood up, hoping D & G wouldn’t do the assaultative kiss-kiss thing. Her cheekbones are like boulders! She should def go to Korea and get something done about that. No wonder her long-suffering hus took his attentions elsewhere, to a less violent visage. She stood up too though, and even now, hours later, my face feels like I‘ve been to Korea for a Gangnam Special. Ouchey.

As I dashed up the escalator, I worked hard to cleanse myself of the difficult journey, visualising that with every step I took I was putting the conversation behind me. That woman! The audacity of trying to lecture me, of all people, on self image. At least she didn’t make me late for my appointment with Lady B.

 

Me at a hawker centre:

Lovin the freshly steamed fish! Dress by Attaby: https://www.facebook.com/attabystyle

Lovin the freshly steamed fish! Dress by Attaby: https://www.facebook.com/attabystyle

 

Orange is SO the new black! You want this dress, get yourself down to the Attaby Pop Up Boutique 17 & 18 June. Click the pics for deets.

Orange is SO the new black! You want this dress, get yourself down to the Attaby Pop Up Boutique 17 & 18 June. Click the pics for deets.

And me at a supermarket that isn’t in a mall on Orchard Road:

Rockin the Carmen Miranda look

Rockin the Carmen Miranda look

 

Oui, je suis one classy oiseau

Lovely melons LOLOL. Oui, je suis one classy oiseau.

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Free Anti-Ageing Techniques, For Expats and Non-Expats

I believe I may have mentioned once or twice, that expat wives can be very competitive. Cousin Clara says it’s about, “establishing a hierarchy in a mixed environment, wherein cultural norms such as class system are less clear-cut than among static populations”; but I think it’s more like Froo Froo at Tanjong Beach Club. She does that sniffing thing all dogs do. I won’t degrade her by going into details, but I think you know what I mean.

Anyhoo, today I was lunching with my Expaterati girlies – some friendses and some not so much – and a discussion emerged about personal anti-ageing preferences in the facial region. My totes babesome BFF Flo has had a fair old whack of interventions: regular meet-ups with Lady B, a touch of collagen, a few teensy implants, a little eye-lift, and some other minor bits and bobs. She is gorgeous. Trust me. Hot as.

Au contraire, Doom and Gloom Expat Wifey (why does she still get invited to our lunches??) shuns all beauty enhancements, and instead chooses the Abandon All Hope approach to physical signs of ageing.

As loyal readers will know, I espouse the Ladeee Luuuuuv view, that we ladies should be free to decide what, when, why and how we do whatevs we want with our appearance, as long as we look and feel our utmost hottest at all timeses. And we should totes support each other in those decisions, rather than put sistas down.

Me and the gals were therefore thusly being super supportive when we said to D & G that maybe she should consider doing something about her face; at least opting for waterproof mascara, given the realities of this climate (she seriously looks like an owl and I’m seriously not joking TBH). I feel mahusively sorry for her because I secretly know that her hus is heavily involved with his male PA (I’ve only told six other people, including Flo), so we were doing her a favour by trying to force her to make an effort. For her own sake, you know?! It’s what her Guardian Angel would have wanted.

In a way, we were just being the earthly embodiment of her Guardian Angel. At the time, I even formulated an intention to chant for her in my meditation space with the Buddha water feature and a nice Nag Champa burn, offering up these words: May the Universe throw forth eternal blessings to make Mrs Doom & Gloom look a lot better so that she can be a bit hot, namasté.

So I was serioso horrificated when D & G said to Flo, “I completely respect what you’ve done to your face, and your right to choose that. But I choose not to do those things, so you should respect my right not to. And no offence, but you don’t look your age, or anyone’s age, you just look like someone who has had all kinds of stuff done to your face. You basically look like everyone else who has Botoxed, collagened, and whatever elsed their faces beyond recognition. I don’t even know what you really look like!! Do you?!”

Weeeeellll, that was a step too far, babeses.

I was shocked (Flo was too, though you’d have to know her deep down to see it, due to the lack of facial cues), but I remained sufficiently in retention of my verbal and empathic skills to intervene.

“Hon”, I said, with my sweetest Kate Middleton smile, “Just because you choose to pay zero attention to your appearance, despite the fact that you’re probly pushing 49, and you’ve obviously had way too much sun on your face during your youth, it’s really quite unfair to judge others, ya get me? Partic when they look way hotter than you, and their husband isn’t screwing his dude personal assistant”…

Oopsy!! It just came out! Oh dear. All cool though because almost everyone there (except D & G herself) knew about it anyway. So that was fine.

