|Me in the Media #10: Plastic surgery storm erupts over blogger babe (Dawn Yang)
||[Aug. 30th, 2008|04:28 pm]
Plastic surgery storm erupts over blogger babe|
The New Paper, 18 November 2005
FOR Dawn Yeo, beauty is a double-edged sword.
She recently became the first local blogger to be signed up by an artiste management company after having been voted No 1 on hottestblogger.com.
But barely 24 hours after she was featured in The New Paper, the knives were out for her.
The issue: Did she have plastic surgery on her face and then kept mum about it.
It didn't matter that whether she did or not was her personal choice.
The backlash against Dawn - better known as her blog alias clapbangkiss - quickly gained momentum.
Fellow bloggers and people who claim to know the 21-year-old University Of Southern California undergrad wasted no time in 'exposing' her.
Old photos were dug up, posted on the Internet, and placed beside her current pictures to make their point.
In the past week, The New Paper was also inundated with hotline calls and e-mails containing the supposed before-and-after pictures.
That was after our report in which Dawn addressed some rumours that had been spread about her, saying with a resigned tone: 'People also accuse me of having plastic surgery, but what can I do?'
Ironically, while this backlash was taking place, Dawn was swimming in potential job offers.
Her manager, Ms Melissa Lam, director of Tinsel Management, told The New Paper that Dawn has been offered two endorsements, two movie deals and two magazine covers.
Even director Eric Khoo is apparently keen to discuss a collaboration.
One of her critics, a 27-year-old blogger with the alias Johnny Malkavian, admitted he replicated the pictures on his own blog to 'get more traffic'.
He said: 'If she wants to be a celebrity, she has to prepare herself for this sort of thing. Bad publicity is still publicity, right?'
Nevertheless, her 'schoolmates' from Singapore Chinese Girls' School, Raffles JC and Anglo-Chinese JC (Dawn was there for three months ), as well as detractors in general, have made their feelings known.
Their stand: If Dawn did have plastic surgery, then come clean with it.
One blogger even wrote an 'open letter' to Dawn, stating that she owes it to her 'potential fans' to clarify things.
As a result of this storm, Dawn's blog has also registered close to 500,000 hits - double the number than that before she was featured in The New Paper.
Undergrad Gabriel Seah, 22, created the first comprehensive blog post with photos that allegedly prove Dawn had plastic surgery.
This started a chain reaction, with up to 15 sites solely dedicated to the issue.
When contacted, Mr Seah said he was her schoolmate at RJC. According to him, she was the 'hot girl' then.
'We don't have anything against plastic surgery. If she would just admit to it, there would be no problem.'
Mr Seah was riled up by her statement in The New Paper, saying: 'She dismissed them just like that. A lot of people can testify that she looked very different previously.'
Mr Christopher Ong, a 21-year-old NSman who said he knew Dawn as his friend's ex-girlfriend, said he feels 'sorry' for her but felt she 'brought it on herself'.
As for the whole did-she-didn't-she matter, Dawn declined to comment.
But she mused on her blog on Tuesday: 'I was advised by many to just ignore everything and not retaliate, why waste time on such people?
'Hence I've been remaining silent... spending much time with the people I love and forced not to go read about all the speculation and mean things said.'
Ms Lam added: 'These bloggers are just a group of people with malicious intent. The only person she's answerable to is me because I invested time and money in her.
'There are so many actresses out there who've had plastic surgery. Why don't they attack them instead? This has caused Dawn and her family many sleepless nights.
'As an employer, I hate to see someone as hardworking as Dawn go. But as her friend, if the pressure is too much, I'm willing to let her go.'
But not everyone is anti-Dawn. She has her fair share of supporters who have left encouraging messages in her online guestbook.
Undergrad Jesse James Jalleh, 24, was Dawn's schoolmate at Singapore Management University.
He says Dawn is 'outgoing, nice, and never gave out bitchy vibes'. He felt those who have been flaming her 'have no lives', and that all this is 'definitely an over-reaction'.
Mr Jalleh said: 'She has the right to do whatever she wants, to tell people or not to tell people. If she doesn't want to admit it, no one should force her to.'
He is also puzzled that Dawn could garner such venomous reactions.
'It's not like she has hurt anyone, why should they bother about her?'
Ms Nicole Foo, a 27-year-old postgraduate student, e-mailed The New Paper all the way from Edinburgh, saying that Dawn is accountable only to herself and her family.
She was not 'obliged to give a tell-all answer to the public'.
Dawn's close friends, like student Michelle Teh, 21, think the accusations are 'horrible'.
She said: 'These people like to think they've solved the mystery, 'Oh, I'm so smart'. They're making themselves feel good at the expense of others.'
Ms Teh hopes this hoo-ha won't prevent Dawn from pursuing her dreams of stardom.
'If she quits now, she'd be giving in to the nasty people. Why let them have their way?' she said.
Another pal, Ms Candice Ng, a 21-year-old student who has known Dawn since primary school, added: 'There's more to a person than just their appearance.
'I don't see why people should judge her when they hardly know her. This will all die down once the bloggers find something else to talk about.'