Rozella Marie Mahjhrin was born with a birthmark that spread across her body unevenly which left a scar on her emotional well-being ever since she was five. She recalls going through “major downtimes” initially, after being called names and learning that she was different, but the feelings of sadness and disappointment gradually faded as time passed.
“The marks affected my self esteem a lot when I started to hit puberty and I felt pressured to look a certain way. After much convincing from my mum, I decided to try whitening injections in addition to giving supplements a go. Unfortunately, they didn’t do anything to make my skin look better,” she shares.
Rozella reveals that she even tried to drown her sorrows by drinking a little too much. “Thankfully, I managed to climb out of the pit of self-pity in 2010. I took a sabbatical to stay with my sister in KL and started self-therapy,” she says. “I changed my eating habits, learnt how to meditate and even woke up at 5am to do qigong. This helped a lot with my self-confidence and I even found the courage to put myself out there and start a singing career.”
In 2013, she performed for the first time in front of a live audience in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. “I was excited and nervous at the same time but I kept telling myself to ignore the negative voices in my head and the first try (at singing in public) was all that I needed to get the ball rolling,” she says. In 2015, she produced True Complexion, a documentary about women who are different and might not be considered normal or beautiful in our society.
“I told myself that there are others out there who are going through problems far worse than what I’m facing and that they should be celebrated for their courage, determination and strength,” explains Rozella, who adds that True Complexion is her everyday persona while singing is like her alter ego. “In the next one year, be prepared to see me combine the two sides of my personality and turn it into something special!”
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