D & G stared at me, with the weirdest look. It was like a combination of, “I hate you and I want you dead”, and “OMG, babes, thanks so much for letting me know!”

More the latter, I felt, so when she stood up to leave, it seemed right for me to give her a great big hug. People need warmth and intense suffocating closeness after hearing difficult news. I know that because of my six-month counselling training.

After my lovely hug, she left, and I was happy for two reasons: 1. I felt secure in the knowledge that I had done all I could to boost her self-esteem. And B) I wanted to get back to my pastrami Reuben – my only carb and mayo shots this week. No way I’m not going to enjoy that!

Once she was gone, we normal happy ladies had a nice chat about how we manage to look so young. I shared with them two of my amazing anti-ageing gems that are 100% free. Because I am v generous, I will share them with you too, dear readers.

The first one is to think of a beautiful female celebrity who’s at least ten years older than you. Fully appreciate that a ton of work and cash has gone into how she looks. And know that she will always be SO VERY MUCH older than you.

And that’s it! It’s basically my reformulation of Einstein’s theory of relativity, applied to ageing. You’re welcome!

My other genius tip is to say that you’re older than you are. For centuries, women have been making the ridic error of claiming to be younger than they are. Whyee?? If you say you’re younger, people are more likely to be looking at you, thinking, “Yowzer, she looks rough!”. Say you’re five or ten years older though, and they’ll be thinking totes the opposite, begging you to reveal the secrets of your amazebobs youthfulnessification. A great thing about this technique is that after you’ve said it a few times, you will start to partly believe it, so you can fully embrace the positive feedback you receive.

Then, unless you develop an as yet unclassified mental health disorder of believing your own age lie, you’ll also partly still not believe it, which will remind that you’re really 35 not 45 (or 50 not 60, 60 not 70, you get the pic). That’ll keep you totes aware of how young you actually are, in contrastation with the age you’ll be a decade from now.

All my girlies agreed that both ideas are incredibly wise. So it’s fair to say that this proves beyond reasonable doubt that if you follow these strategies, along with my previously provided beauty advice and my fashion go-tos, you can be as hot as me for many years to come. If only D & G read my blog. It could save her marriage. There’s just no helping some people. Shame.

 

Froo Froo in her dokini at Tanjong Beach Club. Even the dog is hotter than Mrs Doom & Gloom.

Froo Froo in her dokini at Tanjong Beach Club. Even the dog is hotter than Mrs Doom & Gloom.

 

In the Heat of the Expat BBQ Moment

Stoke logo

Well, thank eff it’s Monday. It has NOT been a fabulous expat weekend. Happy Mother’s Day?? I don’t think so.

Saturday’s BBQ for Don’s birthday was technically awesome, thanks to moi. The Stoke BBQ delivery people made me look like the hostess with the mostestes, as did the caterers, dressed up in gourmet sausage costumes. The chunes were bangin. Michelle’s vajazzling was a tad blinding due to her (frankly excessively) low bikini pant, but no one complained. Quite the reverse, bizarrely. I saw her handing out her business cards. Shameless self-promotion just sickens me, as you know, dear readers.

Froo Froo Dog looked stunning in her dokini. Now that she has learned to assert herself, thanks to the dog therapy, she has really come into her own. I looked as amazebobs as the dog (if only Don could have seen beyond Liz. OK, Don my love, you want vagenitical cunticulitis, you can have it!!).

It was all perfect until late in the night (so I am told, but it can’t be truesome), when I supposedly grabbed Liz by the throat, and growled, “You filthy beep with your gaping infected beep! I know what you’re up to!!”

Allegedly, I then proceeded to use language unbefitting of an expat wife in polite company, informing her that she was not welcome in my home and that she must depart tout de suite.

This sounds so unlike me that I am certain it didn’t happen. Having no recollection of the night (just a spot of totes normal amnesia, nothing crazy or anything, and I only had a teensy bit to drink), and not wanting to ask my friends, or god forbid, the caterers, I messaged Will yesterday. He came up with these ridic assertions.

