Image: Mohd Ishak for The New Paper
Michelle Chia wishes she had frozen her eggs when she was younger.
The actress-host used to think about having children but says the opportunity has passed. She joked: “My eggs very old already, 40 years old! But if it was back in my 20s, I would have done it.
“When (I was) in my 20s, (I thought that) 40 is very old, and by then I would have kids,” Chia told The New Paper in a mix of Mandarin and English on the set of the Singapore version of popular Chinese talk show BrainStorm.
“But… my career path and circumstances are different… so I think it’s a little bit too late now.”
Chia, who will be 41 next month, was married to actor Shaun Chen for two years before their divorce in 2011. She told TNP that she is in a long-term relationship but has no plans to remarry.
Her 30-year showbiz career has been filled with acting and hosting gigs, but it left little time for her to plan for a family, something she hopes other women will not have to regret. Chia said: “Singapore should allow women to freeze their eggs, it’s not allowed here… It’s my eggs, why can’t I freeze them?
“I think it should be allowed because these days, women enter the workforce at a young age. They are independent, unlike in the past.
“If you want a couple to both work and have children, the woman should be able to be stress-free and be allowed to freeze their eggs in their 20s, so they don’t have to worry about having kids and earning money at the same time.” Her gynaecologist told her that egg freezing is not allowed here, except for medical reasons.
Luckily, she has “three beautiful nieces” who are able to satisfy her longing for children. Chia is now focused on her new show, BrainStorm Singapore Edition, a spin-off of the award-winning Chinese talk show that focuses on trends in the financial world. Chia co-hosts the Singapore version with the highly-acclaimed host of BrainStorm in China, Ma Hong Man. It will premiere on China Business Network (StarHub TV Channel 809) on Sept 3 and air on Saturdays at 7pm.
When she was approached by Singapore-based media company MyChinaChannel to co-host the show, Chia rejected the gig twice because she felt intimidated. She said: “It’s too stressful to host a show about finance and economics. I have no knowledge of the topic at all and, to add on, I would need to know financial terms, which I’m unsure about.
“But they encouraged me and the structure of the show is quite relaxing and different, so I agreed to do it.”
Chia, who was in the Channel 8 TV drama The Queen, which aired in February and March, does not intend to go back to showbiz full-time. She wants to throw herself into her personal interests. Her main goal is to set up her own wellness business and to achieve “financial freedom” by the age of 45.
She said: “The programmes I take on now are based on my own interests. I’m taking on a new hosting gig soon, which will keep me busy all the way till next January.
“I’ve spent 30-over years in showbiz and there are a lot of things and ideas which I want to do, but I just never had the time.
“I have many dreams that I want to achieve, like last year, I started learning piano, which was something I’ve always wanted to do.”
This article was first published on August 24, 2016. Get The New Paper for more stories.