Interview: Alicia Amin on the faceless online haters, having an opinion, and whether she has any more f*cks left to give

via Alicia Amin
via Alicia Amin

Can’t seem to write a tweet, or take a picture these days without drawing the ire of netizens, and faceless, yet sanctimonious, bloggers alike.

Has everyone always had an opinion about everything, or is this just part and parcel of having a comments section?

Where one girl can’t express her love for a handsome prince, we also have one of Malaysia’s most-promising model-actress-creatives Alicia Amin being chastised for wearing lingerie on a blog usually reserved for the crotchety cantankerous who walk among us, Beautiful Nara.

Readers tread with caution: a perusal of their discussion boards has been known to decrease your IQ decimal with every scroll.

Alicia, who by all intents and purposes, is just living her life modeling and acting, has become the target of serious shade from the irrelevant, yet ubiquitous, blog

In a post aimed directly at the model, they want it to be known that although Alicia’s chosen to show her body and voice her opinions, there are plenty of other models who “don’t feel the need to.” It’s implied that this is somehow better.

And while it’s true, you can’t please everyone all the time, as Alicia herself has said, the value in dissecting the lives of others remains to be seen.

Last we checked, calling someone else less than, doesn’t make you better. It just makes you petty.

To discuss further, asked Alicia some questions on the matter to get her take on the state of online critics, social media and just doing you:

Hey, please introduce yourself, in your own words to our Coconuts readers!

I’m Alicia Amin, 22-year-old model, actress and TV host. I’ve been in fashion since I was 15 and started broadening my horizons into acting and hosting after my stint on Asia’s Next Top Model Cycle 5.

Since then I’ve hosted the re-branding of Fox Movies and scored a role in a TV3 drama (ed: TV3 is pretty much Malaysia’s most widely watched channel) as the supporting female, Dr. Sandra. All while continuing my hustle as a fashion model.

The hustle is real.

Recently, some pics of yours made their way onto Beautiful Nara, and other nefarious blog corners of the Internet. Do you ever wonder who bothers to find this stuff? 

I think there’s a price to pay as an outspoken, liberal and secular Malay female when you try to penetrate the mass market. I would assume it’s the same people who tried to shame our local athlete and national darling Farah Ann for wearing a leotard (which is the appropriate sportswear for her discipline, last I checked.)

Oh gosh, yeah. That whole thing took away so much attention from her incredible achievements, to talking about sportswear.

What’s your general policy on trolls, as a public figure? Do you ever engage? 

I only engage when it is beyond ridiculous. Someone tried to slam me for saying “RIP” when I was paying my condolences to the children that were lost in the tahfiz school fire on my Instagram.

In the past I’ve seen people scream (well, type) abuse to each other defending me, simply because I validated an opinion. As much as I appreciate the notion, I cannot control bullying, and as I’m a constant target myself, I would feel guilty if someone was bullied online because they tried to bully me. That is why I try to address things on general platforms without directing them at any particular person.

Does it ever make you question yourself, or your choices? 

I’ve been blessed to travel and even live abroad. Also as a psychology & social work student, these experiences have strengthened my perspective and values but also made me realize that different communities have different dynamics. Secularism has proved successful in many countries, but no amount of evidence can eradicate the beliefs of a whole mass-community, if they all believe it.

My battle has never been with myself, nor to change these people, but to let others who are different be left at peace to their own devices, without the bullying and hate.

So much hate. How do you think social media has shifted the way we perceive others and engage? 

Social media has dehumanized the individual, at least until you meet them in person. If you’ve never met a person but watched bits of their lives on the confinements of a screen, they’re about as human to you as Lara Croft. Now every person is basically fiction.

Would you say that you’ve run out of f*cks to give? Or just give them out sparingly now? 

I don’t think I give f*cks from the heart anymore. As a student still aspiring to finish university though, there are copious amounts of observations and deductions to make about the heteronormative (ed: an exclusively heterosexual perspective, with only male and female genders) standards in this country. I think I still have enough of those f*cks to collect enough data for a thesis one day, and hopefully make this country a better place to live in for us secular folk.

If you could speak to the faceless trolls in person, would you? What would you say? What would you want to know? 

I would possibly make them take a few tests, Myers-Briggs, Rorschach, Porteus and for safety the Buss-Perry Aggression Questionnaire.

Hahaha. Any advice to anyone out there tryna “do you”?

Pay attention to yourself. Educate yourself, challenge yourself & learn how to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. If all of you just went out and did you, we’d be a happy.



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