TNP New Face 2017: Cheryl Yao
Three years ago, the 23-year-old model and emcee contracted vasculitis, an inflammation of blood vessels, which caused blisters to appear on her legs.
After undergoing painful treatments and taking medication that left her with a swollen face, her self-esteem plummeted. It took a further hit when a stranger at a food court told her to stay home and hide the scars on her legs.
She has since fully recovered from the condition.
But Cheryl, who is with local arts and entertainment agency Faces Talent Management and freelances as an event talent, model and emcee, turned the situation into a lesson.
She said: "You can break someone or build someone up with words, so choose what you say wisely as you never know what the person on the receiving end has been through that day."
Though her strongest asset is rationality, she also thinks it's a weakness as she does not take risks.
But the self-proclaimed "aquaphobe" took a chance to become a certified diver two years ago.
She said: "My boyfriend wanted to pick up diving, so in the name of love, I decided to try it out. It was the best decision I ever made.
"What I love about diving is that I'm living in the moment, taking in the serenity, the beautiful corals and of course, the sea creatures."
Cheryl has dived more than 40 times so far. She added that the activity rejuvenates her when her schedule gets busy.
After New Face 2017, she will be heading for the Nusa Islands in Indonesia to see manta rays and mola mola.
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The Brewed Awakening from The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Her drink contains coffee, milk and dark chocolate and is topped with chocolatecoated beans and an espresso shot.
She said: “What I love about my drink is that it is tailored exactly to my palette. I don’t fancy sugary drinks, so the ingredients are not sweet in nature, but I have a soft spot for chocolate. Marrying the two creates an aromatic and not overly-sweet drink that’s perfect to the last drop.”
Kopitiam — together with Churros Factory — will be giving friends of New Face 2017 a special treat.
Come meet this year’s finalists on Saturday from 11am to noon at Bagus at HarbourFront Centre and stand a chance to win $50 worth of Kopitiam stored value cards and more. Also, find out how you can vote for Miss Popularity.
Enjoy 1-for-1 churros from 11am to 1pm daily over a one-month promotional period at Kopitiam at Changi Airport Terminal 3, Bagus at HarbourFront Centre and Causeway Point, and Cantine at Paya Lebar Square and Jurong Point, starting Saturday.
Creative director: Yeoh Wee Teck
Photographer: Phyllicia Wang
Make-up: Cosmoprof Academy
Hair: Kelture Salon
Stylist: ZH Tan
Outfit: (Photo on opposite page) Marissa, available at Metro (Photo on this page) Guess, available at Paragon Accessories from Metro
Writer: Julia Tan
Project manager: Sharmiela Shahalam