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Thu, Jan 28, 2010
Urban, The Straits Times
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No idol is perfect
by Lesley Teoh

Sylvester Sim, 27, performer and Singapore Idol runner-up

He may be a rocker with a bad-boy image but underneath that stage glitter and cocky grin, Singapore Idol runner-up Sylvester Sim is just as worried about the man in the mirror as anyone else.

The 27-year-old raised a few eyebrows last November when he revealed in an interview with The New Paper that he was going for nose and double eyelid surgery.

A local plastic surgeon will perform the surgery, which is expected to take place in March.

Sim, known as Sly to his fans, says he is undeterred by the recent death of property firm head honcho Franklin Heng.

His only fear is that his family and friends will not recognise him post-surgery.

Despite making his name as the runner-up in the first season of the Singapore Idol singing reality show, Sim is plagued by insecurities about his looks.

'As a child, I used to look in the mirror and think that my nose was too flat,' he reveals.

'My inner double eyelids also make applying stage make-up very difficult.'

He is currently a resident performer at Dragonfly, the Mandopop section of St James Power Station. He also tried his hand at TV acting, appearing in the Channel 5 drama series, Shooting Star, which aired in August 2005.

He says he would like to work 'behind the scenes' in future and focus on composing music and is quick to add that his decision to undergo plastic surgery is to give his self-confidence, rather than his showbiz career, a boost.

The reactions from his family and friends were mixed, he says.

'At first, my parents objected and would constantly nag me about it,' he recalls.

'They want me to stay the way I am and learn to appreciate myself, but I think they're slowly getting used to the idea,' he says.

Some of his friends also thought he was being 'a little weird and vain' as they felt he did not need any cosmetic tweaks.

While his inner circle may now be convinced, one concern is that drastic changes to his appearance may alienate fans who love him, flat nose and all.

However, Sim insists that he will stop at a nose and eyelid job.

'The plastic surgeon did point out other problem areas such as my chin, which he says would need to be sharpened to suit my face after surgery, but I want to keep the rest of my features,' he says.

'I don't want to look too unnatural.'

He credits Korean celebrities for the wider acceptance of men who undergo plastic surgery. 'Their openness about such issues has definitely changed society's views on male plastic surgery patients,' he says.

'That's why I feel that since it has become so common, people are less likely to object and I don't mind being open about it.'

The only ones who will bad-mouth him, he adds, 'are those who are narrow-minded'.

'So what if these people react badly? We live only once and we should make the most of it.'

This article was first published in Urban, The Straits Times.

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