She's a nude model, but she doesn't champion body positivity anymore
UnXpected is an original AsiaOne series where we speak to people with unconventional interests to find out what keeps them going despite the sometimes negative perceptions of others
For someone whose hobby involves stripping down to their birthday suit and modelling in front of the camera, one might assume Janice Leong's a champion for loving your body, accepting physical flaws and everything to do with body positivity.
But when asked about her thoughts on it, she states, unperturbed: "I used to be body positive until then I started thinking why do I have to be positive about my body every day? Some days I might not like my stretch marks, and that's okay!
"It changes every day and that's normal. That's part of life."
For the 30-year-old lifestyle blogger, body neutrality is key.
While the body positivity movement typically focuses on having a positive body image, body neutrality is the idea that one can exist in a simple state of being, without positive or negative emotions towards one's body.
This acceptance didn't come easy for Janice, who was born with a large birth mark that stretches from just above her navel, all across her side and to the middle of her spine. Wearing swimsuits, especially those that revealed her midriff, made her feel self-conscious, so much so that she considered ways to remove it.
It took years before she learnt to think of it as a part of her, and that was when she realised that no one was actually looking at it.
She's since come to accept her body — rolls, stretch marks, birthmark and all — in its entirety.
Perhaps a testament to how far Janice has come, she's now able to pose comfortably in front of the camera without a shred of clothing on.
Now a recreational nude model, she discovered her love for the art form by chance, she tells us.
One and a half years after the birth of her child, she decided to do a photo shoot dressed in lingerie in order to commemorate her experience as a mother, as well as to have the photos as a keepsake.
During the photoshoot, she suggested doing taking a couple of nude photos too. Her photographer was game, and the rest was history.
Despite the naysayers, her friends and family members have expressed their admiration for her bravery, Janice tells us.
"They always say, 'You're doing a lot of things that I cannot do.'"
How does she do it? For Janice, it's simple: "When you learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, that's liberation."
Watch the video to find out more about what Janice has to share about nude modelling and how it's impacted her.