Lifestyle, Opinions

These 9 Movies Have Cheated Your Feelings – Matthew Fam

You have been lied to- and romance movies are the biggest culprit. While these box office hits may leave you feeling fuzzy on the inside, expectations of how love and reality should pan out have been highly misconstrued by films we’ve come to know and adore.

giphy-11. Legally Blonde
Going out on a limb to impress a guy when he clearly isn’t into you should be criminal. Would you let this poor girl spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an overrated degree she’s not even interested in? Where is the justice??


giphy-72. Bridget Jones’s Diary
Right. So it’s probably not wise to leave your open diary lying around for potential dates to see. Moreover, letting guys fight for you (because editors and lawyers have nothing better to do than fight in public) merely objectifies you as a prize to be won. And you’re better than that, girl!


giphy-93. The Proposal
All this while, we’ve conveniently forgotten what a pain actual partner visa arrangements can be! If you’ve ever applied for a visa, you’d be amazed how all the paperwork gets magically shelved in favour of scenic Alaskan fishing and Ryan Reynold’s washboard abs.



4. 27 Dresses
Here’s when it gets mildly offensive. Guy points out the reason for wedding planner’s workaholism as a method to cope with loneliness. And girl actually buys it. Come on! Equating busy career women to grumpy, lonely spinsters is so 90’s.


giphy-105. How To Lose A Guy in 10 Days
The movie all magazine journalists wish their lives could be, but know won’t never happen. If writing a feature story entails you to go on that many dates and glamorous outings (were all these on her company’s dime?) sign us up right now.

Tricking a guy can compromise his trust big time- and that’s not something you’d want to risk.


giphy-26. No Strings Attached
She and him are just looking for some sugar… if you know what I mean. Transaction made. But what happens when they start falling for each other? While some relationships do blossom from friends with benefits to official steads, the movie drives an unrealistic expectation that we can eke out a romance out of any arrangement.


giphy-87. The Ugly Truth
Somehow, we make it our personal mission to wish that we have the goodness within us to miraculously transform a playboy into reformed lover. Wrong. Taming a hardcore d-bag, and turning him into a loyal life partner- while possible in exceptional cases- is a false impression that you’d much rather leave at the cinema.


8. Twilight
Where. Do. I. Even. Begin. I can’t decide if Bella is facing a genuine dilemma choosing between the boys, or is pretending to enjoy all the attention. Just as how you wouldn’t want a guy to string you on, doing so to somebody else- through 4 entire movies, no less- is just evil.

The only true lesson to learn from this film franchise? Good looks and zero talent can land you a starring role.

And sme...lly.

And sme…lly.

9. Warm Bodies
Love changes zombie into boy band member lookalike. Fine. But what I don’t get is: doesn’t she get a whiff of funk from this semi-decomposed guy?? What this movie fails to teach you is that bad body odour ought to be a total deal breaker. And that the female protagonist probably suffered from a blocked nose throughout the entire duration.


About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines. Follow him on Instagram @mattjfam.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 7 Lies You’ll Hear About Millennials – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] When You Don’t Have Time For Love – Tan Lili

3. [Love In Lines] Whatever You Have Learnt From Matchmakers Is Wrong – Deborah Tan

Deborah Tan, Opinions

No Appetite? 10 Women Who Will Change Your Mind – Deborah Tan

One of Deborah Tan’s business partners is annoying the crap out of her. Why? Because she has abandoned her healthy appetite and left it at Fort Canning Hill. If found, please return ASAP. There will be a hearty reward.

Dear Person Who Kidnapped My Lunch Buddy,

My long-time lunch buddy has been casting me aside three times a week to go for personal training at Fort Canning. That these sessions take place at high noon is just one crazy aspect of it. In a bid to help her reach her goal, her personal trainer has worked out a healthy eating meal plan for her too. NOW, it’s the latter that is totally driving me insane. Her once healthy appetite is now the size of a pea. She’d take two sips of soup and say, “I’m full.” I’m not advocating that everyone should stuff their faces with 10 different dishes at every meal but TWO SIPS OF SOUP?!?!?

