Singled Out! What's Up With Singapore's "Wild Child" Maia Lee?
She quit school at 15 and was backpacking around the country one year later. This lavishly tattoed char bor gave birth twice as a single mother by the age of 26...
She quit school at 15 and was backpacking around the country one year later. This lavishly tattoed char bor gave birth twice as a single mother by the age of 26. With her devil-may-care attitude, this rebel spirit shocked many conservatives with her provocative belly dancing routines dancing while pregnant.
All this and more is Maia Lee.
Maia does things her way and isn’t one to shy away from the criticisms she receives for her unorthodox lifestyle. She was 21-years-old when she joined the first season of Singapore Idol but instead of being in the news for her good vocal skills, she received flak for being a single mother to her son, Tyrese, at such a young age. The media then made an example of Maia by projecting her as a 'bad example' to young girls. She was singled out and was hounded relentlessly, and even young Tyrese was not spared the public's self-righteous indignation.
But is Maia really a media punching bag or does she actually have a stake in this whole media tirade? TheAsianparent team sat down with Maia to find out more about how she is coping with singlehood, the latest addition to the family and what makes Maia…well, Maia.
Last year, Maia had a quiet delivery. Once again she paved a way for herself to single motherhood. However, this time, it wasn’t something she felt that the media or the public should know. “They’re still guessing. They are not even sure if I’ve given birth. I just keep playing along,” she giggles. Tyrese, now 7, is big brother to the newcomer of the family, a baby girl – the result of Thailand, Contender Asia and well, Maia.
Single motherhood is challenging but she wasn’t afraid to step up for a second time. “I would never have an abortion. It was what I did and I should bear the consequences. But also because I love babies! I was happy to conceive again. I broke up with a friend when she decided to go for an abortion. I even told her I’d take the baby, find money somehow and bring the child up, but she still aborted the baby,” explains Maia.
Just when you thought things couldn’t be more out of the norm, Maia popped up last year with a belly dancing video while being pregnant. What started as a video she wanted to have as a keepsake, has turned into quite a statement and has even shown pregnancy in a new light. “I accepted my pregnancy look and didn’t want to hide away,” is her reasoning behind such a quirky yet bold move. The video, still on YouTube, has garnered over 100,000 views and still counting. Embracing sexiness during pregnancy indeed!
Not one to try and pace her social status for society, Maia is not about to change anything about being a single mother, even with the new addition. “I’m happy being a single mother to my kids. I just can’t see myself being with a partner.”
This smoking hot mama is quick to tell you that she does not compromise when it comes to her children and their happiness. But she is not the typical rigid parent you’ll come across in Singapore, that’s for sure. Her plans for her children? “I don’t have plans for both of them. I’m going to let them explore for themselves. I’m not adamant about them finishing school. It’s up to them to choose what they want to do.”
Maia’s idea of paradise is Thailand. "If I could speak a foreign language and had the money, I’d be there. It’s paradise and nobody judges you there!” Maia has a new film coming out which she is currently working on.
Certainly not one to shy away from responsibility, Maia now considers motherhood her first priority and just about everything else comes in second. What does this happy-go-lucky mom wish for her kids? “Happiness, health and to be rich!” she cheekily answers.