If plastic surgery makes me look better, why not?

After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
Local blogger Wendy Cheng, also known as Xiaxue.ST PHOTO: LIM YONG TECK
Blogger Xiaxue's look throughout the years.
Blogger Xiaxue's look throughout the years.PHOTO: COURTESY OF WENDY CHENG
After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
2003: Blogger Xiaxue’s original face (above).PHOTOS: LIM YONG TECK FOR THE STRAITS TIMES, COURTESY OF WENDY CHENG
After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
2008: After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant.
After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
2009: After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one.
After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
2010: After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes.
After she narrowed her nostrils and inserted a nose-bridge implant. After she replaced the first nose implant with a higher one. After double-eyelid surgery, during which she also widened her eyes. After another double-eyelid job. She also had her ey
Last year: After another double-eyelid job. She also had her eyes widened further.

After four plastic surgery procedures, Singaporean blogger Wendy Cheng, also known as Xiaxue, says she feels "victorious" about how much her looks have changed.

"I think it is good that I have improved over the years instead of deteriorating. I feel very happy about how I look," says the 32-year-old.

"Why would you ask somebody why she would do plastic surgery? It is like asking someone why she would want to go for higher education. To better herself. What other reason is there? If you can look better, why wouldn't you want to look better?"

When asked why she continues to use so much make-up even after her surgical procedures, she brushes off the question.

"It is like asking women why they would wear heels if they are satisfied with their height or why they would wear earrings if they like their earlobes. It is something that looks good, so why not?"

The petite blogger, who declines to reveal her height but looks to be around 1.55m, says she chose to have plastic surgery because she hated her original nose, which she thought was ugly and too big.

She had her first procedure in 2007. The sponsored surgery, which would have cost about $20,000, was filmed for reality TV series Girls Out Loud. She received an alarplasty (narrowing of the nostrils) and an implant for her nose bridge.

After about two years, she says, her nose implant became crooked due to "the way I slept or something" and she returned to her doctor to have it fixed.

Rather than trying to fix the implant, the doctor told her that he would replace it. This was when she decided that she wanted the replacement implant to be higher than before, giving her a higher nose bridge because "I just thought it would be nicer".

In 2010, on a friend's recommendation, she went to Malaysia and paid $1,600 for double-eyelid surgery. She received lateral canthoplasty (where the outer corners of the eyes are cut to make the eyes wider) and blepharoplasty (double-eyelid surgery).

She recounts that, unlike the other operations, that experience was very painful. From the local anaesthesia injections to the removal of stitches, she says that she felt like the doctor and nurse did not know what they were doing.

"The worst thing is that I suffered through the entire episode, but it did not change my looks and did not make a difference to my eyes."

She returned to Malaysia again last year, this time to a different clinic that offered to sponsor her surgery, for epicanthoplasty (where the inner corners of the eyes are cut to make the eyes wider) and blepharoplasty.

She reasoned that she often used double-eyelid tape to get double eyelids and the surgery would mean she could use the tape less often. Surgery would also make her eyelids even.

Asked if she is done with plastic surgery, she says she would not rule out going under the knife again.

"If there was a safe procedure that could change my eye colour, I would go for it," says Ms Cheng, who often wears coloured contact lenses.

She has been offered sponsorships from clinics for more invasive procedures such as jawline reshaping, but has turned them down.

Though she has considered the procedure, she says that the long recovery time, which would take her away from her two-year-old son, as well as her husband's disapproval of the major surgery, has held her back.

To maintain her looks, she goes for Botox and injectable fillers, which are sponsored, "whenever I feel it is time for a top-up".

Though she does not remember how many injections she has received, she says the time between procedures can sometimes be as long as a year.

Asked if she is worried about any side effects from the procedures, she says the only thing that worries her is her nose and that it could be damaged.

"Even if I was very angry with someone, I would never go and pick a fight with him because I feel like my nose is a weak point and that person could just punch me. You cannot do things that are very violent also, such as windsurfing or anything that could potentially break your nose."

Is she worried that her active toddler son might accidentally injure her nose? "I would just avoid being put in that position. I am aware of myself and I would just siam (Hokkien for avoid) him."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'If plastic surgery makes me look better, why not?'. Print Edition | Subscribe