It doesn’t help that I’m the sort whose idea of a balanced meal is steak and fries. So imagine my mortification when my lunch buddy is now just somebody that I used to know. It’s tragic.

In a bid to get her to change her mind (highly unlikely given that she is now a lithe sexy nymph), I’m going to attempt to explain why it is so damn important that she returns my lunch buddy to me:

1. Because friends who eat together are often also friends who get drunk together:

2. Because food = love. Dieticians and personal trainers be damned!

3. Because it’s cute when people don’t look at food like it is the spawn of Satan!

4. Because IT IS possible to enjoy food and still look beautiful:

5. Because anyone who can bear saying NO to good food is just no fun to be around lah!

6. Because many of human race’s biggest discoveries came from eating:

7. Because many of our favourite girls on TV love burgers:

8. Because our favourite Friend, Monica, looks so cute fretting over her Kit-Kats:

9. Because Mindy has a chocolate fountain on her desk. That can’t be a bad idea:

10. Because that’s what I want to be do with my friends – EAT WITH THEM:

For me, eating is always a nice way to bond with friends. Over a good meal (with a couple of beers thrown in), we can talk about everything and anything. Now, just me eating alone is too boring and, all I can think of is, why are my friends not eating chicken rice anymore?!?!?!? So dear Lunch Buddy, please come back and eat with me again!!!!!



About The Author: Deborah Tan is a founder of Material World. After 10 years of working in magazines Cleo and Cosmopolitan Singapore, she is now a freelance writer/editor who works on this website full-time. She takes her meal-times very seriously and gets very annoyed when people don’t want to eat with her. Follow her on Twitter @DebTanTweets.


Beauty & Shopping, Entertainment, Lifestyle

The 8 Big Ways To Conquer Crazy Sale Periods – Matthew Fam

There is an imperceptible energy in the air of Orchard Road. Yes, the Great Singapore Sale is fast approaching: the crowds will be packing, and your wallet will be crying. Taking place this year from 30 May – 27 July, here are the 8 ways to emerge a champ from this islandwide sale we all love!

1. The Dormant Shopper
The lights, it almost hurts your eyes. The colours, can’t… resist! You try to keep a calm, serene expression as you enter the store, when your shopping-deprived self is actually squealing on the inside. “Shall not embarrass self. Am grown woman with inner poise,” you tell yourself.

Relax- there’s more than enough reasons to get excited. Sales are a great opportunity for cash-strapped individuals where your wardrobe FINALLY gets an update. No more recycling outfits for the umpteenth time!

Tropical prints can still be muted, as seen from Marc Jacobs Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear Collection.

Tropical prints can still be muted, as seen from Marc Jacobs Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear Collection.

2. Eyeing Trends
The one statement piece to get? Tropical prints. Seen on the runways of Peter Pilotto and Marc Jacobs, these nature-themed motifs are still riding high on the trend wave. Allergic to colour? Pare down with monochromatic designs instead. Totes do-able.

3. Perfumes
Most often, sales assistants in department stores would offer a sampling of fragrance sprayed on card strips. Instead, ask if you could apply the perfume directly on yourself. Scents react differently to your skin chemistry, so what smells great on a card may not on yourself. Wait for an hour and then sniff the spot you sampled the perfume on.

4. Sales Assistants
“Hi, can I help you with anything?”
“Oh no, I’m just looking around. Thank you.”
You are then being followed around (eek), sometimes even eyed as if you’re stealing something. Sounds familiar? Oh trust me, it gets even worse with some security guards – they don’t even smile.

However, do know that these lovely staff have the best intentions to help find what you need. In fact, you can even score freebies with beauty sales assistants! Enquire politely about a product that you would love to try before committing to a purchase. They might just provide sample sachets.


5. The To-And-Fro
No, this is not a Salsa dance step. But if you think about it, navigating through a sale is a kind of dance. How many times have you held on to a garment, before placing it back (do I NEED this?) and then taking it back again (but it’s in my size!) and then– you get the drift.

