Rola May 2023
Photo: Alvin Kean Wong

I’m on my fourth set of leg presses and I’m dying. The girl before me was on the same weight and she didn’t even break a sweat. I’m grimacing like I’ve just cut my big toe wide open. Not exaggerating. It’s hell heavy but it’s what many guys in the gym hate—leg day. I’m into my third year in the gym—an activity I took up during lockdown after I put on so much weight being listlessly bored at home and not able to do anything but cook and eat. It’s been a journey and a half, and people who know me well acknowledge that I’ve made an about-turn in my fitness game. It’s also cathartic for me every morning, and perhaps it’s partly due to the dopamine release that I crave as much as the toned abs and pecs. I know it has completely changed my life and wardrobe. I take so much more pleasure in wearing the simplest outfit now because I know the base is OK.

So, in celebration of our yearly Body Issue, I decided to focus on a few things. For one, there is no magic pill to pop and suddenly wake up slim, muscled and shapely. I would be first in the queue if there was. Many believe in the wonders of Ozempic, a prescription drug for diabetes which also helps you to lose weight. My senior beauty editor, Arissa Ha, talks about the pros and cons of this “miracle injectable” on page 100. It’s been touted to shed kilos as much as sequins on all the Hollywood red carpets—with celebrities secretly injecting themselves and emerging svelte in weeks. I’ve also got a smashing read on page 40 on why women designers are bringing sexy back. With the summer months almost upon us, and the heat rising, you would think that the fewer scraps of cloth put together, the better. This is a celebration of the flesh, as seen through the eyes of women for women. It’s giving women the power to decide what and where they want to show, and how they are going to show it.

And if you notice our coverage of BAZAAR Man over the past few issues, we have been revelling in a slew of hot, sexy guys from the Land of Smiles. T-pop and T-drama have been filling the mobiles and hearts of young Singaporeans of late. On page 74, we bring you the best of Thailand with Bright, Win, Dew and Nani from F4 Thailand. The Boys over Flowers quartet were in town recently and we got hold of them for a cool shoot and interview. We have featured both Bright and Win on our covers in September 2022 and February respectively, but Dew and Nani are new, and together, they make the most awesome bouquet.

Before I sign off, let me take you right back to my earlier gym session where I met the lady who could leg press as heavy as I did. I smugly thought that I’d just switch to my favourite back exercise where I can pull reasonably heavy weights. As I was finishing off my final set, she came up to me, smiled sweetly, and asked, “How many more sets are you doing?” I said, “I’m done!” and gave my seat to her. She added two more stacks to my weight, and smiled sweetly again as she pulled MORE than me. If that’s not girl power, I don’t know what is. P.S. You’ll find me in the showers crying.

Photographed by Alvin Kean Wong
Styled by Heather Picchiottino
Fashion: Louis Vuitton
Makeup: Chi Chi Saito/Art Dept using Atelier Westman
Hair: Marc Mena using Amika
Manicure: Naoko Saita
Producer: Sheila Pane
Lighting director: Naoki Fukuda
Photographer’s assistant: Kai Kohrogi
Stylist’s assistants: Landon Rivera, Lucy Sylvester
Shot on location at Myron Palms, Los Angeles