So it was Will who reported them to me, and it was Will who told me about Liz and Don in the first place. How can I possibly trust his testimony when he is such a filthy philanderer himself?? By the sounds of it, he is making a foul and deliberate attempt to scramble my brain, but hear me now, this brain is not for scrambling. No!!

Anyway, for some reason Don isn’t currently speaking to me, and has instead immersed himself in helping our new house-guest, Angel, to feel at home. Oh how noble!! Because I was unfortunately unable to rise yesterday morning, he took the kids out to show Angel around the local area, ie most of the island. I believe they brunched at Dempsey, and dinnered in Tiong Bahru, but I don’t know what went on in between.

The fact that Angel eats at all astounds the hell out of me. She’s a 5’11 bamboo pole. I’m totes not jealous, but what a 16-year-old is doing in possession of legs like hers is utterly beyond me. (What has she done to earn those legs?! Nothing!!!) According to what she told me today at breakfast, as she ate the white of a single boiled egg, she had “a nice day yesterday”, and “kinda” likes it here. She has said nothing about the events of Saturday night, so I’ll assume she must have gone to bed and missed my alleged outburst, if it occurred at all, which it probably didn’t.

She started at the Australian School today, and hopefully she’ll just make a ton of friends, get on with whatevs these kids do, and stay mostly out of my hair for as long as she’s with us. I totes don’t need another stress in my hair at the mo, dear readers. I’m at the salon right now, having my colour boost (colour that just enhances the natural colour, so it’s not like my hair isn’t naturally this colour), and keratin treatment. After my five hours here, I’ll be “going to the dentist” wink wink. Expat Dental does Botox now : )

I’m ahead of schedule for my usual appointment with Lady B, but there’s something super-unsettling about having a wrinkle-free teenager in da house, and much as I tried, I couldn’t chant or yogue my way through those feelings. (Come on, Yogue! Why didn’t Madonna go there? I should totes do an awesome yoguing vlog, if only I had the time.)

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Froo Froo & her Expaterati Dogerati girlies in their dokinis

Ladeee Luuuuuv

Following the incrediblé resounding success of the Fake Scale campaign – which hasn’t actually started yet, but it’s tremendously resounding anyway – another genius notion has occurred to moi. I am calling it “Ladeee Luuuuv”. This may sound like a lesbian ting, and could possibly lead to increased dykee-looking behaviour, but it isn’t really about that. It’s about the sistahood, sistas.

So I think we know this already, but women can often be super mega-mean to other women. As you’ll know if you’re a liker of my Facebook Page, last week I was floating down Orchard Road on my way back from Jane’s Pilates class, and this woman walked past me, wearing the ugliest yellow jeans in the universe. Under her breathe she said, obviously to me, “Botox much??”

Firstly, no sweetie, not much actually.

And B, jealous much, because I am a fashion expert and know not to dress like you?

And three: what’s it to you what I do with my face?? If you have nothing nice to say, why say anything at all?

Despite their vast array of faults, men would never do that. Because men know that a happy lady is a “generous” lady. Am I right, gentlemen ; )? (A rhetorical question, hence no need to answer it, all two of my readers in possession of a Y chromosome. And of those two chappies, only one is straight. So it’s a rhetorical question to you, guy babe.)

This is why I’ve come up with Ladeee Luuuuv, to ask all the sistas out there to just be a little bit nicer to each other, and say at least one nice thing every day to another woman, whether you know her or not. Like, “Babes, I heart your hairdo”, or “You have such graceful wrists, honey”, or even, “I don’t know you, but I’ll bet you’re a totes lovely person”. If you really can’t think of a single nice thing to say, say nothing. Jog on and find another sista on whom to heap some luuuv.

A blogtastic babe friendee of mine wrote a post along these lines recently, about people judging on looks, especially about ageing. Although I’m v hot and my awesome self-maintenance regime means you’d think I was in my early-thirties (39 approaching fast!), I do feel that all this pressure for women not to look older is ridic. Come on now, the only alternative to ageing is death, and we’re all heading in the same direction. So if we’re lucky enough to remain alive beyond 29, can’t we find a way to make the best of it and encourage each other along the way, rather than dread and despise the process? (I know: I should be a life coach.)