When faced with such a dilemma, ask yourself: Is this similar to what I already have? Sales are the perfect time to get styles you normally wouldn’t purchase at normal price, so experiment!

6. The Dressing Rooms
If the streams of garments spilling out from hands hadn’t given it away, you would have thought wartime food rations were being handed out. To combat long waiting times, you need a major game plan. Form a tag team with your girlfriend: wait in line as she gets the outfits she wants, and switch over when she returns. Just remember to set a time limit!

7. Unflattering Dressing Room Lighting
Sometimes you wonder if the harsh lighting found in dressing rooms are just out there to make you feel completely miserable about yourself.

Overhead lighting tends to highlight every pore, stray eyebrow hair and blemish on your skin to the point where you just want to burst out of the dressing room half naked and cry. But remember: you are fabulous no matter what, so don’t let deceptive lighting deter you from your shopping expedition. Now… strike a pose!

8. The Final Stretch
Snaking queue at the payment counter? Worst. Part. Ever. As if queueing for dressing rooms weren’t enough! This is where people start cutting losses by dumping unwanted items on the closest rack or counter they can find. The department store will look like a war zone, and you the brave trooper who survived it all- good job!

To avoid overspending, draft a shopping list so you don’t buy more than what you need. But to err on the side of caution, bring a set amount of hard cash and leave your credit cards at home. That way, you’re putting a direct limit on the amount you spend.


So what other tips do you have for the Great Singapore Sale? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.
If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. [Material Moms] Time-Saving Beauty Products for Busy Moms – Beverly Burgess

2. [Material World x Asia Fashion Summit] Help Us Understand Fashion, Please!

3. The Hair Q&A You’ve Got To Read – Tan Lili

Entertainment, Love, Relationships

10 Must-Know Ways He’ll Never Be Boyfriend Material – Matthew Fam

Is he into you? Is he not? And if he is, does he only see you as a one night stand? The madness ends NOW. Whether you’re dealing with someone out of your league, a playboy or complete sleazeball creep, the telltale signs are undeniable. Here, the 10 must-know ways he isn’t boyfriend material.

1. The Picture Sender
Rule of thumb: if a guy is totally into you, he’d want to share as much of his life as possible. This means sending snaps of anything under the Sun- his new haircut, the new GoPro camera he’s tricked out with, or even a meal that he whipped up (pssst… your cue to suggest a dinner date!) On the flipside, if your Whatsapp media folder has been flatlining, you know he’s a real dud.


Shut up now.

2. Emoji Overload
And just when you thought emoticons were bad enough. Emojis teeter on the date-defining line between adorable and totally nauseating. So imagine if your sweetie signs off each and. Every. Single. One of his texts with a parade of monkey faces. You’re dating a man- not babysitting a teenage kid.

3. Hanky Panky
Touch is essential for intimacy, no doubt. But having it five steps ahead of the game gives the impression that he’s only in it for your lady bits.

Signs to look out for instead? Eye contact, mimicking of body postures, and his pelvic region facing you (sounds insane, but seriously). Sometimes, subtlety does it.


4. The Phantom Menace
Text. Flirt. Disappear. Repeat.  Sound familiar? Unless you’re settling for a flirtationship, you should find a chap who won’t string you along. Perhaps you could switch things up and make him the one to wait instead! Just remember: no crazy text spamming or instant replies that scream ‘psycho girlfriend’.

5.When the ‘L’ word is said FAR too soon
According to this article, men take 88 days on average to say ‘I love you’ to their girlfriends. And over 39% of those surveyed take the verbal plunge during the first month of their relationship. While this isn’t a compulsory guide, it should give you a fair gauge if your man is just saying romantic mush to appease you.

tumblr_mvocecDQXV1slj24go1_500 2 6. Payment In Kind
Let’s get one thing straight: him paying for your date is NOT an excuse for a free pass at you. And you absolutely shouldn’t feel obliged to entertain his advances. I mean, hello?? It drives home the message that you’re a commodity to be bought… and ain’t nobody got time for that!

