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Tan Yong Ying: the chemical prom queen
by Rachael Lim, NTU; Photography by Stefan Lim
 

 

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Tan Yong Ying: the chemical prom queen
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I confess. I'm definitely one of those who contributed to the demise of the TV screening of the Miss Singapore Universe pageant. Discounting these pageants (even after having watched Miss Congeniality) as fluff and stuff, it was very nice to know that 21 year-old Yong Ying was not only a beauty queen, she is also a 2nd year Chemistry and Biological Chemistry undergraduate at NTU who can probably rattle off the elements in the Periodic Table faster than I can say "Prom Queen!".

And Prom Queen she was. Crowned queen of Meridian Junior College's 2006 Prom Night, Yong Ying went on to participate in the NUS Sheares Hall Inter JC pageant. No, she was not one of the top three, she was something better; she was Ms Model, and that started the string of fortunate events.

Approached by the organisers of the Miss Singapore Universe pageant, popularly known as MSU, Yong Ying went through the interviews and was only a step away from potential stardom when she decided to withdraw, "lack of preparation", she felt. Singapore Sweethearts (my best friend Google told me that half the male Singaporean population had wanted to be official photographers for the event, more specifically, "involved in any way", to drool over the babes) came her way and the rest, as they say, is history.

Crowned second runner-up, Yong Ying was subsequently talent scouted and is now, in the process of being groomed to be the NEXT BIG THING. Is that cool or what? Her first gig was guest performer at the recent School of Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) Idol, where she serenaded the audience with her rendition of Stefanie Sun's 我怀念的 and FIR's 天天夜夜. Despite the prospect of fame and fortune, Yong Ying keeps a cool head on her shoulders. A firm loyalty to staying true to who she is, a deep sense of integrity and sound moral values are oars that help her navigate the treacherous waters of the industry.

One of the challenges of participating in beauty pageants, she recalls, was needing to build up the requisite confidence to strut her stuff in front of a critical audience, an equally critical panel of judges and a whole bevy of other qualified contestants. Fast forward to today and Yong Ying now has it down to a workable formula. She prepares herself physically for her beauty pageant events by eating (?!) and training more, and ensuring that the tools of the trade (clothes, shoes, accessories, frequently asked questions) are ready and good to use. Unforeseen circumstances that threaten to upset her equilibrium? "Be calm, go with the flow, and use what you have around you," the leggy queen-to-be advises.

The end goal, she says, of being trained in hosting, dancing and singing amongst other things in order to be an all-rounded artiste with a defining personality is so that she has the influence to promote a culture, a habit, and to "pay it forward". When detractors come her way, she chooses the better path of remaining optimistic, reflecting and improving through negative comments, turning the situation around for good.

Accepting that people age, Yong Ying says that "life is not all about looks." Notwithstanding, she makes the effort to look good, and lives by mascara to refresh her look instantly. That, and a good make-up base, eye-liner, blusher and lipstick.

All through the interview, Yong Ying never once slouches, answers all questions earnestly and with the utmost sincerity. Is she like that all the time, I wonder. Yong Ying smiles, and says that she goes all "crazy and nonsensical" when she is with her girlfriends. I leave her talent agency, a small seed of pride in my heart, because if and when she becomes THE celebrity (and I hope she does), we got the first scoop on her!

More photos Tan Yong Ying at the Funkygrad Photo Gallery!


 
 
Stephanie Lim's lifestyle indulgence
Valerie Lim – The Girl You'd Like to Bring Home
Tok Weiyi - campus life away from home
Elaine Lim - Union Camp Leader with a life
Alethia Toh - The Fun Go-getter
Koh Fangning & Tan Kai Sin: All in a day's play
Jobel Tan's Inspirational Wardrobe
Liyann Seet: Wardrobe Pomp
Shenny Yang: Wardrobe Secrets
Wong Su Ann - Elegantly Smart
Shine Koh - You can’t take away her shine
Sophie Estelle Willocq - The Tech Chic
Sophia Ng – The Roads Less Taken
Vanessa Ho & Ang Shao Qi: What the Fish!
Living the High Life with Melissa Koh
Chew Jiayi: the Humble Overachiever
Tan Yong Ying: the chemical prom queen
Sarah Low: The Campus Fashion Critic
Social Camping with Christopher Cheong
Lights, Camera, Beatrice!
 
More Stories at the Archives
 
 
 

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