Despite leaving showbusiness for over a decade, former actress Jacelyn Tay still enjoys a well-liked persona and a healthy reputation. Perhaps, this stems from the lack of negative news she had during her acting tenure as well as her portrayal in many iconic roles such as He Xiangu in Legend of the Eight Immortals (1998). These days, Jacelyn Tay seems happier and more at ease despite juggling motherhood and her own health and wellness company.
Find out why and other facts you might not know about Jacelyn Tay below.
10 facts about Jacelyn Tay that you might not know
She got her start from Star Search
Like many popular local actors, Jacelyn Tay got her start through the talent search competition. She participated in 1995 when she was a university freshman and eventually took home the crown for the female category.
She suffers from an autoimmune disease
At the age of 24, Jacelyn Tay began having multiple fainting spells a day. She got it checked and was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome. While this threw a wrench into her acting career trajectory, Jacelyn Tay changed her life around by learning more about nutrition and various diets. Processed foods were completely cut out of her diet and she only ate whole foods. Her fainting spells eventually waned.
She overcame bankruptcy and divorce
In 2000, Jacelyn Tay had to declare bankruptcy after owing $300,000 to a stockbroking company. She was discharged from bankruptcy four years later.
Then in 2018, Jacelyn Tay announced her divorce from her husband, Brian Wong, of eight years. The couple has a child named Zavier, who often features on her social media.
Reflecting on both ordeals, Jacelyn Tay chooses to see them as blessings. “If I never dealt with a million dollars worth of shares at 24, I wouldn’t have had the guts to start a business at 30.
If I didn’t get married, I wouldn’t have had a beautiful son. How can I say all these were bad decisions? Whether you call it a good or bad decision, there’s always something good that comes out of it. Something beautiful, something to learn from. And that becomes a part of me, an experience I can share with people.”
She’s happily single
In a 2019 post, Jacelyn Tay shared her thoughts on love, “Don’t crave for love, don’t find a lover. Be love, be the lover. You decide who you wanna love. You have the rights not to give love to somebody too. Choose wisely! And don’t try to love out of obligation, because that is no longer love.”
She had also shared this nugget of wisdom on life, “There are so many good things we can find and put back into our lives to replace the past bad habits, diets, thoughts, beliefs… Sometimes even people. Life is a road of discovery about ourselves, not others.”
She has a different outlook in life
In a 2021 interview, Jacelyn Tay revealed that she plans to slow down her pace of living and live a more minimalistic lifestyle. “I need to rebalance myself. So walking is my form of mental and physical detox. I don’t jog, I like activities that are calm. So going boating, going for walks in the greenery, sitting by the beach. Usually that’s what I do, and I like to do all these things alone. I’m quite a terrible loner.”
Looking back on her bankruptcy and divorce, Jacelyn Tay has also healed and moved on. “I think one important thing is I don’t look back. I never look back. I want to live in the present, I don’t want to live in the future or the past. I find that there’s no point. What has been done cannot be undone, and the future is unknown.”
She’s a huge proponent of self-care
In 2016, Jacelyn Tay shared with us 11 tips on how to achieve work-life balance as a busy mother and entrepreneur. Some of the tips include the importance of getting eight hours of sleep, eating clean when dining out, scheduling me time to do activities you love as well as taking care of your skin.
She has her own business
Named Body Inc., the company was founded by Jacelyn Tay in 2006 after her autoimmune disease diagnosis and a slew of other health problems. She developed an interest in Traditional Chinese Medicine, nutrition and healing remedies that resulted in the creation of the holistic wellness company. She is currently working there as a health coach.
She’s a published author
In case you didn’t know, Jacelyn Tay is a published author with two hit titles under her belt. The first is Feel Good Look Good with Jacelyn and the second is Makeup for the Asian Women. The former focuses on health and wellness tips while the latter focuses on makeup tips and how to perfect the art.
She loves to collect swimsuits
In this May 2022 Instagram post, Jacelyn Tay recounted a conversation she had with her son Zavier, where he asked how many bikinis and swimsuits she owns. Her answer? “I never count. 40?” She added that each has its own purpose and that “when a woman wanna shop, she has a thousand reasons why this set is just different from the other 39 sets”.
She has found new hobbies such as whisky tasting and monochrome photography
On whisky tasting, Jacelyn Tay stated that “To me, tasting whisky is like embarking on a journey. First, you smell the whisky and it makes you curious to taste it. I also have a whisky collection of my own.”
And on monochrome photography, she likes the healing nature of it. “When I look at the world and take a picture, if it’s in black and white, it becomes very focused and sharp. But if the picture is in colour, I get very distracted.”
“These days, I like to see things more simply. I find that people get stressed because they have too many things on their plate. We have been told to strive for excellence but in the midst of it all, we’ve come to believe that having a lot on our plate means we’re worth more.
The more hardworking you are, the closer you are to excellence. But I beg to differ. If you’re able to focus on just one thing and do it well, that’s already fantastic. So moving forward, I just want to be more focused.”