Leong Kay Ean
The Straits Times
Thursday, Aug 20, 2015
Budget Barbie is no Budget Mummy. Known for her thrifty shopping ways on online television show Budget Barbie on clicknetwork.tv, Ms Ang Chiew Ting unabashedly admits to splurging when it comes to her five-month-old daughter, Meredith.
The 28-year-old blogger, who is more commonly known by her online monicker Bong Qiu Qiu, says: "When it comes to baby shopping, I have no self-control. Zero."
She cites baby clothes that cost about $80 an outfit and a $89 mobile for her baby's crib as examples. "I feel quite bad because I don't like to spend so much, but since they are for the baby and they are nice, I buy them."
Her favourite brands for baby clothes include French brand Petit Bateau, Fox Kids & Baby and Cotton On Kids. She especially enjoys dressing Meredith up for special occasions. When the baby turned four months old, Ms Ang dressed her in a frilly white outfit from Anna Sui.
Life has changed immensely for the new mother, who is the ambassador for slimming treatment centre Expressions.
"It has made me very, very busy and I always feel I don't have enough time. But it's also meaningful - I feel happy every moment that I spend with my baby," says Ms Ang, who is married to commercial photographer Joshua Tan, 43.
The proud mum cherishes "little moments when I see her growing and learning new things; little moments like when I see her father smiling at her".
However, she has had to travel twice for work since giving birth, once to Japan and once to Thailand. She says: "Leaving feels very horrible, I feel like a bad mother. But I have to deal with it as work has to be done."
After Meredith was born, Ms Ang started an Instagram account for her - @meregoround. Ms Ang, whose Instagram account is @bongqiuqiu, says: "I knew I would be posting a lot of photos of her. I've seen mothers who, after giving birth, you hardly see their face at all, it's just their baby. I didn't want it to be that way because I still have things to do online for myself - I'm not just Meredith's mother. I'm still Budget Barbie, I'm still the Chiew Ting that people know."
Meredith's account is filled with pictures of the baby, often accompanied by amusing captions written in the baby's voice. Says Ms Ang: "I feel that people like Meredith's photos more than mine on Instagram."
Sadly, just as she has had her fair share of haters on social media since she started blogging in 2008, she says that some have posted negative comments about Meredith too on her blog, www.bongqiuqiu.blogspot.com. She tells of some anti-fans who even set up multiple accounts to criticise her and her daughter, despite her attempts to block them.
On how she deals with them, she shrugs it off, saying: "I used to get quite worked up and would even retaliate if I was in a bad mood. But after becoming a mother, I realise that people who say bad things online are cowardly. If they say something bad about Meredith, it just shows how ugly they are inside. I don't care any more."
So would she want her daughter to follow in her footsteps and become a blogger when she grows up?
No, she says: "Bloggers have a hard job - all the pictures and endorsements you see on my blog are taken by me and done by me. She can be anything she wants, but if I were to choose blogger or not, probably not."
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