Beautiful Stripes: The ride that was 2018

  • Living
  • Monday, 07 Jan 2019

In Myeongdong, Seoul, there are tons of stores dedicated to beauty products. Photo:Wikimedia Commons

What a ride the year 2018 has been! My head is still wrapped in Christmas mode, but I’m pretty sure the shopping malls are already blasting Chinese New Year songs.

For the nation, the 14th General Election was the penultimate turning point in our country’s history when we voted for a change of government. Since then, it has been one big reveal after another, and this year especially, will be when the proof is in the pudding, so to speak.

Already, netizens and the rakyat at large have been voicing their discontentment loudly over how various issues are being handled. Clearly, people have short memories, as they have forgotten (or don’t care about) the decades-long mismanagement prior to this and just want quick solutions.

This is also a result of our digital evolution mentality whereby people want things Fast and they want it Now. Yes, the new Government must produce effective results for their report card, but unlike social media, not everything can be rectified overnight as many things take time to “reset”. Of course, this should not be a fallback excuse, and in 2019, Malaysians are no longer going to swallow everything that comes their way and will definitely make their demands known.

Malaysians voted for change in GE14 and won't hesitate to make their demands known. Photo: Filepic

One clear indicator that many people don’t read and are not thinking straight was when a host of year-end stories were published by The Star, and readers merely picked up on the headlines, sparking off a spate of negative comments. The story Let the games begin (Dec 30, Star2), for example, was a published two-page spread on sports, recapping the year’s sporting events. Online, the opening link which had a picture of Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq, drew a whole lot of flak when in fact, the story on him was all of four paragraphs, and the rest were about the achievements of sportsmen and sportswomen who had pushed the limits and broken records.

According to trend forecasters, social media influencers may be on their way out as customers wisen up to unethical advertising posts masquerading as organic posts and become more sceptical of endorsements and supposed product claims. In a report by Lucie Greene, worldwide director for Innovation Group, which is J. Walter Thompson’s think tank, the industry expert claimed that 2019 may see a decline of Instagrammers as people grow tired of sponsored content and ads in their news feeds.

One of the future Instagram trends predicted is an end to fake strategies and made-up followers. Photo: Reuters

Well, it’s about time brands and companies rethink their strategy and remove some eggs from the influencer marketing basket. I’m so tired of single-picture posts and inauthentic claims of how many million followers just to boost figures. While I accept that people no longer have the patience nor aptitude to read long chunks of information anymore, including myself, it really irks me that so many have become overnight experts on certain subjects merely based on pictures and headlines, without even bothering to read up on the subject or background story.

Apparently, one of the future Instagram trends predicted by is an end to fake strategies and made-up followers. Influencers looking to build a social presence or grow a brand will now have to connect more genuinely instead of just posting “my life is wonderful” stories.

On the other hand, you can still hire a social media manager to develop your follower relationships for you, so #getreal may be easier said than achieved.

For me, personally, 2018 was a year of living in pain due to a torn ligament in my finger and an old back problem that reared its head again. I’m still learning to regain the full use of my right hand through physiotherapy; my doctor has warned me to prepare for the onset of arthritis, a common problem post surgery and with ageing. Also, hopefully, with different alternative therapies, I can sort out my back pain, as Western medicine can only offer painkillers, which doesn’t augur well in the long term. Not quite a new year’s resolution, my biggest motivator here is pain which is not exactly the best kind of motivation, but something to work towards to, nonetheless.

In Myeongdong, Seoul, there are tons of stores dedicated to beauty products. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

On the beauty front, K-beauty still featured prominently and was one of the most looked-up topics online, be it the products or the skincare steps, last year. As someone accustomed to Western and Japanese beauty products, I find myself increasingly drawn to the Korean beauty industry as it is so innovative and so much more willing to listen and adapt to consumers’ needs.

That’s because there are so many brands competing for a slice of the beauty pie, especially evident during a trip to Seoul where I saw entire streets lined with stores carrying new brands and products which I have never even heard of. In a BBC business news story, it quoted Marie Claire’s digital beauty editor Katie Thomas who said that South Korea’s beauty industry is about 10 to 12 years ahead of the rest of the world. They have no qualms introducing new ingredients to tried-and-tested formulas and conduct extensive product research.

I feel 2019 has one main message, even more so than other years: get with the programme or be left behind.

Patsy only has one definite goal - to clean up the storeroom at home. Share your feedback with


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