Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Leftover Woman but Free

I just saw this very touching and concerning video about one of the pressures that women in China face – being labelled as “Sheng Nu”. Literally meaning “Leftover Woman” it refers to women above 25 who are not married. It got me upset. Just the meaning leftover woman is very demeaning and implies that a woman who is not married by 25, is no longer desirable and is a “leftover”. Wow. That is just unbelievable and that label doesn’t have a place in today’s world anymore. At least, that is what I personally think.

I guess it doesn’t surprise me, as women are facing the same pressures here locally. Everyone asks you when you’re getting married. And once you are married, when are you getting children. And once you have children, when are you getting more children. The pressure is always there. Simple questions like “when are you getting married?” or “when are you having a child?” although very simple and well-meaning, can be very hurtful to those asked.

I have written and spoken about this a lot. A woman’s role in society have changed a lot since the old days, and people need to accept this. It doesn’t matter if you’re a stay-at-home housewife by choice, or if you’re single and independent and trail-blazing your career: every woman has their own role and their own journey. And they all have to make certain sacrifices to go on that journey. And all of us, we are all strong women for making that choice and sacrifice.

A woman can be independent and single – by her own choice. A woman can be married and choose to work – by her own choice. A woman can be married and become a devoted fulltime mother – by her own choice. No one is better than the other. No one should feel better than the other.

I chose to marry at the age of 25 years old – not because I was pressured to, but because both my husband and I were ready for it. There was no pressure. I have never judged those who have yet to marry, because I do not know what journey they have gone through, and what their destination and goal in life is – and because of that, I only offer encouragement and support in whatever it is they chose and want to do.

For myself, I have always been ambitious and passionate in everything I do. After studying law for 5 years, I was very ambitious and worked just as hard or harder than everyone else to get to the top. I used to work long and insane hours, most of the time working overnight and over the weekends without sleep. I used to be involved in fields of law that everyone said “were not suitable for women” just to prove that women too can excel in any area they choose. I was extremely lucky to have a husband who supported my ambitions and passion towards what I chose to work on at the time. I remember not many people agreed with the way I worked and see it as abnormal for me to work like that.

Then, after being in legal practice for almost 7 years, I decided to switch career into fashion and start from scratch all over again. It wasn’t an easy decision and the challenges are definitely many, but I am also thankful of my husband’s support of my career change together with the challenges that come with it. But for single women who choose to advance in their careers, they too should deserve all the support for their choices. People who pursue their passions and ambitions, who refuse to get married just for the sake of it, they should not be shunned or pressured into conforming to society.

A lot of people say that girls who do not marry early, are either unattractive or very picky. But that is definitely not true. I know of a few very respectable women who I really look up to who have chosen not to marry yet – and they are very attractive, very polished and have a lot of admirers and suitors. Yet they chose not to marry. And if people cannot say that they are unattractive or very picky, they then try to label them as career minded – I don’t think that is wrong, because it is their choice.

The key to mutual respect and awareness that women have a right to choose how to live their life is very important. That’s why I support the #changedestiny campaign launched by SK-II to inspire and empower women to pursue and create their own destiny. Even though the pressure from society may be because of well-meaning love and concern, it is time more people understood and accept this change. The ending of the video is a little heart-warming, as the parents of these left-over women finally see their children for who they really are – independent, strong and beautiful women, and most importantly, happy with the choices they make in life.

But then, watch it for yourself first and let me know what you think of it too!

Outfit Details : aere's THALIA Skirt


Monday, May 23, 2016

Alluring Australia 6 : Sunny Rottnest Island

The second day at Western Ausralia, we woke up super early, checked out of the hotel I mentioned in Alluring Australia 5 : Relaxed at Be.Fremantle which we stayed in for one day, had breakfast near E-Shed Markets while waiting for the ferry, went to Rottnest Island by ferry, then everyone cycled (except me because I couldn't ride), went on a Segway tour under the super hot sun around the gorgeous Rottnest Island, had lunch at a cool restaurant by the beach where the photos in this post were taken and then checked in into another hotel in another part of Perth. 


The second day, like the first day was pretty packed with lots of fun activities, but it sure was an amazing experience and we took thousands of photos for memories sake! I can't wait to share more about the trip in detail, but till then, I'll leave you with some of my favourite shots at Rottness Island taken after all the rides we took and after we were full from lunch taken by my beloved Khubayb aka @kneok. 

I miss my husband. Eventhough we're together but both of us has been really busy with work that even when we're together we're sometimes just working! Crazy hectic yet exciting period at the moment. InsyaAllah it will all be worth it :) 

Outfit Details :

aere's MAIA Asymmetrical Pleats Top (To be released online TOMORROW)
aere's CERUS Pants
Silk Scarf I got from Shanghai inspired by their scenery
Bag and sunnies from recent trip to  Shanghai 
just the week before I went to Western Australia


Sunday, May 15, 2016

Alluring Australia 5 : Relaxed at Be.Fremantle

I can't even begin to describe how busy I have been the past few weeks! That's why I haven't been able to update anything on the blog. I had a fashion show for aere recently and it has been pretty hectic preparing for that, a Prelaunch Sale for aere's FEEL Eid collection, multiple photoshoots for aere's next few releases happening this month and in between all of that, managed to squeeze in a radio interview talking about my switch of career, aere and my personal motherhood journey. A lot has happened and I've been wanting to share them but at the same time there's just so many things to do but so little time.

I haven't been sleeping very much and there were nights that I couldn't sleep at all because it's been such a hectic period and sometimes opportunities arise and good happenings come at the very last minute and we just have to go for it.

Anyways, will talk about all that and more soon hopefully but for now, here's a look post taken on the day I arrived in Perth at about 5.30am. This was taken after our 5 hours and 40 minutes flight. (Not inclusive of checking in and checking out and going through the immigration and the trip from the airport to the hotel via the mini van - read my earlier posts about Perth - links below!)  

When we reached our peaceful and relaxing hotel, Be.Fremantle and looking at the huge room fit for a family of 4 (it was an apartment-style accommodation with 2 rooms, a kitchen, a dining area and living room which I would probably share about more later), I asked Khubayb to help me take this OOTD just outside our hotel room. Because of course, I would like an OOTD for all the outfits that I wear while I'm travelling. And plus, I love the surroundings and the cool weather since we are just beside the ocean. So before I freshened up and changed for the busy, hectic, productive and fun day ahead, this was what I wore which was comfortable enough for travelling. (Ignore the wrinkles, I wore this outfit for so long and even slept in them and God knows how much I moved while I was sleeping on flight :D)

Anyways, I'm wearing this comfortable and versatile aere's LEA Fishtail Panelled Top and ZOE Wide Legged Pants (both from aere LIGHT casual wear line and will be released only in 2 days time! So stay tuned to aere's IG for more updates! I also put on aere's PLATINA Zipper Jacket. 

You would probably have seen this look in my post Alluring Australia 1 : And the Travelling Continues when my family sent us off to board the plane to Western Australia and in my post Alluring Australia 2 : Stepping Foot when I mentioned how comfortably I slept in AirAsiaX Premium Flatbed on flight too.

This was taken before I freshened up and changed to the outfit I wore in Alluring Australia 3 : Moore & Moore Breakfast and Alluring Australia 4 : Women in Art.

Will share more in due time!