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Our Interview with Crystal (@auyeungching), a full-time lawyer and Hong Kong Muay Thai Gym—Kru Muay Thai owner, is all about her self-love journey in overcoming criticisms and challenging gender bias with persistence and hard work.

Q: What do you do for a living? 

A: I am a full-time lawyer and I also have a part-time business. I founded a Muay Thai Gym. 

Q: Can you tell me more about your Muay Thai gym? 

A: It is a Muay Thai studio in Central, and we focus on Thai boxing only. We’ve got 2 trainers and it is a small group training. Nicely designed, very clean. It’s probably the cleanest Muay Thai gym anyone has gone to, so it is suitable for office ladies and people who want to work out in a better environment. 

Q: Have you ever been told that your body is not perfect? How did you feel?

A: Actually, for a long time in my life, I was not confident with my body. I think everyone has different opinions, especially male friends or your boyfriends would have comments. Some of them may think you are too skinny, and some of them may think you are too muscular, and others think that you are fat. There are many comments surrounding women every day. In the Muay Thai training, it helps me a lot, because many women when they workout they just focus on losing weight or all they think is ‘I want abs’, or ‘I want that body I saw on social media’. But for martial arts and Thai boxing you don’t have time to do that, because you are focusing on how to do the combos, the instructions by the trainer, and improving your techniques. I think that is more important than becoming another person or an image that is not truly yourself. 

Q: Do you think there are challenges to live and work in Hong Kong that are specific to women? 

A: I think the double standards for women in Hong Kong are quite serious. On one hand, society expects women to be strong, educated and capable of sustaining their own lives. On the other hand, they expect them to look pretty and gentle, be wife material and ultimately be a good mother and have a good life. These two (concepts) are very common in Hong Kong, parents, guys and even women themselves have this mindset, which creates a lot of stress for women. 

Q: How did you learn to love your body? 

A: If I’m not happy about my body, I should do something about it. I tried to become healthier and focus on my lifestyle, the way I eat and tried to work out more. By doing these things, I actually forgot the images I wanted to become, and forget the comments by others. I think the key is to find something you are passionate about and focus on how to make your body feel good, healthy and feel energized. 

Q: What is body positivity to you? 

A: Truly love yourself and love the type of body that you are in. Not be too affected by the images on social media. Everyone is different, everyone is beautiful. Just embrace who you are.

Q: Crystal, if your body could talk right now, what do you think it would say?

A: I think it would say that it is happy now. I would want to tell my body to stay happy and stay feeling good. That is most important to me.

Muay Thai training has immensely helped Crystal in building her self- confidence and tackling unfair judgements, and she is making a difference by educating her female gym members about the importance of not to blindly chase after the “perfect body” the society defines on social media platforms and mass media. To succeed in martial arts, the focus is put into sharpening one’s techniques, rather than achieving a certain body image.

“Everyone is different, everyone is beautiful. Just embrace who you are.” 

We are truly touched by Crystal’s endeavour in appreciating the beauty of every single body and be true to herself. 

To watch other interviews from our “My Body My Story” series, click here.

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