Instead of letting the fruits of her hard work speak for her, it seems Malaysian singer-actress Joey Chua is still being defined by her past. Everyone knows becoming a celebrity pretty much means your past is now open fodder for public scrutiny. For Joey, that means having to deal with rumours and criticisms from people fixated on her divorce. Joey got married in 2016 when she was in her early twenties and got a divorce in 2019.
“Divorce is my experience, but it cannot be used to define me” writes the former trainee. A series regular of A Journey for Love 怦然心动 – a new reality blind dating show pairing divorced female celebrities with potential partners, Joey says that her “Heartbeat sisters” were so full of wisdom, beauty and tenderness that she couldn’t understand why some people define them based on their relationship status. “Why should divorced people be treated (differently) through coloured glasses? I saw a different light and beauty in them.” More importantly, Joey wants everyone to know, most especially women who belittle and sell themselves short because of their divorce, that “you must love yourselves, your lives are in your own hands. Taking that step is the most important. If you want to do something, to try something out, strike out boldly. No moment or any experience can stop us from beginning again.”
Since her debut as a trainee in last year’s Youth With You 青春有你2, Netizens have often commented on Joey Chua’s unsuitability to become an idol. After all, many young folks look up to celebs as an example and divorce is hardly something that should be emulated. However, can’t it also be that she’s setting a great example for how strong women rise up from the ashes of adversity? Shouldn’t how she refuses to let herself be defined by her past and how she tries to steadily forge her own way forward be something worth emulating?