7. Repeat Offender
Now, this technique requires some next-level snooping skills (and a sliiight breach of his privacy… just don’t get caught!) If the way he treated his past girlfriends fall into a pattern- same breakup excuse, same bad habits- you know he’s not likely to change his spots anytime soon!

Total. Deal. Breaker.

Total. Deal. Breaker.

8. When He Secretly Films You During Sex!
Ever wanted to be a YouTube celebrity? Well, the only kind of internet sensation you DON’T want to be is this!

Sure, sex is supposed to be fun, but this here is a major deal breaker. Aside from having a total lack of respect, recording lewd acts without consent is just way too creepy. Spot a suspicious red dot floating in the darkness of his room? Congratulations- you now have liberty to go apesh*t on his MacBook.

9. Phone Fiddler
We’re all guilty of the occasional phone checking- even during dates. But if he’s busier than a Bangalore call centre, dump the dude. Actions speak volumes, so if he can’t even commit that little bit of time for you, what more a longer-term relationship? If text replying is a must (could it be that he’s chatting up other ladies too??), how about having a 5-minute timeout instead?

10. Bad Body Odour
Deodorant; cologne; instruct man to scrub pits with Clorox… Or seriously, just don’t go out with him.

So, how do YOU judge if someone is boyfriend material? Share with us in the comments section below!


About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and Contributing Beauty Assistant. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, Singaporean Theatre, and spends too much of his undergraduate allowance on magazines.


If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. The 8 Times You’re A Total Biatch Without Knowing It – Matthew Fam

2. [Love In Lines] Why You Should Date Widely – Vanessa Tai

3. [Love In Lines] Is It Acceptable To Flirt When You’re Attached? – Tan Lili

Entertainment, Friends, Lifestyle, Relationships

The 8 Times You’re A Total Biatch Without Knowing It – Matthew Fam

Biatch moves that take you from girlfriend to Grinch from hell? Totally possible. And you might not even be aware that you’re committing them! While we may have every good intention to be Girlfriend of The Year, look out for these 8 common communication faux pas that can potentially slap an ugly biatch label on you.



1. Tagging Unglam Photos Of Your friends

What you think you’re saying:
“Hey, I’m so glad we all hung out last night!”

What you’re actually saying:
“Hi, I don’t give a hoot if you look like crap so long as I’m the gorgeous one in this group shot.”

Use your discretion: if your friend is in an unflattering angle, be considerate and give tagging a pass. Or avoid even posting altogether. And, drunk shots are totally out of the question- unless your girl friend can rock a glassy-eyed look like its hangover chic.

I know you're talking about my dark circles.

I know you’re talking about my dark circles.

2. “You Look Tired”

What you think you’re saying:
“Are you feeling okay? I’m concerned that you’re not getting enough rest.”

What you’re actually saying:
“You look like crap and I don’t want to look at your face. Slap on some concealer and go. Home. NOW.”

Uhh… no thanks?? This is the single most innocent comment that’s totally not welcomed. Nobody (nobody!) needs to be reminded of their dark circles.

3. Laughing Over Friend’s Misfortune

What you think you’re saying:
“You’ve emerged stronger from this episode, and you’re bigger than it. Let’s celebrate by duping this incident.”

What you’re actually saying:
“Hi wound, meet salt.”

Some of us are extra-sensitive beings that need extra TLC, so handle with care! Teasing your friend may come across as you using her misfortunes as fodder for cheap jokes. So, ensure that she’s over it before you pull the comic card. 

Think you could ever share a crush like Betty and Veronica?

Think you could ever share a crush like Betty and Veronica?

4. Stealing Your Friend’s Crush

What you think you’re saying:

“With your looks, you can totally snag a guy way better than this!

What you’re actually saying:
“Move over, sweetie. I’m spraying my perfume all over and marking my territory.”

So what do you do when both parties are interested in the same guy, then?

