December 25, 2015
Julie Tan may be just 23 years old, but she's already one of the most recognisable actresses in Singapore.
The fresh-faced star made her acting debut in the telemovie The Promise in 2009, when she was just a teen, and has since appeared in a slew of films and television drama serials, some alongside veteran actresses like Huang Biren and Chen Liping.
She's currently hard at work filming the Channel 8 drama The Dream Makers 2, slated to air in December this year.
Despite her success, Julie is hardly stand-offish - instead, she's warm, personable and so very earnest, especially when it comes to the causes she stands for. For instance, she tells us she is against cyberbullying and feels passionately about it.
"It's all too easy to ridicule and be ridiculed these days, especially with the proliferation of social media," she says. "One single unkind word is enough to scar someone - especially a young and impressionable teen - for life."
In fact, the star recently revealed in another interview that she had received unkind comments from netizens about her high forehead and flat chest, which perturbed her so much that she even seriously considered getting plastic surgery.
Julie is also fond of animals - especially dogs. She shares how she was highly distressed when photos of the Yulin festival (an annual tradition in China where thousands of dogs are killed and eaten) surfaced on the Internet earlier this year.
She has her own fur kid at home - four-year-old toy poodle Tinklebell, whom she lavishes plenty of attention on.
"I have to admit that Tinklebell is incredibly spoilt! She has her own wardrobe full of doggy clothes, and even eats with us at the table during mealtimes. In fact, she won't touch her food if my mum and I aren't present," she laughs.
The pampered pooch even has its own Instagram account (@thetinklebell), with more than 1,900 followers - surpassing what most of us have, really!
For this photocall, we took the ardent dog lover to Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD), a shelter and animal welfare organisation that rescues and rehomes street dogs, where Julie volunteered her time with the animals.
"It was really eye-opening helping out at SOSD, as I realised just how pampered Tinklebell is. I wish I could give each of these dogs a good home," she told us afterwards.
So the star, who has a whopping 170,000 followers - and counting - on her Instagram account (@julietan_cxq), is hoping to leverage on her popularity to spread awareness about the plight of Singapore's street dogs, by encouraging her fans to volunteer at the shelter.
"I guess you can say that being a celebrity has its perks, especially when it comes to raising awareness for a good cause. After all, many hands make light work!"
Lend a Hand (or paw)
Inspired by Julie and thinking of volunteering at SOSD? There are many ways to help out at the shelter - for instance, kennel volunteers take the dogs out for walks and swims, while rehoming and transport volunteers assist with regular adoption drives.
You can also write the adoption profiles of rescue dogs on the SOSD website (www.sosd.org.sg), or help out with fund-raising.
SOSD is also collaborating with Assisi Hospice to organise Light Up Your Life, a fun run at East Coast Park on Oct 3, 2015. Choose from the individual 5km or 10km categories, or the 2km dog walk (bring your pooch).
All proceeds from the run go towards helping with the operating expenses of both charities. Registration fees start from $35; sign up at www.lightupyourliferun.com.
This article first appeared in the September 2015 issue of Simply Her.
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