"I'm just as strong on my period" - Kaona Cheung, Regional Manager, A&R at Warner Music and Singer-songwriter at OneOneCollective

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Kaona is an independent singer-songwriter at OneOneCollective and Regional A&R Manager for Warner Music Asia (WMA). Her interests include wellness and music. Joining WMA was a dream come true as it marries her life long passion and career goals beautifully.  

HER LIFE

Growing up as a Chinese woman, I faced constraints in self-expression and embracing my sensuality. I was not exposed to many schools of thought other than Confucianism growing up and I was lucky my mother made sure that I learned English. Being bilingual, I was able to understand and embrace Western culture more. Journeying my life through “East and West” has given me an outlook that has shaped me into the person I am today.

When I was younger, taking pictures with a bikini seemed like something I would never do. As I grew older, I began to understand more about traditional and western values along with their differences. With this knowledge and being mindful of the two ideals, I welcomed the change and found the happy medium between the two to be able to open up and take charge of my life.

HER BODY

I used to feel so uncomfortable with my body. The phrase “the paler you are the more beautiful” was the compensation of being “ugly”. Growing and understanding the skin that I am in has caused me to ditch conventional beauty standards. Now, the more confident I am, the prettier I feel. I respect the traditions but make it my own especially when it comes to embracing sensuality. I never understood why it is such a closed topic. By growing my online community from scratch, I made it a point to be open with that side of myself.

There are so many Asian women who have mentioned to me “I’ve never had an orgasm” or “I don’t know if I’ve had one” and that they don’t feel attractive in their own body. I want to be open with this topic so that women know that it is okay to explore your own body and that comes with body positivity and confidence.

HER PERIOD

My experience with periods is generally alright, I just get a little tired. I used to let it stop me, and didn’t go to the gym during my cycle. One day, I decided to just go instead of resting and that was the day that I managed to beat my personal best by 4 times on the leg press. That was the day I learnt that I’m just as strong on my period and I am the author of the stories I tell myself.

My family is pretty open, I have an older sister, and my mum has 4 sisters. But even in a pretty open family filled with women like mine, the topic of menstruation or menopause isn’t something that would be talked about openly. My boyfriend who has been around women all his life isn’t exposed to period education. There was a day I showed him a pad on a good flow day, he freaked out a little bit. I strongly believe that period education should extend both ways, to menstruators and non-menstruators

Kelia Moniz, my favourite Roxy girl growing up, gave birth recently and her husband (@jostermini) inspired me with a post and the way he paid tribute to his wife. He said, "There is no easy way around what’s next. God has entrusted woman to carry the life all of humanity first. Then in its absolute brutality and beauty there is birth. God has entrusted all souls to be knit in the womb of woman. Their bodies designed to carry and sustain life. What she can do , what she can sustain and the pain she will endure is humbling. I love you @keliamoniz . I am simply amazed by what woman can do YET AGAIN !! :) See you soon Son!" This is the mechanism for humanity’s evolution and the growth of breaking this taboo.  

HER ADVICE TO ALL

The biggest skill you can develop is the skill to be comfortable with the unknown. It took me 11 years to get here. So many moments of despair, figuring out what I needed to do. I was ready to retire early. If I had just been uncomfortable with not knowing what the future holds, I would have such a better time at work dealing with the struggles I had. The moral of the story is to be comfortable with the unknown, have faith with what the universe has in store for you.

You have to trust the process, I could not have planned this career path for myself. It is also important to be comfortable failing, your path is your path. At 33, for me, career and growth are subjective. Also, taking action is so important. Don’t let fear stop you from taking action. We’re not trying to avoid fear but to take actions despite the fear.

BEHIND THE SCENES

This visual story was captured by Winky, is a Hong Kong-based photographer.

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