I am currently in the writing-up year of my PhD, with the Centre for Women's Studies at the University of York. My research examines how women respond to, and construct meaning around feminine beauty ideals. Through in-depth interviews with women from around the world, I am analysing their narratives and 'beauty stories', and identifying the many factors that influence how they respond to these ideals. Through this research, I hope to explore how we can resist or even change harmful dominant discourses around feminine beauty, and draw the long-standing focus away from women's bodies and onto the many other affective, cultural, social, historical and subjective experiences that make up who they are.
I also did my BA and MA in English with the Dept of English Literature at the same university. Between completing my MA and starting my PhD, I worked for 12 years as a journalist / writer with English publications and PR companies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; my most recent job before starting the PhD was as features writer and later, as associate web editor of Elle Malaysia. I've also been published by Time Out Kuala Lumpur, Harper's Bazaar Malaysia, and various online journals/websites such as Huffington Post Blogs UK and elephant journal, and maintain my own website, a beauty full mind (abeautyfullmind.com).