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Thu, Dec 15, 2011
The New Paper
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Babe of the year
by Kwok Kar Peng

1. Rebecca Lim

THE MediaCorp actress was once so overweight she was in her school's TAF (Trim And Fit) Club for four years trying to slim down.

Lim, 24, told The New Paper she tipped the scales at 61kg when she was 12 years old.

She's now 1.67m tall and weighs 51kg.

There's no doubt she has blossomed, but she's uneasy with the "babe" label.

She said: "I'm okay, lah. I can accept (my looks). Every girl has certain things (about herself) she is not happy with and I'm glad my job makes me pretty."

Lim may be a poster girl for Uniqlo's fall/winter 2011 campaign, but she claims she is a tomboy who likes wearing shorts and T-shirts and going out without make-up on.

But there is a brain behind the beauty.

The Singapore Management University accountancy graduate who also majored in law was named Miss Photogenic and was one of the top five finalists in Miss Singapore Universe 2005.

She was ranked eighth in FHM Singapore magazine's list of the world's 100 sexiest women this year.

Her career is going places too.

After winning Best Drama Performance By An Actress In A Leading Role at last year's Asian Television Awards for her work playing a lawyer in Channel 5's The Pupil, she is back for the second season and is headlining the new Channel 5 mystery-thriller Perfect Deception.

She said: "I'm not a babe but I'm a vainpot. I have a facial once a month, apply sunscreen every day and carry an umbrella to block out the sun. And sometimes when I see a mirror, I check it to see if I'm okay."

2. Chris Tong

THERE'S almost nothing this 28-year-old Malaysian actress who's making it big on local shows likes about her face.

Her eyes are not big or lively enough, and she wants her nose to be fleshier.

On the bright side, she likes her upturned lips, which make her look personable.

It's a rather harsh self-assessment coming from the winner of the Miss Chinese Cosmo Pageant in Malaysia in 2006.

Tong said: "I've never liked my looks or thought I was pretty since I was young...

"I feel uneasy when people tell me I'm pretty. I'd prefer it if they said I was clever or something."

She added: "My confidence comes from the 100 per cent effort I put into my performances."

And her hard work has put her in good stead, snagging her a string of dramas and movies this year.

She's completed three MediaCorp dramas (The Family Court, C.L.I.F and Code Of Honour) and another three movies (Petaling Street Warriors, The Wedding Diary and The Golden Couple) which will be released in the next few months.

She has agents here and in Malaysia, Hong Kong and China, and will play the lead in a China-Hong Kong movie collaboration next year.

Tong, who is currently across the Causeway filming the MediaCorp-Malaysian drama Justice In The City, added: "I've only worked freelance in the past, and I'm pleasantly surprised I got to where I am now with different paths to explore."

3. Julie Tan

WHEN 19-year-old Julie Tan was a child, her mother used to joke that she was so ugly she would one day have to be sent for plastic surgery.

Mrs Tan should be pleased that she can save the money.

Julie, who's now juggling acting roles in TV dramas with her theatre studies at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, even managed to clinch the first runner-up title at The New Paper New Face modelling contest in 2009.

She said: "I was dark and skinny as a child, and my mother always told me I was ugly. I believed it."

The pixie-like cutie has had a great year, with a leading role in local entertainment website xinmsn's web drama Let's Play Love and another meaty role as a cabaret singer alongside Joanne Peh and Eelyn Kok in Channel 8's drama A Song To Remember.

Earlier this year, she was offered a contract to be part of a Korean pop girl group but turned it down to pursue acting. Her career is looking rosy, but Julie doesn't think it has anything to do with her looks.

"I don't see myself as pretty. I'm average, and I think it was my confidence that got me that far in New Face," she said.

"Rebecca (Lim) and Chris (Tong) are very feminine and charismatic. I have no qualms about losing (Babe Of The Year) to them."

This article was first published in The New Paper.

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