Technically, the one who calls dibs lays claim first. Or if you reaaally like him, have a chat with your girlfriend. Hey, if Betty and Veronica shares, why can’t you too? (Then edge her out as the better candidate! Shh… subtly of course.)



5. Dishing Dirt

What you think you’re saying:
You’re in my little inner circle now. Besides, isn’t the enemy of your enemy your friend?

What you’re actually saying:
“If I can gossip about others, what makes you think I can’t do the same to you?”

Everybody loves a great gossip session, right? Wrong. Some people want to remain absolutely drama-free, and will take your goss as reason not to trust you. If you’re itching to get the latest 411 off your back, spill your caustic words to a group of friends you absolutely trust.

6. Comparisons

What you think you’re saying:
“I want to share my happiness with you. Ooh—and about that month-long trip to Italy I incessantly updated my Instagram over. Have you seen it??”

What you’re actually saying:
“Yes. Bow down to my fabulosity. I want you jealous- right now.”

Okay, please just stop. I’m not interested in your Balenciaga bag, or your social media-publicised vacation. You may, however, introduce all your hot friends made during said Euro trip, kthxbye.

7. Dissing People’s Appearances

What you think you’re saying:
“Well… If we’re both thinking it, might as well get the pink elephant out of the room!”

What you’re actually saying:
“I am hypercritical of everything- that includes you. Oh, yes- I’m also insecure about myself.”

Yes, I’ll admit that bonding over bitching is totally legit. But don’t go overboard, girlfriend! Nobody likes a bitter biatch. If you absolutely must, one nasty comment tops; then talk about other redeeming qualities of that person.

ewwwww8. Telling People What They Should Do

What you think you’re saying:
“I want to see you become the best version of yourself.”

What you’re actually saying:
“I’m not listening to what you’re going through. Everything that you’re doing is wrong and needs correction- stat.”

Sure, giving friends advice may come from a place of concern, but drilling the message home is a whole different ball game altogether. Listen to her entire predicament first. Respect the decision your friend makes, and use this as an opportunity to see matters in a different light!


Guilty of committing any of these potential biatch moves? Share with us in the comments section below!

About the Author: Matthew Fam is a contributing writer of Material World, and has worked at Cosmopolitan Singapore as an intern and freelancer. He writes, teaches, and performs for the stage. Matthew enjoys museum visits, origami, and is passionate about Singaporean Theatre.

If you liked this post, you might also like:

1. 8 Things That Put Off Dates Stalking Your Facebook Account – Matthew Fam

2. Are You Being Critical Or Are You Looking For Flaws? – Tan Lili

3. [Infographic] Overcome Your Body Confidence Crisis, Please! – Deborah Tan



Lifestyle, Vacations & Staycations

Stories That Could Happen To You

couple-kissing-sunshine-78319871Do you often wonder about romantic encounters overseas? Like … while you’re lazing by the pool, a handsome stranger that looks just like Jon Hamm takes the sunbed next to you … and next thing you know, you both are sharing an intimate dinner at his private villa in Ubud. Or, you are in a glamorous city like New York and while shopping at Bloomingdale’s you run into a dashing millionaire who falls hopelessly in love with you at first sight? Oh! How about falling right into the muscular arms of a Daniel Craig lookalike just as you discover you have been pick-pocketed in Paris?

Ahhhh … vacations and the fantasies that come with them. Don’t we all love a lil’ getaway that is so full of promise and hope? Don’t we all want to meet that tall, dark, handsome stranger and get married overseas and NEVER COME BACK!

Well, this super long weekend, allow us at Material World to entertain you with some fantasies … (cue naughty wink and a cheeky smile). These stories are strictly for those with super imaginative minds and definitely not for the … ummm … prudish?

To begin, pick the statement you most identify with:

“I love adventures! Nothing turns a girl on like a little danger.”

“You love beer and [insert English football club]? Next, please!”

“You’ve gotta try everything once! EVERYTHING.”

“My parents say I’m like a little flower and should just read about Hello Kitty.”

Note: Stories are written for humour and for the open-minded. If you’re easily offended, please kindly check out our other articles on this website.