updated 16 Sep 2013, 20:58
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Sun, Sep 15, 2013
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'I'm not a bad mother'
by Ng Jun Sen

"Which mother wouldn't want to spend time with her children? I'm not a bad mother, I want to take care of them. But I have shoots, I have classes, and I have assignments to do."

Her two-year-old son lives with her estranged husband, and they visit her occasionally.

One of her childhood friends, Mr William Ng, 28, said she's a caring mother and a good friend.

"She just needs extra money for childcare. People should learn to grow up and stop calling her names if they don't know her," he said. When they meet, she's a normal person just like anybody else, he said.

"As a mother, she is more mature now. She doesn't do it just because she's vain and wants attention," Mr Ng added.

Mary has two brothers and is the middle child. Her parents are divorced and she lives with her mother.

Her family does not object to her modelling, she said, and she even sends revealing photos of herself to her father and brothers after each photo session.

"They praise my pictures and encourage me," she said.

In fact, it was her older brother who encouraged her to get into modelling.

"He told me to make money while I'm still young. They don't find it wrong at all," she said.

But her relatives often gripe about the pictures to her mother, who defends her daughter's career choice.

"She understands that it is to earn money and there's nothing wrong doing it."

Her mother works as an office assistant and is unable to help look after her granddaughter.

When TNP told women's rights advocacy group Aware about Mary, its executive director, Ms Corinna Lim, said Aware believes that it is Mary's prerogative to choose what she thinks is best for herself and her children.

"It is not for us or anyone else to dictate to an adult woman what she should do to earn a living. No one should condemn her for trying to do her best to support her family," she added in an e-mail.

On her part, Mary does not think her children will react badly when they grow up and find out about her work.

She said: "They will still be my kids when they grow up and they will understand what I had to go through for them. Blood is thicker than water."

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