Aileen Tan Doesn’t Feel Angry Or Sad When She Reads Age Shaming Comments Because She Thinks "Like That Too"
The actress, who stars in new Mediacorp drama Dark Angel, says she once met a very popular influencer and couldn't help but think to herself: "Why does she look so different from how she looks on Instagram?"
In upcoming Mediacorp drama Dark Angel, Aileen Tan, 55, plays a seriously bad-ass former police detective who teams up with Zoe Tay’s character to unearth the truth behind a sinister serial killer, the mysterious White Shark.
Well, turns out Aileen is pretty darn bad-ass in real life too.
When 8days.sg spoke to her at the press conference for Dark Angel, the frank actress shared her thoughts on receiving nasty age shaming comments and why she’s not shy about using a beauty filter on herself when posting pictures online.
Oh, and she’s a whiskey fan too.
It all started when we asked Aileen about working together with Zoe Tay again after a long break.
After all, the last time the Star Search 1988 alums (Zoe came up tops, while Aileen was the first runner-up) worked together was in 2018, for You Can Be An Angel 3.
“COVID-19 hit after that, so we never met in person. But we did video call with a couple of our friends, and played dice games, where the loser would have to drink. We were all bored then 'cos we were in lockdown, so we maintained our friendship that way. We've been colleagues for so long, and witnessed each other's growth too,” Aileen shared.
Apart from Zoe, some other familiar faces that joined in on their virtual games and drinking sessions included former actress Cherie Lim, who is the wife of billionaire Peter Lim.
8DAYS: Was there anyone who always won, or always lost during those games?
AILEEN TAN: I can't remember, it was really long ago! But we all took turns, we can't always let one person drink, right? I would get thirsty too (laughs).
Oh, what was your drink of choice?
I liked to drink whiskey.
You recently shot a TikTok video with Yang Guang Ke Le. Did she approach you to do a TikTok with her?
Oh no, I asked her. You remember that show where Zhai Siming played my son, All Around You? Actually Zhai Siming also does TikTok, and he taught me then. And then I found TikTok pretty fun. I'm actually really scared of social media 'cos my IG has been hacked before. So I'm more cautious.
I like TikTok, but I'm scared, so I thought it would be safer if I do it with the young ones. That day, Ke Le and I happened to be on a show together, so I asked her if she wants to do a TikTok together. The one that she showed me at first was very long, so we ended up doing a shorter version of it.
So what are your thoughts on TikTok?
Actually it's not easy to do TikTok videos 'cos you have to think of new ideas every day, and you really have to prepare a lot of things. The one that we did was just a dance, but I've seen videos where they change clothes and everything, it's like filming. I don't have the time for that (laughs).
Do you watch TikToks in your free time?
Yes. Once I saw this video, and I was terribly shocked. It was of this girl who was really, really, ugly, but when she turned around, she became this gorgeous person. And she had about 100K views! I was like: 'That's a thing too?' It's really very impressive.
Was she really good at make-up?
Oh no, it was a filter. I was so shocked, you know, it's like I saw a ghost.
Filters are so advanced these days.
That's why we shouldn't trust all those beauty products and advertisements you see on Instagram.
'Cos they Photoshop the models?
Yeah, so you need to see them in real life.
On that note, a lot of celebs are on the receiving end of age shaming comments. Do you ever feel angry or sad when you read such things?
No, actually. That's a fact. It's what happens when we see other people too. There was once we had an influencer make a guest appearance on our show. I didn't know that she was an influencer, and when they told me that the influencer is really popular online, I thought to myself: "Why does she look so different from how she looks like on Instagram?"
So you see, I personally think like that too. I believe that everyone does a little bit of editing before [posting pictures] online. But if you do so, then admit it.
For me as well, when I edit my pictures and people ask me why I look so good, I tell them that they can look like that too, and that I can teach them how to edit the pictures. Just be honest about it, it's no issue. The more honest you are, the easier it is for other people to accept it.
It's better than denying it, while continuing to edit your photos. Honestly the editing capabilities of these apps are way too good nowadays. It's really no issue. If you get angry 'cos of comments like that, then it's better to stay away from [social media]. You have to learn to accept these comments.
It's like that with our local dramas too. We have to accept criticism from others too. If they don't want to watch it, then they won't watch it. It's not like we can point a gun to their heads and force them to watch it. We have to think about what we can do to attract the attention of the younger generation, instead of shutting out the criticism of others.
The way we consume media is different now. You guys will choose the dramas that you find interesting and good. There's Netflix and so many different platforms now, where you can watch good dramas, so shouldn't we think about how we can improve to make even better dramas, to compete with these online streaming platforms? We have to improve with the times.
Have you thought of starting a TikTok account yourself?
Just making guest appearances on the accounts of other local celebs is enough for you?
Yes, yes, just a couple of guest appearances will do. I'm already tired from posting on my Instagram account (laughs).
Does it take a lot of time for you?
Yes yes. Being a married woman is really busy, you just don't know it yet (laughs).
Yang Guang Ke Le and the rest are all single, so they have a lot of free time. It's different for a married woman. Plus we don't have a helper at home, so there's even more stuff to do. A lot of housework. And I have my yoga too, by the time I end my class, almost half the day is gone.
The NC16 version of Dark Angel is available on meWATCH here. The PG version will air on Channel 8 from Sep 12, 9pm. You can catch the first episode below.
Photos: Mediacorp, Aileen Tan/Instagram