In the Press, Photos, Press, the beta mum book

A Response To The Saturday Times Magazine Article


If  you were in the UK last weekend, you may have come across my interview with the Saturday Times Magazine. When the Times first emailed me asking if I wanted to do an interview with them, I jumped for joy. Who wouldn’t want that kind of exposure for their debut novel? During the interview, I decided to be so saccharinely sweet with the journalist, thinking that if I was nice to her, she was going to be nice to me, right? Well, when I read the article this past weekend, that’s when I realised that I was a complete novice at this ‘press’ game.

It appears that she was ‘disappointed’ when she met me. Well, I want to clarify my disappointments with the article.

Firstly, I was disappointed that the points I wanted to discuss during our interview were not mentioned at all:

  1. The point that pushy mums need to be careful about pushing their children into anxiety and other mental health issues.
  2. The point that we should all be nicer to each other and that there is no need for female bitchiness. Women and mothers should support each other and stop with the bitching. We are all mostly trying out best. #womensupportingwomen
  3.  The point that women still haven’t figured out the right balance after becoming mothers. The working mums still feel guilty about not being home with their kids and the stay-at-home mums still have to figure out how to keep their identity. And their sanity.
  4. Motherhood is challenging today, whether from isolation, loneliness, feeling lost or from all the competitiveness. We should give each other a break.  #strongwomen

I was also disappointed that they mentioned that I had ‘Asian’ features. I am not sure how it is relevant that I have Asian features or how I look, and I am sure that the gorgeous woman on the cover of the Saturday Times Magazine (above) was not described as having ‘Caucasian’ or ‘very white’ features in her interview. And if we are going to mention racial backgrounds, then perhaps it would have been more appropriate to write about the fact that there are so few minority, female authors, especially in the UK. Or we could have had a comparative discussion on the Syrian Refugee Crisis versus the Vietnamese Refugee Crisis.

Was she disappointed that I wasn’t tall, skinny and blonde? (the journo was skinny and blonde) Because a few lines later, I am described as ‘certainly no Elle McPherson.’ Well, I was disappointed in the article which decided that that this was their ultimate standard of beauty. I am not tall, I have brown hair and brown eyes and everyone knows that I am NOT a supermodel! And well, there is only one Elle McPherson. Elle McPherson. No one is asking Elle McPherson to assist in a liver transplant in a third world country, or to diagnose an 18 year old with a lymphoma or to write a book. And so they shouldn’t.

I was also disappointed by my make-up. They put way too much make up on me! And I didn’t like the stylist’s choices of outfits. But I was such a novice that I let them do my make-up and style me anyway they wanted and I was stupid enough not to put my foot down and speak out. A friend remarked of the second picture of me in black, ‘I know it’s you but it doesn’t look like you,’ because I ended up looking like a scary dominatrix. (Now I get how divas become divas). Again, when the Times says jump, you just jump.

I was disappointed with the fact checking. There was none. I do not have a medical degree from an Ivy League university. I have one degree from an ivy league university AND another medical degree from a UK medical school AND I spent almost 10 years of my life in the NHS, so would like some recognition for my hard work. Let’s not start with house prices and household-name billionaires.

Finally, I was disappointed in myself for being so naïve. I knew there was going to be a high likelihood that the article was going to be controversial. And perhaps I was just given a dose of my own medicine.

But, still, I received so many kind and congratulatory emails, texts and messages, that perhaps it was all worth it in the end. And now, since the interview, I can see on Amazon that ‘Customers who bought this item (on pre-order) also bought Tommee Tippee Sangenic Refills.’ Hilarious.








12 thoughts on “A Response To The Saturday Times Magazine Article

  1. Miapham says:

    That journalist from The Saturday Times Magazine sounds like a complete idiot !!!
    She was talking about Elle Mcpherson , Who cares about Elle ? What Elle is doing in this context ???
    That journalist is not the right one to conduct serious interviews , she does not seem to understand the real subject of the book instead writes about Asian features , McPherson ….Are Empty headed skinny blondes more to her liking ?!?!?!!

    Bad journalism and bad articles do exist , unfortunately …
    Just keep up the good work !!!


  2. That is awful. I am very sorry for that. I’d love to read the write-up of this ‘rude journalist!’ I was out of town and didn’t get a copy of Saturday Times. Would you mind scanning it and sending it through to me by email? Big apologies for the trouble. By the way, why in the world did she even try to compare you to Elle McPherson? I just saw your photo (thanks to BookBag), and I must say that you may not have Elle’s height and supermodel body (you mentioned you’re not tall, skinny and blonde but you may be just being too modest), but anyhow, you look so beautiful. I’m sure you’re prettier in person. Elle’s may be a supermodel but she’s no beauty queen. (Btw, I’ve seen her numerous times as I used to live on the same street where she lives, and I often saw her doing school runs or doing something around the neighbourhood.)

    • Thanks for your support and lovely comment! Elle is great – but not sure what I have to do with her. I’d like to think our neighbourhood is filled with all kinds of wonderful and beautiful people. Xx

  3. Don’t be so harsh on yourself, poor fact checking indeed and cliches hunting! And how on Earth is Elle MacPhearson relevant in here or your Asian features ? Did you just publish a book or land a modelling job? Loving your sense of humour & amazing correlation book & sangenic refills!

  4. Juliekins says:

    Im so sorry you were treated this way. It would seem the journo was trying to spice things up, they all do now. As a former journalist, I am appalled at her behavior, and the behavior of my former colleagues. As someone who grew up in TV, and loved broadcasting from birth, it hurts my heart to see what it has become.

    Again, I am so sorry this happened to you during your special time. Im hurt for you, actually.

    Lastly- mostly bedridden now. I get out twice a month at best. I happen to speed read, and love books. How does one get on an advance copy list with Goodreads or other options? Honestly, I’m bored to tears, but a non working budget and two children in University prohibit my passion. Seems like a perfect fit, for me and them.

    P.S. Your book is now on my ever so long wish list, 🙂

    • Hi! I am hosting a lot of giveaways of my book – so you should sign up for some! There’s one on my Facebook Page that I think would be perfect for you… A few treats and a signed copy of my book! x

      • Juliekins says:

        That would be amazing! I believe I shall also write a review. I haven’t done one in ages, so that would give me two great projects!

        Thank you for responding and inviting me to try my usually rotten luck! You are very gracious! Again, so sorry this happened to you. Please don’t let it dampen your spirits!

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