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Victor(ia)’s Story – Body Diversity

This is the ninth installment of the Body Diversity Stories from the models who participated in the Social Outreach Seattle Body Diversity Project.  Meet Victor Loo (a/k/a Victoria Victor).

The Capacity of an Individual is not Measured by Size!

Victor Loo aka Victoria Victor (www.facebook.com/victorloovictoriavictor) is originally from Singapore, a metropolitan city. And yet being gay, homosexual, queer, or whatever you want to call it is illegal, and not well accepted. Homosexual sex is illegal in Singapore under section 377A. Constitutional rights for gay people are nonexistent for the most part, and penalties for crimes relating to homosexual acts can lead to up to 2 year’s jail (s377A). However, in October 2007, during the Penal Code review and repeal of section 377, the Singapore government declared that private, consensual, adult homosexual sex would no longer be prosecuted but that its illegality would remain as a statement of the values of the “conservative majority”. Anyway, the point is I grow up having feminine facial features and having a smaller physique, and then being gay in Singapore is definitely not an easy breezy cover girl process.

Having a smaller frame, gay with feminine facial features, my childhood to adulthood (yes, surprise everyone, I am an adult and am not exactly a teenager) was almost hell. Being bullied, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused during that time where I did not have the mentality to cope with it was traumatic. I won’t go into details  here, use your imagination about SE Asian looking like a girl who is a boy, think of it like being splashed with slush in Glee almost daily.

Thank goodness nothing too extreme had happened, otherwise, I probably wouldn’t be writing this. To quote Kelly Clarkson’s “Stronger”, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger : D

From a kid even until now, I often get questions about my gender, and I learn to respond by saying, “Yes!!!” when being asked, “Are you a boy or girl?” these days. To me, gender is fluid, it should not matter whether I am a boy looking like a girl. Gradually, society has accepted androgynous, or rather, now I affiliate with a genderless identity. The ongoing challenges I face, whether it is through doing social work, modeling, or whatever is being judged and rejected because I look “different.” I’ve learned to embrace it. Since I can’t fight it, I empower it by building higher resiliency.

I remember reading an article in the New York Times (yes, I am SE Asian model, but I can read beyond fashion magazines) , “The Triumph of the Size 12s” (Jan. 13, 2010) that has gathered mixed comments from the public. The article is an interview about the plus size model, a size 12 Crystal Renn, who is 5 feet 9 inches tall, 165 pounds. Her measurements are bra 38C, waist 30, and hips 42. Over time, the average size of the American woman keeps fluctuating. Looking at her photos, she is stunning. To make it in the high fashion industry, one almost has to be less than a size 2, and at one point, she was 95 pounds.

Is less really more? How about the concept of one size fits all? V Magazine launched a campaign where they feature a size 0 model and a plus size model wearing the same outfits to demonstrate that, regardless of an individual’s size, one can still be beautiful

Having the opportunity to participate in the Body Diversity is truly a fun and liberating experience! Yes, I do have abs, and as you can see from the photo I am quite fit : D At times, people think I am anorexic or starve myself to stay thin. But for friends who know me, you know I EAT real food, and not tissue paper to fill my stomach.  The message I want to convey through the photo is: regardless of size, it does not limit the capacity of an individual! Be strong, be fit, and love life!

What is the right size? Does size really matter? These questions will always remain subjective, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. To me, any size is beautiful, but others may think differently. Regardless of what size a person is, the important part is to feel happy from the inside out, to exude confidence and charm as a size healthy : )

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