“Ugly Beauty” Jolin Tsai Considered Quitting: “I Felt Empty”
To hold the title as Taiwan’s pop queen, Jolin Tsai (蔡依林) knows how to spell perfection. She was made to be perfect, and it was perfection that made her feel ugly.
On December 26, the 38-year-old singer dropped her latest studio album Ugly Beauty <怪美的>—the fourteenth in her catalog—and debuted her performance of the album with a press conference. The album is a reflection of Jolin’s feelings about being unhappy after always trying to chase after perfection.
It was a heartfelt press conference. Jolin recalled her own mental struggles while trying to keep up with the ever-changing and competitive music industry. She told reporters that the period around the release of 2009’s Butterfly <花蝴蝶> was when she felt like she was at the lowest point of her life. “That album was a turning point for me. I had a lot of work, and I considered retiring (from the entertainment industry). I couldn’t find motivation and purpose in what I was doing. Maybe ending it all was the best way to do it.”
Remembering her struggles, Jolin teared up. “I had no energy. I felt empty. I was passive. I felt empty because I had no idea what I was doing.” Jolin knew she was getting depressed, but she did not go seek help, because she thought leaving the industry altogether would solve all her problems. It wasn’t until after taking a long vacation when Jolin found her purpose and motivation again.
A scene in the music video for “Ugly Beauty” features Jolin eating a diet of boiled vegetables. The singer said, “I’ve never weighed more than 45 kg (99 lbs) before, but my standards are different from others. In my mind, I am fat, but I know I’m not. I was not perfect enough. I was not muscular enough. I felt like I would get bloated very easily.”
Nonetheless, Jolin reassured fans and reporters that she no longer feels flawed and ugly. “Right now, any kind of love would make me cry. My tear ducts are very bloated! Don’t worry. It’s just me getting old.”
Jolin will be celebrating her 20th debut anniversary in 2019, and when she was asked about what she hopes to achieve for her upcoming concert, she said, “I hope to present Ugly Beauty in a different format. I had a lot of fun in my last tour, but I want to have closer interactions with my fans this time around. I want them to understand me more.”
Asking if Jolin would also consider an acting project next year, she said, “I’ve never once considered that. I’m afraid of torture, haha! Having long nights all the time would take a toll on my endurance. My liver has struggled enough. I don’t want to tire myself at this age.”
Jolin Tsai – “Ugly Beauty” Music Video
This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.