S’poreans shocked when Chinese netizens vote Cynthia Koh as among top 4 beauties here
No one thinks I’m BEAUTIFUL
By Kwok Kar Peng
November 07, 2010
SHE’S at the centre of an online hullabaloo about her looks. But Cynthia Koh is staying calm about it.
The local TV actress was recently listed by some Chinese netizens as one of Singapore’s top four beauties in a forum thread in the China Yesky forum.
The other three are Fann Wong, Phyllis Quek and Pan Lingling.
But Koh’s inclusion immediately raised eyebrows.
Shin Min Daily News reported that some people said she cannot be considered one of the top four beauties here.
Local make-up artist Andy Lee also felt that Koh has ‘not bad’ features, but her recent roles made her appear ‘fierce’.
Celebrity hairstylist David Gan added that although she’s pretty, she isn’t on his list of the top four local babes.
The actress is taking all the comments in her stride. Koh, 36, told The New Paper candidly: ‘I’m shocked that the Chinese netizens think I’m beautiful…and I’m not surprised that there’s a dispute about it.
‘In fact, there should be dissension because no one has thought of me as beautiful at all.
‘Singaporeans have a different concept of beauty. To them, Cynthia Koh is pretty but not exceptionally beautiful.’
When asked to compare herself with Wong, Quek and Pan, Koh said they all have a unique look, a quality which she thinks she lacks.
Although she’s satisfied with her looks, Koh said she had always hoped to add 12cm to her 1.6m frame.
‘I believe that God is fair. If you have one thing, you won’t have another. So I wouldn’t mind having a smaller chest if I could be taller,’ she said with a laugh.
Koh added that her concept of beauty has changed drastically in her 18 years in showbiz.
‘In the past, I thought being beautiful meant dressing well, putting on nice make-up, wearing the most expensive shoes and bags, having a big house and driving the most expensive car.
‘But now, beauty to me simply means being born with eyes, nose, ears, mouth and limbs, doing good acts and being a nice human being.’
The change occurred two years ago, she said, after an encounter with former actor Xie Shaoguang, 49, who retired from showbiz in 2005.
A friend had driven her to Xie’s vegetarian restaurant in Johor Baru.
He also runs an animal shelter across the Causeway.
She recalled that he went out in a T-shirt, shorts, slippers and carrying a sling bag.
‘I said that is not a good image. I nagged him about wearing a pair of jeans or covered-toe shoes instead,’ she said.
Looks not so important after 5 years
‘But he asked me what the word image meant. To him, a person’s image is about his character and heart. He doesn’t need clothes to project his image.’
Koh also no longer relies on her looks to win roles, admitting that she’s past that stage in her career. Now, it’s all about substance.
After all, she is getting more aunty roles these days.
In her new TV drama Mrs P.I. — which premieres over Channel 8 on Nov 8 at 9pm – she plays a housewife-cum-private investigator.
She also said her opinion changed when she filmed the 1996 drama Tofu Street, where she received her first Star Awards nomination for Best Actress.
She added: ‘Once I was past my five-year mark in the industry, looks aren’t an added value anymore. You really have to show substance.’