I thusly therefore think that we ladies need to stick up for each other, and for our rights to age howsoevers we want, with or without interventions of our choosing. Most of my Expaterati girlies are great at this already, but I believe we can all do more to get sistas everywhere feeling a ton better about themselves. Let’s do this thing!! Spread some Ladeee Luuuuuv today, babeses! Xx

 

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XOX

 

 

EJ’s Ultimate Expat Wife Beauty & Wellbeing Guide

This probably doesn’t happen to you, but I constantly get people stopping me in the street, saying, “EJ babes, you’re such a hot expat wife. How do you do it?”

And I’m like, “Well, how long do you have, sweets?”

Weirdly, they rarely have long enough, and when they do, I’m getting a bit tired of repeating myself. So I’ve had the most amazebobs idea to write a post with the deets and just refer peeps in this direction when they ask. Genius, right?? I know!

Alora, here are my head-to-toe beauty and holistic wellbeing tips for expat wives (ladies who aren’t members of the Expaterati are welcome to have a go at following, but I make no guarantees for those parties).

Top Hot Bits

How I am so Hot on Top

How I am so Hot on Top

As a natural redhead, I just need a little gentle colour-enhancement once every six weeks. At the same time, I have a keratin treatment to counter the tropical climate. Shinee and straightee, likeeee : )

Underneath my lovely hair is my brain, which I keep in balance through rigorous daily meditation and chanting, and staying up to date with all the news on the expat wives Facebook groups. Gotta keep those smarts in gear, or you’ll turn into the very worst kind of vegetable. A potato, or other starchy carb.

I have regular facials, some of the botulistic variety. You have to start young or you’ll never catch up.

I see my neck and décolletage girl once a month for neck yoga-lates, followed by acupuncture in the same region. She tops it all off with a divine Korean placenta product. It features a distinct odeur de kimchi, but the texture is like the finest Cornish clotted cream, and it really works. Those Koreans. They know a thing or two about placentas.

Main Body Area Hotness

For the main body area, I’ll need to tell you about my dietary intake and my exercise regime, some of which loyal readers will already be familiar with.

Diet
Lemon water upon rising.
Green smoothie for breakfast, following the strict 60/40 rule of greens to fruit. (If I get it wrong, I can be bilious for days afterwards, so be careful, FOR GOD’S SAKE, YOU MARK MY WORDS.)
Lean protein and steamed veg for lunch and dinner, with a smattering of wheat-free and starch-free carb. Abso no carbs after 5PM.
The only exceptions I make to my strict diet are at restaurants and parties, and during weekends.
Some alcohol consumption, but no more than the average expat wife.

Exercise
Private Pilates sessions three times a week.
Lots of treadie runs; and daily push-ups to keep the batwings at bay.
Yoga with awesome Vikram at the Hyatt, and this other place which is sh**, so that I can fully appreciate Vikram’s awesomeness.
Yoga-Zumba-lates once a week, just to mix it up a bit.
[I’m thinking of trying naked yoga, but I’m not going on my own, so if you’re up for it, let me know.]

Please note: I have had no surgery whatsoever – it’s all pure dedication to the cause. Take that, you petite Asian girlies, with your fake noses and boobses!

So that explains why I am so buff. Now back to my beauty tips…

I have regular IPL and waxing for my lady locks, in accordance with Don’s exacting specifications. Since discovering topical anaesthetic cream, it’s a breeze. That’s one of my all-time top tips! And apply liberally!!

Last, but not leastly, the obvious: gel mani-pedis whenever necessary, with seasonal nail art. Bunnies at Easter. Mini fascinators on each toe for the Melbourne Cup. That kind of thing. This, ladies, is because it’s the details that count, am I right? Every self-respecting expat wife knows that.

I will have to fill you in on my day-to-day at home beauty routine another time. I’m dashing off to meet Jenny for pan-seared foie gras, truffle fries with aïoli, and a few bubbles. I spent two hours on the treadie in preparation, so I am #goodtogo!

It is SO great to be back in Singapore. On hol, I got heartily sick of seeing badly-dressed Soviets (it’s still ok to call them that, lah, ya?), and North Asians covered up on the beach, in scorching heat, pretending to be whities. Come on, peeps! Just be Asian, wouldyaplease??

What mega gets to me is the relentless stream of selfies, and posed beachside shots! The narcissism, self-satisfaction, and complete lack of irony is quite simply coma-inducing. Totes, and I really mean that.


If you’re still reading, I need to make sure you know about the shocking thing that happened yesterday! I have only just come out of hiding – lured out by the thought of foie gras and bubbles. Less than that, and I would still be in there.