Inside the privileged life and insecurities of Julie Tan

In this week’s Toggle Talk, celebrity guest Julie Tan gets candid about her flat chest woes, last failed relationship, and plans to freeze her embryos

Julie Tan at W Hotel Singapore 1

Photos: Joanna Goh & Louis Lim

She’s a flat-chested actress to some and a rich spoilt brat to others. But Julie Tan sees herself as an ordinary girl with big, big dreams: she wants to go international by the age of 25, bring home a “Little Golden Man”, and start a family of her own (one boy and one girl, she says).

Like most 22-year-old girls, she has lofty ambitions and her fair share of insecurities; unlike most young adults in their early 20s, she’s very practical and has wised up, having grown up in the limelight and being thrown into the gauntlet at an early age. Still, despite the complicated work environment, she retains an enviable youthful innocence that – we think – would not be seen in her today if not for her protective parents.

A true blue daddy’s girl, Julie may come across like a hothouse flower who has been carefully nurtured and tendered to - after all, once upon a time, her mum used to accompany her for press conferences and now her dad looks out for her as she advances into China’s shark-infested ‘showbiz’ waters. But Julie is not as fragile as her lithe frame and is hardier than one might perceive her to be.

In a way, having to deal with backlash which included criticisms of her looks and “airport chest”, speculations of her father being the CEO of MediaCorp and getting into the bad books of some directors for being too direct helped her toughen up and develop a keen sense of self-awareness.

In this edition of Toggle Talk, Julie opens up about her insecurities and flaws, her first big – and public – heartbreak, and tells us why she intends to freeze her eggs i.e., her embryos – yes, you read that right – at the age of 22 years old.

Read on for more and watch the videos for a blow-by-blow account of her interview.

WATCH: Julie Tan sets the record straight about her affluent background


She considered going for a boob job to enhance her “airport chest”
Julie was one step away from going under the knife after hurtful and judgmental comments from netizens about her high forehead, flat nose and chest got to the then-17 year old girl. She had even consulted doctors – with support from her parents – to understand the medical procedure and care required post-surgery. “My mum told me that it’s not wrong to enhance my looks if it (plastic surgery) helps in my career in any way, since I’m in this line of business.” She eventually decided to back out from it because of her low threshold for pain and has come to terms that “it’s okay to not have big boobs”.

Still learning how to love herself for who she is today, Julie explained, “I decided not to do anything to myself because to me it’s a kind of self-respect… Rather than trying to change yourself according to other people’s standards, why not embrace yourself? Because I think we can never please everyone.”

She offended directors and producers with her tactless personality
Young, opinionated and eager to ‘chiong’ (make a dash for it) in her career, during her early days, Julie got into the bad books of some local directors and producers when she had differing views about her characters and wanted to do things her way. After some time, her no-holds-barred attitude led to a silent boycott by certain directors and producers. “It didn’t hit me until I realised I was no longer working with some people,” she shared.

Added Julie: “Back then, all I thought of was: ‘I did a lot of homework, I have a vision of how the script should be’ (…) I don’t think I’m in the wrong because I did my homework and I think as an actress I should get a say in how I should play my character, even though I’m young.”

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