She wants to stay strong and shine despite facial scar
The 15 Miss Universe Singapore finalists were announced at the Singapore Turf Club yesterday. We meet three of them...
An aesthetic procedure that was supposed to brighten up her face left her feeling downcast instead.
About three months ago, Miss Universe Singapore (MUS) 2016 Top 15 finalist Shona Woo went for a sponsored laser skin treatment - one that was supposed to make her look refreshed - two days before she was to shoot a scene for Channel 8 police drama C.L.I.F. 4.
But the botched procedure left her with a second-degree burn on the bridge of her nose.
The half-a-centimetre scar is still visible.
The 26-year-old freelance model-actress told The New Paper at the MUS 2016 press conference yesterday at Singapore Turf Club: "I dare say this was the most traumatising thing that has ever happened to me.
"I was crying almost every day... I just couldn't accept how I looked."
MEET THE TOP 15: (Back row, from left) Hazel Tay, Sonya Branson, Luisa Gan, Shona Woo, Joeypink Lai, Patricia Eng, Althea Lew, Nutan Rai and Cheryl Chou. (Front row, from left): S Sreeveena, Poojaa Gil, Nikki Tay, Tanisha Khan, Shanice Hedger, Vanessa Tay. TNP PHOTOS: ISKANDAR ROSSAL
The distressed Miss Woo said her wound, which was dripping with pus, made her very self-conscious.
"I was living with so much anxiety since I had no idea what the end result would be...
"None of the doctors I consulted could be certain that I could regain my previous look," she said.
After her fellow actresses told her to get her wound checked, she consulted a dermatologist and a specialist at the Singapore General Hospital Burns Unit, but was told that it would take four to six months to heal.
She underwent treatment at each doctor to reduce the facial scarring.
However, they were unable to promise that she could heal completely and Miss Woo would break down and cry out of despair and desperation.
Even though she does not think the scar will end her career, the kind of endorsements she can accept is now limited.
Miss Woo believes she can no longer do advertisements for facial products, adding: "This scar is an inconvenience that I will have to carry with me for life."
THEN AND NOW: Miss Shona Woo after her laser skin treatment (left) and now (right). PHOTOS: SHONA WOO
Although she doesn't regret her decision to undergo laser treatment, which she has done a few times previously, she wishes she had done more research on that particular general practitioner who performed the aesthetic treatment.
Said the Raffles Junior College alumnus and chemistry graduate from Nanyang Technological University: "My only wrong choice was to go to that particular doctor. I think money and time spent on treatment could have been better invested."
Despite the ordeal, she is slowly starting to accept herself.
In fact, the scar was the reason she decided to join MUS.
She said: "I must not let this take me down... I want to use this scar to be stronger and shine.
"I want to challenge this scar and show that despite having it, I can still stand on stage and feel beautiful."
ABOUT MISS UNIVERSE SINGAPORE
This year's 15 finalists will be vying for the coveted crown at the grand finals at The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel on Oct 16.
Co-organised by The New Paper and Miss Universe Singapore Organisation, the pageant is presented by Singapore Turf Club.
It is supported by official imaging partner Canon Singapore, official car BMW, official wellness partner Beaute Hub, venue partner The Grand Copthorne Waterfront Hotel, official resort partner Bintan Lagoon Resorts, official makeup Cosmoprof Academy and other sponsors like BodyBurn Fitness, Indiba Technologies, Orchard Scotts Dental and Amber Lounge.
The food at the press conference yesterday was presented by restaurant Long Jiang Chinos.