Categorised in Seventeen.
Categorised in Teenage.
13 January 2007
HOW popular will I be?
That may be a question that many celebrities obsess about.
But when I asked local actress-singer Rui En to rate her own popularity, her eyes widened.
Said the 24-year-old starlet: ‘Is that a trick question? No, I don’t think about things like that.’
‘Can you imagine if I spent all my time at home wondering if I was as popular as Bono?’
That may be the case now, but it wasn’t when she started out.
‘I’ve said it before – I went into show business for all the wrong reasons,’ she said.
‘I wanted to be famous, popular and rich. When I first started out, I was very starry-eyed. All I was concerned about was popularity polls and all that voting stuff.’
Her perspective changed two years ago.
‘When you are focusing on so many things like that and not the things that you should be focused on, you get worn out, jaded and bitter,’ she said.’
Now, I just want to learn more about acting, music and directing – I have an interest in all these things.
‘NO DANCE OF FAKENESS’
The former Raffles JC student is well aware that she has been accused of being aloof by some critics.
She said: ‘I’ve never been very good at PR-ing’ (doing public relations). Sometimes, to do that, you have to say a lot of hollow and empty things to other people who do likewise. It’s a dance of fakeness.
‘People tend to think that I’m cold, but that is because they don’t know how to categorise me.’
But being true to herself doesn’t mean she has abandoned the concept of celebrity entirely.
There is still power in being in the limelight.
Along with 13 other local personalities, Rui En has lent her face and personality to Motorola’s Red project.
In Moto Red, every purchase of a special red edition Motorola phone results in a $26 contribution to the Global Fund, which in turns helps the Aids-afflicted in Africa.
The Aids/HIV situation in the cradle of civilisation is at a critical level.Each day, more than 2,000 children in Africa are infected with the HIV virus, joining the 25 million people already infected.
In addition, 5,500 people die of Aids/HIV every day, adding rapidly to the death toll of 18 million in Africa so far.
Said Rui En: ‘I heard about the Red campaign when I saw some Gap ads in the US. I didn’t really understand what it was about until I saw Oprah Winfrey getting involved. Oprah’s my idol and I started to read up more about the project.’
One idol inspiring another?
How apt, since Moto Red banks on celebrity power and consumerism to drive Aids relief efforts.
IS RETAIL RELIEF RIGHT?
The umbrella Project Red campaign uses brands like Apple, American Express and Converse, as well as celebrities like Bono and Kanye West, to shout the message across retail counters.
But isn’t the public weary of countless celebrity endorsements?
And is it right to promote consumerism in a society already too caught up with material trappings?
Said Rui En: ‘Both celebrity power and consumerism are not going to go away, so you might as well make use of them for a good cause and not for some shallow purpose.
‘I believe using celebrities to endorse a product is the only way if you want to have the media presence you need.’
As for consumerism, she believes that the benefits of Moto Red far outweigh any negative side-effects like the promotion of wanton spending.
‘We are being bombarded by so many things all the time – Internet, YouTube, advertisements… people are numb to the traditional methods of raising funds. This is really a radical new way of helping those afflicted with Aids. And if people want to be caught up in consumerism, it’s their choice.’
What does worry her, though, is the detachment people have towards Aids/HIV in general.
‘We have to realise that Aids isn’t a problem just in Third World countries, but here as well. I do hope our youth don’t grow up thinking that it won’t happen to them, but only to people elsewhere.’
Moto Red phones may be purchased at any StarHub or M1 shop.
Source: The New Paper
Categorised in The New Paper.
3rd January 2008
Source: I Weekly